Business owners who envision growth with their business need to have a deep understanding of their organization’s finances. Accounting has been described as the central nervous system of a business and we agree. While accounting software can help business owners see a piece of the picture, bookkeepers, controllers, and accountants are essential to painting the rest of that financial picture from which better business decisions can be made. We hope this article provides useful tips to help you make better business decisions by suggesting building blocks to help your business grow.
1. Choose an Accounting Software.
Choosing an Accounting Software can be a challenging task and business owners often turn to others for recommendations. While this is not a bad idea, it does pose some risks. First, no two businesses are exactly the same. What worked for one business might not work for another. Second, it’s important that business owners know the difference between a cheap software solution and an affordable one. Oftentimes, businesses outgrow the cheap solution and then have the added cost of migrating data from one system to the next. Third, make sure your accounting software has ample reporting capabilities and a tamper-proof audit trail. Join Averti Solutions and us for our free webinar on Fraud Risk and Forensic Accounting Tips, to learn more.
2. You Found the Accounting Software, What’s Next?
Clearly the next step is to set up your business in the software and train your team. Setting up your business shouldn’t be simply selecting a template company. You need to consider how to make the software work best for your needs and define important processes along the way. Failure to do so can cost significant amounts of money in lost tracking of expenses and even tax implications. We recommend the setup of your accounting software should always be assisted by your CPA or a trusted accounting advisor. However, be wary of an advisor that is paid to recommend a specific accounting software. They tend to have complicated work arounds and complex processes as a result of weaker accounting software. The end result is added time and cost to the business owner.
Training your team should be a simple part of the setup process. It should be a service the company provides either via webinar, on-site, or in face to face group settings. While video training and online training can help, the real benefit comes from hands on, facilitated practice.
3. How to Choose a CPA.
This might be a very daunting task for a new business owner and even for people who have been in business for years. Look for Certified Public Accountants who are registered with your state and trusted accrediting bodies such as AICPA. The most important consideration is the ability of the CPA to identify risk, mitigate losses, and validate tax compliance.
4. Holding your Accounting Department Accountable.
Many small businesses often only have a book keeper who is an unpaid or poorly paid family member. It becomes more difficult to hold them accountable. As your business grows, we feel it is critical that you hire team members who have experience, understand accounting, and are qualified to make recommendations.
Training your staff is the first step to holding them accountable. If you selected the right accounting software from the beginning, you have ample reporting that should uncover issues and/or errors. However, a solution with optional audit trails presents a great challenge and exceptional organizational risk.
Frequent reporting, team meetings, and informal or formal quarterly reviews are just a few things that bring value to holding your accounting team accountable. However, consistency is likely the most important practice.
5. Take Care of Taxes.
Don’t even think of taking on the risk and liability of avoiding taxes. Taking care of taxes means you plan for them now and pay them when they are due. Several solutions can help with the complexities of taxation; however, we have found that Avalara leads the way. Need help or an introduction to the most advanced tax solution provider in the country? Click here.
We hope these 5 tips can help you make better business decisions. You might be wondering why you should follow these tips; let’s just say that our 34 years of experience and the fact that we are invested in accounting software built by accountants has given us a unique insight into businesses that grow and those that fail. However, success really depends on a competitive product, outstanding people, and strong processes to make the right decisions with predictable results.
About Cougar Mountain Software
Founded in 1982, Boise, Idaho-based Cougar Mountain Software offers a wide range of accounting solutions to businesses and non-profit organizations all over the world. With an end to end accounting software, they have engineered modules that cover Manufacturing, Nonprofit, Local Government, and Healthcare accounting. Cougar Mountain Software sets the standard in providing market-proven technology and unrivaled customer service. For more information, visit the company’s website or follow them on social media at LinkedIn or Twitter @CougarMountain