Cloud Based Accounting System
Clients can often easily identify the issues with some of their operational systems and processes when it becomes obvious that they are not meeting the needs of the business. Nevermore is this apparent than with their financial management. Every business operates differently and will require something different from their accounting system. These requirements often change over time from when the company began into later periods of growth. As technology and software solutions advance alongside this, it is unsurprising that many businesses feel the need upgrade and move their accounting function to meet the requirements of their larger scale operation.
As financial and operational consultants, it is our job to acknowledge the needs of each individual business and to be able to advise the best course of action to reach the desired outcome. With a wealth of knowledge and experience working with accounting methods, we help our clients set-up streamlined processes which help prevent error, reduce workload and produce valuable reporting insights of the company’s financial status.On a recent accounting platform switch over project, we were able to make a quick yet thorough assessment of the business, work with the CEO & management team to determine what they wanted/ needed from their accounting system as well as identify the weaknesses in their current platform, and swiftly implement a complete switch over to a more suitable application.
STEP 1: Identifying the requirements & weaknesses in current set-up
Our first job was to analyse the business’s standard operation, how they are using their current software and the room for improvement in not only the method but also the outcome.
Liaison with the team revealed several issues around the amount of time taken to manage their financial requirements. Their current system was proving intensively manual in some areas since their business involved multi revenue streams which needed to be treated separately upon entry. For example, they found they were having to raise separate, individual sales invoices to properly account for their commission charged once a payment had been made from a customer directly to one of their sellers. Orders of this kind were coming in regularly in large quantities and it was appearing obviously unsustainable to be keying in these manually one by one each month. Since their current accounting system was unable to upload items in bulk, it was our recommendation to move to another platform in which these types of items can be easily uploaded in batches once a month.
The current system exposed weaknesses in areas of automation and looked to not be able to support the business through any further growth; all debts had to be chased manually and even the proposed integration with an online sales platform required manual clean-up of sales journals to detail each invoice and account code correctly upon entry.
STEP 2: The Recommendation
Our recommendation took these issues into account and was a solution to the requirements of the business without altering the fundamental operation. We chose a platform that could handle bulk uploads, automated payment reminders, detailed automated journal entry and in-turn remove the need for manual calculations and for additional accounting spreadsheets by using a export from the accounting platform itself to satisfy this requirement. Over all, the workload and room for error would be significantly reduced.
With the new platform determined that would solve most of the frustrating issues, we were also able to make sensible operational process recommendations which would steam-line the workflow into the accounting system and still produce the same result. Our goal was to remove unnecessary steps in their processes that up until this point had left room for error and required disproportionate effort. An example of an operational change we made was with the business’s distribution process and how to accurately record accruals for estimated delivery charges and then the reversal for the actuals. For this we worked with the operations manager to set up a simplified log detailing the estimated and actual values and wrote in an operational process to once a month submit one manual journal entry into the new accounting platform.
STEP 3: Implementation
It is always a nervous time for business owners and company directors when change is necessary, not least in their financial department. Due to the complexity of information, there is little room for error when you set to make changes with an accounting system. It is common for such events to be hugely disrupting and leave businesses not only operating blind during the transition but also teams and leaders faced with a barrage of questions from the accountants trying to piece together the information on the other side.
Fortunately, for us, since we offer our consulting experience prior to taking over the accounting, we have greater insight and ability to plan for the switch-over. In this particular case, we had scheduled a two day window once accounts had been brought up to date, to manage the switch over and set-up of full the company accounting function and payroll with in a brand new platform capable of managing the growing demands of a highly successful business. The accounts were reconciled and payroll runs happened smoothly without error. Our continued day to day support as bookkeepers has produced exactly the results the client had hoped for and dramatically reduced stress and overwhelment within their busy work place.
It is interesting to note how we feel the simpler the solution we can offer, with the minimum effort on the behalf of the client, the better. It is never rocket science, just a simple case of removing the burden for business owners and directors so they can focus on what really drives them to do what they.
One very happy customer….