The Creativity of Leveraging Your Accounting: Follow Up
Wow. It’s amazing what you can learn from people who love what they do and honestly care about helping their customers achieve success. Hilary Dodson and Tracey Holecek totally delivered on useful information for leveraging your accounting for business owners at every level. The key takeaways gave us lots of helpful tips that almost directly translates into a monthly checklist for extremely beneficial financial review.
Always ask questions to stay on track.
Regular review of your financial statements helps you uncover both the good and the bad, but you have to dig a little bit.
Use your Comparative Balance Sheet to understand whether your processes are working. The key word here is “comparative”. Can you explain the increases or decreases from the prior period?
Use the Comparative Income Statement to measure your company’s performance and evaluate it against your expectations. Are we making money? Did we stay on budget? Are we performing better or worse than others in our industry?
Fuel your growth journey by discussing your reports with your accounting advisors.
Whether that means bookkeeper or CFO (more on that later), you need a shared understanding of the decisions that you will be making so that you can receive the best reports to help you make them quickly. Don’t assume that your bookkeeper knows what you need.
Internal controls help avoid derailment while leveraging your accounting.
Little (and big) surprises can easily occur when processes run without being checked or monitored. For example, if one person writes and signs the checks to pay vendors, that person may not be the person you want adding the vendor or reconciling the bank statement. It can get tricky, especially in very small businesses. Numbers on the reports that don’t make sense to you are instant red flags that processes might not be working the way you think they are.
Watching KPIs tells you direction and speed.
That’s why a set of KPIs is often called a “dashboard”. Key performance indicators are the metrics that you can watch, month to month, to see evaluate your progress. Everybody watches “the bottom line”, but most other KPIs are set based on your specific goals. Kaiser Consulting recommends four-ten KPIs.
What kind of accountant do YOU really need?
This was perhaps the most enlightening piece of the presentation for me. Kaiser Consulting gave us a list of all of the most important responsibilities that generally full into the “accounting” roles. Checkmarks next to the roles clearly indicate which of these responsibilities are best handled by a Bookkeeper, an Accountant, a Controller, a CFO, or a Tax Accountant.
Of course, very small businesses aren’t going to hire a full-time controller, but we can clearly see that neither should that small business expect their Bookkeeper to ensure regulatory compliance or determine tax strategy. That’s when the small business may need to hire the expertise of a fractional Controller or a Tax Accountant.
Clearly, Hilary and Tracey, and their colleagues at Kaiser Consulting have experience in guiding businesses of all sizes to the right professionals for the job and the budget. If you would like to learn more about any of their topics, I strongly suggest that you reach out to them via LinkedIn or the Kaiser Consulting website at www.kaiserconsulting.com
So. What’s Next for Business Builder Breakfasts
Our series returns this fall starting in September. Topics will focus on preparation for 2020 including business legal issues to update and revise, visioning and leading your strategy implementation, and preparing year-end financials for next year’s funding requirements.
Read more about the Business Builder Breakfast series: