5 Tips for a Strong, Effective Accounting Department

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    Money management is a key to any business’s success. You probably have heard before that most businesses fail within their first 3-5 years. Why? A lot of it boils down to bad money management. Accounting is complicated, and no amount of passion can take the place of sound accounting practices.

    Between the complicated processes and approval requirements, it’s easy to fall behind and lose control of your finances. Here are 5 tips to help you keep your accounting department healthy and effective:

    Establish deadlines and stick to them.

    Accountants can end up frustrated and burning time waiting for other people to turn in documentation, approve expenses, etc. This waiting game can make it difficult for accountants to meet their own deadlines. Stop this stressful cycle by establishing concrete deadlines.

    After you’ve established deadlines for the rest of the organization, your management team will have to enforce them. Once the rest of the company adapts, your accounting department won’t have to worry about the stress of following up constantly and missing deadlines.

    Process in batches.

    Instead of processing every check request, invoice, and reimbursement as it comes in, pick a couple dates during the month when you will process them. Spread the news once you decide which days you’ll be processing each month.

    Exceptions can be made, but when you make your batch processing dates available to the entire organization, you’ll minimize the likelihood that people will come to you for emergency processing.

    Use the tools you’ve got.

    Odds are, your company has some kind of software in place that crunches numbers for you. While this may not be the latest, greatest bookkeeping software, it can still save you a ton of time. Resist the temptation to do things the long way. Computing outside of the system will eat up your time.

    If you don’t believe that your software does everything you need it to do, speak to a representative to see if there’s some functionality you don’t know about or a potential upgrade that could save you time and money in the long run.

    Review the state of your process.

    Even if your process is working fairly well, that doesn’t mean it is optimized. Take a step back and review the process as it stands and how it would be functioning if everyone were following all the rules.

    Your review should reveal whether the process you have in place is sufficient, or if it can be improved. Also, it should shed some light on which people are following the process vs. those who are cutting corners or making up their own rules.

    Keep your accounting department in good shape by scheduling an annual process review.

    Stop wasting time unnecessarily.

    Some of the tasks your accounting department completes are the type that require higher-order thinking. Your team holds a wealth of knowledge gained through years of schooling and/or on-the-job experience. That’s why you hired them!

    But, frankly, some of the tasks they do are beneath them and are a waste of their time. What we’re talking about here are the things that can done by a machine. How much time is your team spending entering the same data in multiple systems when an OCR solution can be saving them from doing data entry at all? This is just one example of the types of tasks that can be taken care of by a Robotic Accounting Automation platform. When notifications, entry, and data sync are automated, your team members are freed up to take care of more important stuff – things that require the power of the human brain.

    Want to know more about how RAA (Robotic Accounting Automation) can allow you to automate many of the daily tasks of your accounting department? Check out our ebook, What is RAA?, to learn how to set your team members free from many of the stressors they deal with on a daily basis.

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