Sound like self-promotion? Would you care if it helps you make more money?
Per the SBA (2001), 51% of businesses fail in their first five years. Businesses require investment and elbow grease.
It just makes good sense to find ways to increase your chances of success after all that effort!
Every business is different when it comes to the type and level of accounting services needed. Some small businesses may only need bookkeeping services, while others benefit from many layers of accounting skills from bookkeepers to Chief Financial Officers.
If your business is in the small to mid-market range, generating $500,000 to $20 million in annual revenues, it may not make sense to have a full-time CFO, a full-time controller, and multiple bookkeepers with all the full-time salaries and benefits in your accounting department.
The good news is that adding accounting staff can be scalable depending on your business needs as you grow and change. You can still get the advice of these high-level accounting skill sets while paying only for what you need. I work with business owners like you to create a customized package based on your company’s unique accounting needs.
Almost all businesses start out with a recordkeeping function which is done part-time by anyone available or outsourced to a vendor. The minimum is done to get the tax compliance handled. Technology allows recordkeeping to be more painless than ever to capture business transactions for recording remotely.
In very small businesses (revenue under $500,000 per year), a bookkeeper codes the transactions, reconciles the bank accounts, and generates monthly reports. The bookkeeper can be a part-time or full-time employee, a contractor, or a bookkeeping business that provides this service. Invoicing is usually done by someone in the office, in the field, in the store, or online via an automated app. For example, some service businesses can send an invoice and payment link from their device at the customer’s location before leaving the worksite.
Once a small businesses begins to generate approximately $500k per year in revenue, bookkeeping work plus some advisory is usually beneficial. An accounting professional needs to make sure the books are “done right.” Typically, this includes reporting on an accepted basis recognized by bankers, vendors or other parties. It may also include ensuring account reconciliations and processes are completed. The business owner may need help with cash flow, accounting software questions, setup, cleanup, adjusting entries, payroll compliance, or workflow efficiencies. An experienced bookkeeper or senior accountant is right for this level of service. This is the first level of accounting service where you may see a return on your investment in accounting services due to accounting process improvements and training efficiencies.
A small business earning about $1 million in annual revenues is ready for controller-level services. A controller can do many things, but generally takes the summation of transactions recorded by bookkeeping, and compiles the data for reporting and analysis. This is the source of business intelligence used to benefit the business and help owners make the may decisions of where to invest resources and how much return on investment to plan for.
A Controller may include overseeing (or performing) bookkeeping which is either outsourced or done in-house by full-time or part-time employees or contractors. A controller reviews the monthly work and discusses financial reports with the owner, and is available for specific explanations or analysis with the accounting information.
In addition, some advisory services may include:
Many of these advisory services are not needed every month. A great accounting team will be proactive and suggest services that will have a positive impact on your profitability and business goals.
Companies generating more than $5 - $10 million in annual revenue may need the expertise of a Chief Financial Officer. While a controller manages the historical financials of a business, the CFO is forward-looking and strategic, often setting goals for the company and helping obtain funding to reach them. A CFO’s responsibilities include:
These five levels above are the core levels of accounting expertise. The smaller the business, the more they blend together. I am happy to put together a package of accounting services that will be the right solution for your business.
It’s easy to feel that accounting is a necessary evil of doing business, but there are many benefits that can be realized from working with a proactive accounting professional. Here are just a few to consider:
One of the most challenging tasks of small business owners is managing their cash balances. I can help you get the right tools in place so you can stay on top of your cash. Whether it’s setting up the right reporting, speeding up receivables, creating forecasts, or preparing a loan package for your local bank, I can help you keep your cash flowing.
Having the right accounting system for you can make all the difference in the world. I remain up-to-date with many accounting software options and can help you find the best fit for your business. If you’ve outgrown your current solution, I can help you manage the transition while keeping your operations humming smoothly.
One secret in boosting accounting productivity is to make sure your accounting software is configured and customized correctly. I learn your requirements so I can tailor the accounting software to your business and reporting needs. Plus, I can train your staff on the new system so they can be up and running in no time.
The accounting function is necessary in every business, and it should reflect your processes and operations, not dictate them. I can take a look at areas within your accounting system that are asking more of your staff than they should be. These could include areas of duplicate data entry, time spent on manual reports, and bottlenecks in general. I’ll suggest improvements that can save your time and money and keep your bookkeeping bill as low as possible.
Are there any areas in your accounting functions that are undocumented? I can help you write a procedures manual for those areas. Good documentation is the key to good training, consistency, and controls.
Small business accounting functions often lack the internal controls and procedures to help prevent fraud, theft, and other risks to your hard-earned assets. That means your business assets, from cash to inventory to receivables, could be at greater risk of being mishandled, whether intentionally or by accident.
I can review the duties of each bookkeeper and make suggestions that will lower your risk and help you better protect your business assets at a level that is appropriate for your specific business. I can also perform a full risk review and make suggestions to reduce your business risk and strengthen your accounting controls.
Do you know exactly what you want your business to look like in three to five years, but are not sure how to get there? I can break things down in a way that helps you take control each step of the way and see very clearly the path to success. I can help you make sense of the financial piece of planning so you can achieve your dreams.
In the short term, I can also help you create a budget for your business so you can monitor revenues and expenses and see where you stand relative to your goals.
If you are a data junkie and like feedback that shows your business winning, just wait until we set up goal scores for your business. These are called key performance indicators (KPIs), and it’s a rush when you can hit or exceed them.
Planning a large investment? We can help you compare and evaluate your options from a financial standpoint so you can make an informed decision.
It can be difficult to find good advice when you are in business for yourself. Friends and spouses often lack the same knowledge, experience, or skin in the game to think through all the options you face operating your business. As a fellow small business owner, I can often act as a sounding board for your business ideas and provide a fresh, experienced perspective. This is the most interesting and rewarding part of my work with my clients.
Ownership and management of a business improves when the owner synchs with the accounting team. The accountant understands your business and business goals better, and can operate toward them more efficiently, and the owners’ understanding of the financial measures of the business grows and becomes more valuable. This is when the magic really starts to happen for the business, and it improves over time.
My goal (and great satisfaction) is to become a true partner for your business by providing you with the right mix of accounting services for you and your business. To take the first step, call or email to see how we might best work together for mutual benefit.