How Your Accounting Department Should Work
What if you could have an accounting department that was actually easy to work with? What if you asked for something and got it right away without a hassle? No sighing, no complaining about how hard it will be, just quick and easy. What if you could get reports you wanted automatically e-mailed to you however often you wanted? Or, if you could see a dashboard on your phone with your most important metrics in real time? How about if expense reports were a piece of cake to submit and just as easy to review and approve on your phone. What if you only got the expenses you actually needed to approve sent to you in the first place and delegated someone else to approve the small stuff and what if they could use their phone to easily approve things? You know who really wins in this scenario? I mean, who wins more than you do? Your accounting department.
Look, I’ve worked with lots of accountants (I AM the one with the degrees and certifications to prove it!) and they almost all like helping people, but most accounting departments have lousy systems and processes that make it hard for them to help you. You might love the idea of getting the information you need without having to fight one of your own departments for it, but they want just as much to give you what you need. They want to help* but they are fighting a system that doesn’t work just as much as you are.
Your Accounting System Should Help You Organize Expenses Quickly and Easily.
Here's what should happen: your business development person or executive is at lunch with a client. When the bill comes, your team member snaps a photo of it on their phone, types a quick memo on who they ate with (either at the table or when they get to their car) and they are done. Software reads the receipt (even handwriting) and fills in the important information. Then, someone from accounting quickly and easily views the receipt, makes sure everything is going to the right category, and clicks approve. Next, whoever else in your organization needs to approve that expense approves it on their computer or phone. Last of all, the charge is automatically imported into your accounting system—no data entry needed—with a copy of the receipt attached and saved forever in your system in case you are ever audited.
This probably sounds great, but isn’t it expensive? It actually costs a lot less than you might think. Then why doesn’t everyone do it? Three reasons. 1. This isn’t even on most people’s radar as a possibility 2. People don’t like change and need a strong leader to guide them through it 3. The actual design of a system like this is complex and for it to actually work takes someone with experience setting these up.
Don't Risk Comfort for the Sake of Profit
Most people won’t modernize their accounting department because they think how they do things today is good enough, and they will miss out on the benefits. But you aren’t them. You risk comfort for the sake of profit. You see the big picture and know that the benefits here go way beyond just saving money or getting your monthly financials done faster. This revolution is all about saving time throughout the organization and it’s about giving you access to the information you need to make better decisions for your company.
*Not quite every accountant wants to help. If you have one that truly doesn’t like to help, who just likes to exercise their power and rule over people, you have an HR problem.