As any business owner will tell you, there is no such thing as a traditional ‘9-5’ work day, as working hours extend far beyond into the evenings and weekends. In most start-ups and small businesses, the available resources are slim at best, and the onus lies with the owner to handle many different aspects of the business. One responsibility that many small business owners will take upon themselves is managing the company’s bookkeeping. While this may be sustainable in the early stages, as a company continues to grow the owner’s bandwidth will become preoccupied with other pressing issues and the volume and range of transactions may begin to exceed their bookkeeping capabilities. In either situation, bookkeeping represents a major diversion of an owner’s attention from other pressing matters, such as focusing on growing the business. In order to alleviate this stress, there are a couple of options that an owner can utilize (and these are often appropriate in conjunction with each other):
Option (1) Hire a Bookkeeper
This may seem like an obvious solution, but a bookkeeper can bring about many benefits far beyond freeing up an owner’s time. Having an employee dedicated to maintaining a company’s books means owners will have the most up-to-date information when making decisions. By having access to key financial figures, business owners are able to sit down and address potential concerns, such as not meeting revenue targets. This allows a company to be proactive, rather than reactive in decision making. In addition to having the most up-to-date information, a bookkeeper also provides multiple opportunities to save. By reviewing the books on an on-going basis, a bookkeeper may uncover potential opportunities to save on taxes or inform you of other financial decisions beneficial to the fiscal health of the company. These are opportunities that an effective bookkeeper is able to easily uncover based on their experience in the field. Unfortunately, compiling this information and uncovering these different opportunities may not be feasible for an owner whose priorities and time is already stretched thin.
Option (2) Implement Accounting ERP Software
As a company continues to grow and its processes become increasingly complex, many will turn to accounting ERP software to automate and digitize older accounting processes and other business operations. Not only does proper accounting ERP software provide functionality for managing the books, but standard in ERP systems will be other functionality for managing the entire business, such as; inventory, contact management and CRM, eCommerce integration, warehouse management and order entry/processing.
Implementing an efficient accounting platform in addition to dedicated bookkeeping and accounting staff will ensure a company’s books will never go out of balance and provide functionality for all the essential accounting areas such as general ledger, accounts receivable/payable and bank management. Many manual processes that were feasible during the early stages of a company’s operations will quickly become too cumbersome and prone to error without the aid of proper accounting software. One particular benefit that a sophisticated accounting ERP system provides is the opportunity to generate automated reports. Compiling pertinent information can be a tiring task and for many fast moving industries the information can become obsolete very quickly. Some systems have the ability to automatically compile and email reports to owners and management with key information that can be reviewed on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Once again, ensuring decisions are made with careful consideration of the appropriate information.
As a company begins to grow, many owners will quickly realize they are no longer able to manage every aspect of the business and implementing additional resources becomes a logical progression. One of the more tiresome tasks for many is managing the accounting for a company and so the first sensible task is to hire a bookkeeper. As the business continues to grow and become more complex, consider implementing accounting ERP software which dedicated staff can use to manage all aspects of a company’s operations.