5 Best Practices for the Small Business Accountant

January 13, 2017 Zuman

In recent weeks, we've touched on just how fundamental small businesses are to the American economy. Despite the earning power of these enterprises, they're not without their own issues, including properly managing internal costs and maintaining federal and local compliance. Even organizations with accountants may find themselves encountering issues with balancing their workload and finding opportunities to help expand the business.

That's why these same professionals need to focus on the best practices to ensure more successful efforts:

1. Rely on Technology 
Given the workload of some accountants, managing every financial component for a small to mid-sided company, can be a task that requires a bit of help. That's where technology comes in handy. There are a wide array of resources - like Google spreadsheets and Excel - all of which help to manage the work day and make otherwise complicated processes more streamlined. Cloud-based software platforms are another similarly helpful tool, as they allow for greater access and more thorough security measures.

2. Audit the Books Frequently 
The best accountants understand the need for occasional self-audits, be it every new quarter or at the end of the year. Either way, this is the perfect time to look for bookkeeping mistakes or seek out any similar oversights. That way, these issues can be addressed before they become a companywide problem that interrupts the flow of business. This process also allows you to carry over certain transactions or balances to help with managing expenses. Self-audits are a way for businesses to continually monitor themselves and ensure everything goes according to plan.

3. Do Your Research 
As with just about any other industry, there is plenty of news and other happenings in the accounting world. Those who want to stay current understand the importance of reading and gathering information. Fortunately, there are quite a few resources for accountants to explore. The Blunt Bean Counter, for instance, is a blog covering finances and taxes, including handy insights from other accountants. Evergreen Small Business focuses exclusively on the work of accounting, including several posts on how accounting and management can work together. Dear Drebit, meanwhile, offers much of the same, plus readers can submit questions.

4. Focus on Optimization 
It's not enough to simply focus on the work at hand. While taking steps to expand business or any internal practices can simply add to an already busy schedule, these improvements have real value. By optimizing your accounting practices, you can make subsequent efforts all that much easier while making strategic growth a concerted effort. Cloud-based software isn't just helpful, having that added mobility can make people far more productive. Pre-planning for year-end taxes is another huge help: It helps avoid needless fees and reduces the effort it takes by not cramming everything in at the very end.

5. Purge Before you go Online
As much of a help cloud-based software solutions can prove to be, they're not so effective if you don't plan ahead. Specifically, if your pre-cloud processes, like invoicing and bill management, aren't exactly up to snuff, then automation won't solve many problems. That's why you need to audit these processes as well before any cloud computing starts. You can make these practices more efficient, and that will save loads of time and money in the first place. Plus, you'll get a better idea of those practices that can be automated and what you may need to handle on your own.


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