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...

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...

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...

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...

Task Automation

Would you like to begin to enjoy the benefits of a four hour work week? Would you like to have more time to do what you want and less time doing monotonous tasks? Then you need to start leveraging the power of the internet and the power of today’s technology. You need to start with task automation. What is Task Automation? Task automation is the use of various systems and technologies to minimize or reduce the amount of human intervention to complete the task or process. What are examples of Task Automation? Let’s look at completing a telephone call. When you dial, do you need to talk to an operator to help route your call and wait until that operator is done? OR, do you just punch in a number and the call is immediately connected to the phone of the person? That is Task Automation. When you got to an ATM and withdraw cash, do you ask a person to give you the cash and wait until that person is done? Or, does the ATM immediately dispatch the cash after you ask for it? That is Task Automation. Remember in 1981 when the word processor was introduced by Digital Equipment?  The cost PER INDIVIDUAL WAS OVER $15,000 But productivity for those companies went up 400% or more, generating them more profit and making a lot of executives rich! Today, you can get even better word processing technology for $199 or even free! Today, technology to automate your tasks is now available to individuals, small and mid sized businesses that was previously only available to the largest of corporations....

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...
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