If spring and summer are quieter for your company, it’s a great time to think about projects that will benefit not just your accounting department, but your entire organization.
Accounting is always focused on compliance, but with your year-end audit behind you and a little room to breathe, you can spend a little time thinking outside of the accounting box.
- Are you providing the right kind of information and accounting to the business to spark new ideas and seize opportunities for operational improvement?
- Have you taken time to look down the road and not just in the rearview mirror?
- Have you been too busy with compliance duties to take a step back and identify areas for improvement?
Here are a few accounting spring cleaning projects to consider tackling this year:
Evaluate your reporting packages. We see it all the time at TGRP Solutions: companies get into “autopilot” mode when it comes to reporting. Take time to evaluate the reporting you’re doing and challenge it. Is it still useful? Who is using certain reports? Are there other reports that could help you run your business better? Think like the CEO of your business. What numbers and data would you find most useful, and could you create a reporting package for that?
Improve those reconciliations and rollforwards. Too often, companies fail to give sufficient attention to reconciliations, which are the best way to validate account balances and identify errors. They’re an essential fraud control, but when teams get busy, shortcuts and “number blindness” can happen. Make sure you catch up during your spring cleaning and prioritize reconciliations by level of risk and activity. Not every account needs the same level of attention, so you can capture time savings by thinking about this critically.
Build relationships outside of accounting. It’s not at all uncommon for accounting to feel isolated from other departments, when it would benefit the business as a whole to build bridges. A quieter time of year is a good opportunity to learn how other areas of the business operate and talk with colleagues about what they need from your team to do their jobs better. This thinking outside the numbers might spark ideas for improvement in the accounting department too.
Make a list of what caused problems this year (to avoid next year). While it is great to catch up on neglected tasks during slower periods, it’s also worthwhile to figure out how to avoid having a mess to clean up in the future. Identify tasks that are sucking up your time and eliminate those that aren’t important. If you fell behind on keeping inventory details, create systems and processes to keep you on track. If your chart of accounts has duplicates and unnecessary hierarchies, consolidate and clean it up.
The quieter period after year-end close is the best time to think beyond compliance. Your accounting team can get so caught up during busy times with their responsibilities that improving things doesn’t happen. Yet, the cleanup projects are time well spent. If you need someone to come in and handle those tasks so you are free to think objectively on how to support your company’s growth, TGRP consultants can help.
Alternately, maybe you need someone to help you think more strategically about how to add value to the business, improve your reporting processes, and support your leadership team better. Many of our consultants have worked as controllers and CFOS themselves. They know how to think like business owners and add value. They can guide you in a project like this too.
Contact us to discuss your needs. Whether you need help with cleanup projects or want to add value outside of ensuring your company is compliant with accounting guidelines, our team can work with you. Contact Jim Lockhart at [email protected] today.