Prior to hiring accountants Portishead business owners need to learn how to manage their own books—and this is often easier said than done. Accounting is a time-consuming task, and if there’s one thing most SME business owners are, it’s short on time. Fortunately, there are accountants Portishead business owners can turn to for advice on how to speed through accounting tasks, starting with the four tips below:
1. Don’t waste time by using an accounts system that can’t update information across the board.
According to Phill Robinson, CEO of accountancy software provider IRIS Software, it’s essential to choose an accounts system that synchronises relevant information across your organisation. ‘Correct data offers an accurate indication of who owes what,’ says Robinson. ‘A system that allows owners, staff and accountants to look at the same information in real time offers greater visibility of cash flow. This in turn secures the company as a whole by informing important business and investment decisions.’
2. Automate processes wherever possible.
Automating standard accounting processes like cash flow and payroll not only speeds these processes up directly, it eliminates the possibility of human error. This means that you won’t have to waste hours of precious time figuring out where mistakes were made when doing the books and trying to correct them. If you’re not sure how to automate accounting processes, be aware that there are accountants Portishead business owners can turn to for advice.
3. If you do hire an accountant, make sure that he or she is really adding value to your organisation.
A good accountant will do much more than just ‘crunch the numbers’. He or she will offer insights into how to streamline your business processes and maximise your bottom line. As Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise at ICAEW, says: ‘Don’t be afraid to tap into your accountant’s knowledge for help with running your business. If you decide to sell your business, tell your accountant – he/she could plan to minimise tax liabilities and even help with the sale.’
4. Leverage the power of cloud billing.
Louis Hall, CEO of Customer Relationship Management and billing services provider Cerillion Technologies, strongly recommends cloud billing to SME owners. ‘Cloud billing solutions bring the ability to quickly setup and start billing for a new service, without the need for any infrastructure or upfront licence fees, thereby helping to significantly reduce costs and lowering the barrier to entry for start-ups and SMEs looking to bring new ideas to market,’ advises Hall. Hall states that this results in better business agility and overall flexibility as it makes it easy to give customers more options.
Ultimately, there is one basic golden rule of day-to-day accounting: You have to keep on top of it. If accounting and bookkeeping tasks are routinely left undone, they will become substantially more difficult to manage effectively. If you truly cannot find the time to do a bit of accounting each day, hire an accounting firm—don’t leave the fate of your business to chance.