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...

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...

Boost Productivity with AP Automation

Manual accounts payable processes are universally known to be very involved and resource heavy, often resulting in some amount of error along the way. With effective AP automation these concerns can be alleviated, creating opportunity for a range of benefits. The perks of automation have resulted in its implementation among AP professionals for the last couple of years, and are beginning to inspire a more widespread acceptance within the industry. Though there are several benefits to AP automation including decreased costs, reduced errors, and a streamlined process, we want to highlight the boost to productivity it will undoubtedly provide. According to the 2014 Automation Study conducted by The Institute of Financial Operations, respondents including finance executives, shared services directors, and AP managers, reported a range of automation use within their process scaling from less than 10% to 90%. One of the conclusions this study provided, was the discovery of a trend towards more efficient and time saving processes with the use of automation. “While 72 percent of respondents said it takes them five days or fewer for data entry, validation, and approval of an invoice, 10 percent reported completing the process in less than a day – and 9 percent said they do it in less than an hour.” This meaningful time saved by eliminating routine tasks is unprecedented, and can be re-distributed for any number of projects or new initiatives, or even inspire members of your team who were previously bogged down with labor intensive tasks. Company resources can be maximized when there are fewer people and physical supplies needed to process invoices. Staff are consequently left with...

Three 2015 Business Intelligence Trends

Three 2015 Business Intelligence Trends Last year brought along several changes within the realm of Business Intelligence. We saw mobile BI rise in popularity and Big Data investments increase among business owners, as well as a heavy focus on cloud & security. These shifts in process & technology are always evolving, and with them come new ways in which to succeed. The following are three trends that we believe 2015 has in store for Business Intelligence. 1. Heightened Data Interaction In 2014, the ways in which we were able to interact with our digital information grew with the increased usage of dashboard and BI software. This year, organizations will continue to invest in and experiment with Big Data solutions as the analytical advantages of this approach become even more crucial for success. The task of collecting and reviewing data has become much more interactive with the development of lightening fast analytical tools. It is now easier than ever for users to extract significant data to analyze or experiment with. 2.  Transformation of Data Governance According to Gartner, this year, 25% of all global companies will have some sort of data officer in place. With companies creating and collecting data, in amounts exceedingly higher than ever before, it is imperative that they explore cutting edge methods to control and govern said data. Data governance can be completely customized and implemented to ensure effective and dynamic use, all towards the goal of executing from a well-informed and resourceful perspective. 3. Blossoming Mobile Capacity With mobility clearly on the rise, there has been an increasing amount of focus on the development of...
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