According to a 2017 Small Business Accounting Report, Wasp Barcode Technologies surveyed 393 small businesses who stated their top accounting challenges are:
1. Accounts receivable/collections
2. Cash flow
3. Managing paperwork
4. Closing the books each month
5. Managing payroll
If you’re feeling the same pain, here’s some strategies to help get over these accounting hurdles:
Accounts receivable: Review your AR aging reports monthly and follow up promptly on delinquent accounts. Strive for automated payments in order to streamline your collections process. If customers, clients, and/or members are still paying you with paper checks, focus on changing their payment method to e-Payments.
Cash Flow: In addition to the enhancing your collection process, you can improve your cash flow by reviewing your inventory levels to see if you are carrying more inventory than you need, based on your sales volumes. By understanding your sales patterns, you can become more cost effective with the timing and volume of your inventory purchases, possible freeing up precious cash for other uses. Also, review your financing terms for any notes payable and other long-term obligations you have. There may be opportunities to renegotiate a better interest rate through loan consolidation. The same goes for your interest-bearing CD and checking accounts; review your rates and see if there are opportunities for better terms. Lastly, improve your cash flow by analyzing your expenses; see Review These 6 Expenses To Impact Your Bottom Line for more information.
Managing paperwork: Consider using Hubdoc, a document management app, and Bill.com, an automated bill pay solution, to streamline your paperwork. Hubdoc automatically “fetches” your online bills and bank statements and Bill.com automates how you pay vendors and invoice customers/clients. Your paperwork is stored securely in a cloud-based repository, which you can easily access, even when you’re on the go. These two apps can sync with your accounting system, to eliminate the need for duplicative data entry.
Closing the books each month: Ensure you have a good handle of what a solid closing process entails and institute standard operating procedures to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. See http://intuit.me/2zuQSNw for a good article on the accounting tasks every small business should consider.
Managing payroll: Strongly consider using an third-party service handle your payroll, since this core process can be painstakingly tedious, complex, and cause major issues if not done right. There are several reputable payroll service providers in the marketplace; including Intuit’s payroll solution, which seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online. See Optimizing Your Payroll Process for more on this subject.
Benefits of Using an Outsourced CFO or Controller: The survey results are not surprising, given that most of the small businesses surveyed don’t have a CFO or controller. According to the report, only 25% of smaller companies (with 11-25 employees), had a CFO or controller.
Most of the above pains can be eliminated by hiring the right accounting expert. Small businesses and not-for-profits should consider the benefits of outsourcing all or parts of their accounting functions to a reputable outsourced accounting firm. These firms can provide a full range of services without you having to provide physical office space and invest in other employee-related overhead costs. This is especially helpful if the volume of your business fluctuates; with an outsourced firm, you don’t have to worry about staffing up and down as changes occur. You’ll free up your time normally spent on bookkeeping tasks so that you can focus on things more profitable aspects of your business. And, you’ll gain resources for your business to draw on that may otherwise have been unavailable to you, such as certified professionals in the most up-to-date technology and accounting standards. By outsourcing your accounting function, you’ll still maintain full control of and access to your information, while the firm addresses all of your accounting needs. Truly the best of both worlds!
How Consultance Accounting can help: Consultance leverages exceptional talent, proven processes, and top technology platforms to deliver timely & accurate financial solutions that help small and medium-sized organizations improve productivity, increase profitability, and achieve their goals. We use cloud-based technologies that integrate with each other to streamline the process. Contact Us if you have questions and/or need more assistance.