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...

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...

Why Process Superiority is Important

Most business leaders and owners today have a lot of issues to deal with.  Unfortunately, we see a lot of them working in the business trying to ‘fight fires’ and deal with all these issues so much that they don’t spend enough time on a key part of any business, business process management and developing superior processes. In life, you naturally have set up some processes to make your life less stressful and allow you to focus on what’s important to you.  For instance, you most likely have your morning routine, your before bed routine, your cleaning routine and so far.  The routines are actually processes. 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 in search, McDonald’s in fast food.  Process creation and management is crucial for any business and business model.   Below are our three reasons why companies and organizations today need to focus on creating and managing 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...

Office Automation System

One of the biggest problems we see at many companies we visit are overworked staff in the back office.  We see many of them are just trying to survive, getting their work done with the tools given to them with no understanding or knowledge how to make work more enjoyable or free up time for customer service, innovation or taking on more work. With the rapid expansion of the internet, the increased digitization of data and rapid decrease in technology costs, employees and companies can now put in a office automation system that will reduce overtime, processing times and improve morale. To begin building your office automation system, I recommend you ask three questions: What process or tasks causes me the most stress or anxiety that I would like to have an office automation system take over? If there is one task that I would like an office automation system to take over, what would it be? What would be the benefits to me and our company be by putting in this office automation system? The benefits of asking these three questions is it will begin to activate your creativity and allow to begin to see that cost effective solutions to automate your problems are now available to you.  It will allow you to ‘connect the dots’ by seeing how leveraging a bit of technology at the right task or step in the process will generate huge returns. In conclusion, identifying opportunities for a office automation system is not hard.  It just takes effort to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you.  You will...

Key Performance Indicators and Causal Relationships

This past week, we met with a client to help them determine what their key performance indicators are in order for them to drive profitable growth. While some think this process is quite straight forward, we still continue to find individuals who do not understand the importance of causality and processes when developing the right KPI’s for their business. Don’t get us wrong. We still insist that our clients (many who have finance and accounting backgrounds), to continue to read their monthly financial statements, including the traditional Income Statement, balance sheet and cash flows and to continue to compare those monthly results to the plan and/or to the previous year’s results. We also continue to encourage them to run the traditional ratios as a way to check the health of their business. What we are recommending is that they create a new section within this review that includes more significant key performance indicators as part of their management process to track and predict their business success. This section must, however, be carefully crafted to ensure that the ‘right indicators’ are included that properly measure the processes the business engages in every day. Let us explain. While we won’t get into the academic discussions pertaining to Causality (you can google Causality or go to Wikipedia to get into the details of the subject from multiple disciplines), the key idea is that with any business process, there are certain ‘laws’ governing that process. While everyone may not totally understand the ‘laws’ governing that process, those ‘laws’ still ‘govern’ that process. Those laws must be followed in some order to get the...
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