By Allan Tepper, Co-founder and Senior Managing Partner, CFO Consulting Partners LLC
Did anyone ever tell you that you had to work smarter rather than harder? But how does one do that? Is it even true?
- Problem: Not fully utilizing a basic module of an accounting system. One client kept track of accounts receivable on an excel schedule, even though the accounting system was fully capable of handling.
- Problem: Not setting up recurring entries. I call it, set it and forget it. In most accounting systems, one can set up recurring entries. In essence, you set it once and let the system book the entries automatically. This is especially helpful with prepaid expenses, but has as many applications as one’s imagination.
- Problem: Too much use of Excel. We have all seen so many examples of this. Often, we have seen the comparison of monthly actuals to budgets all done in Excel. In most every case, this could have easily been done within the accounting system.
- Problem: Too busy to stop and think how to tweak the process to make it more productive. Some processes you use may work, but may be overly complicated, error prone and time consuming. To fix this, it requires the time to sit back and figure how to do the same task in less time and/or with less errors. It could be as simple as automating one task that opens up a bottleneck.
- Problem: Staff not adequate trained, and /or incorrect staff in the role and/or staff resistant to change. We have seen many cases where the existing staff just about refuses to do things differently. To fix this, I saw one manager say. The bus, figuratively speaking, will be leaving soon, and it’s your choice to board it or be left behind. Most boarded the bus. He then gave the existing staff new roles and/or tasks, trained in his way. A bit time consuming, but it resulted in significant efficiencies over time.