Focus on Your Process: Take Full Advantage of Your Accounting Software
By Carolyn Hall
Your business can be using the best accounting software in the world, but unless your team is following standard processes, you’re not taking full advantage of your investment.
Here’s how to make sure your system is running efficiently and that you have the right people and processes in place.
- When setting up a new system, lay out all of the steps involved and continue to communicate to team members throughout the lifecycle of a product or service. Project management software such as Teamwork can help ensure a smooth implementation, but the software isn’t as important as the processes you put in place.
- Establish workflows to expedite accounting functions such as accounts receivable and accounts payable. For example, utilize a system in which your vendors send invoices to an online bill-paying service such as Bill.com, which allows for electronic bill payment after the business owner has reviewed and approved the bills now stored in the cloud. When workflows are built into the software, it is easier to have a smooth process in place.
- Assess the abilities and strengths of team members, then assign them specific tasks based on your analysis. Communicate procedures associated with each task and make sure these procedures are being followed, allowing you to control the process and ensure efficiency and uniformity
- Create a chronological flow chart for repetitive tasks, including the month-end closing of the financial books. After one team member completes a task, make it available for the next person in the process. Implementing this type of workflow will avoid duplication of work due to changes made after a task is complete.
- The final step is to set up financial reporting by designing templates and dashboards in the system that allow management to review reports and graphics on a regularly scheduled date. Meeting management deadlines for reporting will create value and enhance the decision-making process.
Creating a system and implementing processes to maximize its efficiency will allow you to get the most out of your accounting software and take full advantage of your investment in the system.
Carolyn Hall is director of Wiss’ FWRD Services group. You may reach Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-994-9400.