Stand out from the rest! Improving your processes. Here are 3 reasons why…

Most business leaders and owners today have a lot of issues to deal with.  Unfortunately, ‘fight fires’ and dealing with day to day issues doesn’t allow enough time to spend on a key part of any business: Business Process Management. As it is in life, setting up and improving on processes can make life less stressful and allow us to focus on other important areas.  For instance, you most likely have a morning routine, before bed routine, cleaning routine and so forth.  These routines are actually based in processes and in business, process management is just as important to allow you to make your business the best it can be. Toyota has proven this in the automotive industry, Google has as well as a search engine dominator and McDonald’s is incomparable in its fast food restaurant processes.  Process creation and management is crucial for any business and business model. Here are 3 reasons why as a business owner you need to create superior processes: #1: Industries and Business Models are changing and getting more complicated Industries are rapidly changing, from rapid growth to rapid decline.  These forces in conjunction with the disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, process automation, big data and mobile computing has only driven up the importance of companies needing to focus on business process management. The energy industry, for instance, is making a shift from a hierarchical “cathedral” fossil-based model to a decentralised, locally produced, locally consumed and sustainable model. Facing stringent competition and miniscule margins, agriculture needs to evolve from being a single link in the industrial food product and distribution chain to becoming...

Does your Accounting Operation need improvement? 6 questions to help you find out…

The pace of business continues to speed up in the age of the connected economy.  Businesses are constantly challenged to come up with more efficient and productive ways of operating to stay competitive and profitable.    One area that can help you make better decisions is accounting.  However, this can be one critical area that business owners are often reluctant to touch.  With today’s technology, it can offer the best ROI in terms of reducing transaction costs and helping you get better information to make better decisions  (Accenture, Deloitte also confirm this). Here is how to determine if your accounting has room for improvement: Is the total cost of your transactional accounting function less than 2.5% of revenues? Do you have a completed set of financials and variance analysis completed by the second work day every month? Do you have key accounts (banks, credit cards, vendor and customer accounts) reconciled by the fifth work day? Can you get real-time reports of how much you are spending by vendor and services compared to expectations/budgets? Do you have real-time cash reporting and a rolling 16 weeks forecast of cash and revenue? Do you have real-time reports on your inventory turns and sell through by product? If you have answered NO to even one of these questions then you need to look at improving your accounting practices. Logicon Solutions has helped business owners transform their finance and accounting teams into a cash flow generating, business building, decision support powerhouse.  Exciting? Yes! We can show you how improving your accounting will consistently help you make better decisions for your company. Schedule a free...

Best in Class Accounting for your Business…Yes you can.

Accounting Automation, Accounting Data, Expense Automation, Payables Automation, Task automation …With today’s economic climate and fierce competition, companies must ensure their accounting operations are competitive in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. A recent article by APQC highlights some interesting ratios on what it costs to run the best of class accounting operations in the world today.  Sounds expensive? It may come as a surprise to know that best of class accounting operations cost only 0.4% per $1000 per revenue. Another study by CIMA revealed that best in class accounting operations are between 0.6% and 0.7% of total Revenue. The biggest change in the last 5 years has been that the cost of technology to achieve those savings is as low as a few dollars per day as opposed to hundreds of dollars per day in the past.  With new available technology we are now integrating for our clients and we are seeing accounting costs tumble for some small and mid-sized companies by as much as 30% to 60% in some cases! Want to find out the true cost of taking advantage of new accounting technologies? Want to find out the true cost if you don’t? Schedule a free Strategy Session with Gerry Anderson, President of Logicon Solutions to review the options available to improve your accounting processes and Increase your Profitability! You provide a quick review of your challenges and we provide you with information on how you can overcome these challenges based on proven systems that work. We will look at how you can implement the fixes and your next steps to immediately improve your cash flow and reduce your accounting costs.   Gerry Anderson,...

5 Signs Your Bookkeeping Is Failing You and What You Can Do About It.

  Business owners don’t really think about accounting processes.  So long as the cash is flowing, they think everything must be OK.  Unfortunately, they often don’t recognizing the signs that accounting is not running well at all.    Here are a few key indicators that should raise red flags for a business owner:   Inflated External Accounting Bills Your external accountant should not have to redo your books or be asking for a lot of invoices and receipts at tax time or year end.  If you find your external CPA firm or accountant is suddenly charging higher rates you need to take a closer look at billing details. If you find work that should have been done in advance by your bookkeeper then it is a sure sign your bookkeeper is not completing the work assigned before submitting it to the CPA. The rule of thumb is that firms requiring external reporting should pay no more than $1,000 per million dollars in revenue.  More than that and it’s an indication something is wrong in accounting.   You are getting No or Poor variance analysis and discussion on the financial results of your business by the 5th day of the month Every month, you should have a complete package providing you with a comprehensive set of financial reports plus key performance indicators and a list of expenses or revenue numbers that are outside of expectations.  If you don’t receive this information by work day 4 at the latest, you can bet that there is a lot of room for improvement here.   You see unallocated or miscellaneous transactions lined up in...

Cloud Based Accounting – Why you need it. Now.

The internet has changed the face of business today and is continually redefining the landscape. Traditionally, a user’s desktop computer (called a client) or server was fully contained with hardware and software. This means that accessing data and programs was done exclusively within client server structure.With today’s rise of the internet and ever-present devices such as tablets and smartphones, the new approach is Cloud Computing and previously unattainable benefits are now at your fingertips. Cloud based systems allow the access of data and programs outside of one’s own computing environment. Applications, databases, email and file services are stored in ‘the cloud’ instead of internal storage in PCs. Although the original attraction of the ‘the cloud’ is safe data storage, unaffected by crashes, disasters and “oops” moments, there are many other benefits of the cloud: No need to start over The idea of moving operations to cloud computing is daunting for most businesses that rely on traditional methods of computing. This poses a significant hurdle while switching from the existing hardware and software on the PC to a cloud application. In reality, cloud services offer a seamless transition. Meaning, small businesses that don’t have the time to reformat and update years’ worth of files can switch to cloud services very easily. Features like integration of data from current office software and web apps help a business to be on the same page without making a fresh start on cloud. That’s great news! Sharing, collaborating and document control Cloud storage revolutionizes the internal communications of many small businesses. In the absence of cloud computing, employees have to send files back and...

Make Money with Your Data

  Less than thirty years ago, most small and medium-sized businesses knew their customers personally and had a depth of wisdom on their customers, best and worst. The local butcher knew which cuts of meat his patrons liked best. The baker knew when people came in for their bakery items. The barber knew the preferred hair cuts and shave types of his ‘regulars’ and when to expect them to arrive for their next hair cut.Between big box stores, global manufacturing and the internet, business as we knew it has transformed. However, with that transformation has arisen new transactional data, called Big Data, to help everyone across companies understand and help their customers better than ever. And it’s not just big enterprises with sophisticated IT capabilities that benefit from Big Data. Thanks to cloud-based providers—which offer access to massive amounts of data, and the ability to analyze it, without great cost—today’s small businesses can use Big Data to better understand customers, optimize operational efficiencies and better plan for the future. Free Big Data-enabled services You’re probably already using one or more of the many cloud services offering Big Data capabilities. Google Analytics, which can help you understand where your web traffic comes from, how site users behave and optimize your site to convert visitors to customers. Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, which can provide real-time insight into customer sentiment about your brand. LinkedIn, employing specific keywords to find prospects, partners or job candidates. QuickBooks, which offers free industry-wide data analytics. Government sites, to search for census, economic, or environmental or weather data. Public databases like CrunchBase, which offers information about the...

Benchmark your IT Costs

http://www.gartner.com/technology/metrics/   1. The Purpose to Do IT Spend Benchmarking CIO must do some benchmarking not only to justify the dollar amounts spent but also to make sure that the company is spending a reasonable portion of its revenue on IT relative to other companies in the industry to be able to keep it in business in the long run. Cost Optimization: Adjustments should be made to these IT spending numbers by shifting the spending figures on a yearly basis after closely evaluating the key IT performance metrics in a micro and macro environment to achieve cost optimization for the business. The bottom line is that the CIO should be able to show that with the multi-million dollar investment in IT that he is proposing, the company will achieve a lower overall expense in the future. IT spending per worker seems to be more consistent but still widely variable. What is always true is that there will be IT spend that can be cut or avoided and there is more value that can be extracted. Benchmarking is a way of learning from other organizations: Comparing to external benchmarks is a healthy exercise and positions the CIO as a critical thinker who assesses the company from both an internal and external perspective. Tangible benefits can also be realized. But it is not to construct measures to beat the internal organization into submission. Sadly such crude measures have led organizations to make decisions that are based on short-term cost savings that lead to higher costs downstream or even worse, loss of competitive position. Most CEO & CFO are interested in benchmark data...

3 Keys to Data Driven Decision Making

The 3 Keys to Data Driven Decision Making   The potential benefits of big data & analytics should come as no surprise to any companies operating today. Data has provided business owners and executives a priceless tool to illuminate previously imperceptible trends and strategies, leading to strengthened operations and employee relations and an improved customer experience. According to a study conducted by Adaptive Insights, nearly 70% of CFO’s rank data-based insights as the top influence on strategic business decisions. This means a significant number of decisions are being driven by data.   In order to take advantage of this level of data integration in an effective manner, here are 3 crucial points to consider:   Transactions and Data: Mining Your Raw Materials Some people get overwhelmed by the amount of data or the data sources to pull from in order to get the information they need.  On top of that, the various systems and tools generating and providing data through today’s continuously developing tech can seem overwhelming.   The key is to keep the big picture in mind and ensure you stay focused on the question you are trying to answer or insight you are looking for. “Analytics is largely about discovering relationships that aren’t intuitively obvious. By definition, the interesting discoveries are intuitively very uncomfortable — if it doesn’t seem right and you can’t trust your gut, then you’ve got to trust the numbers. That’s hard for people” says Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent. If there is some level of hesitancy when it comes to incorporating data & analytics, just remember that goal; you are trying to answer...

Improving Efficiency of Financial Reporting

The manual process of completing a business’s external or public reporting has become unnecessarily time consuming, often leaving employees over burdened with busy work. What many CPA’s, CFO’s and other executives are starting to realize, is that by automating these processes preparation time can be dramatically reduced, and incorrect disclosures can be avoided. How are manual processes ineffective? A majority of financial statements are prepared using Word and Excel, leading to a process that consists of thousands of manual steps. These steps include a large amount of typing, copying and pasting, as well as revisions and maintenance across multiple documents. When a change is made to just one number, it often has to be reflected in several other places. All of these manual steps leave the door wide open for input errors and inconsistencies, which can cause an incorrect disclosure. Moreover, compliance rarely dictates the structure of manual reporting, giving rise to inefficiencies and lack of attention to current standards. How can the right automation software improve efficiency? The biggest boost in efficiency that automation generates is through the 100’s of hours of time it can save. One of the most effective pieces of automation software we have come across, is from IFRS System, and with it companies saw preparation time reduced by hundreds of hours. A big reason for the amount of time saved through automation is the elimination of consolidation spreadsheets. Instead of 20+ drafts, employees in charge of public reporting would only have to work through up to 4 drafts. This obviously entails a change to pre-existing processes, but it will ultimately increase productivity and improve...
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