What value are you getting from your small business accounting and bookkeeping services? I would imagine that at most, you get your bills paid, your customers billed, reconciliations get performed and you get a set of financial reports in a timely manner every month. At the very least, you get your books reconciled and closed accompanied by a set of month end reports. Does this satisfy you and fill your business planning needs, or do you want more? For better business management, here is a good place to start.
Help your provider of accounting services realize that numbers aren’t the ends; they are the means. When I say means I am saying that they are the basis understanding the health of your business as well as its opportunities and risks. Numbers don’t speak succinctly by themselves. At best they mumble and need someone to coax the messages out of them. Is your bookkeeper currently getting the message for you out of the numbers? Are your reports accompanied by insights and metrics that give you a reference point to better evaluate your business’s prospects?
To illustrate what I am saying let me use the following example of accounts receivable insights:
If your Balance Sheet shows an Accounts Receivable balance of $50,000, is that good or bad? What if last period the receivables were $60,000 does this tell you more? What if you instead learned that your $50,000 in AR represented 60% of the last 30 days sales but the $60,000 represented only 50% of the last 30 days in sales. That would tell a story, much more than just a report telling you what your AR balance was.
If you agree that you aren’t getting enough then as part of your accounting services you should ask for the following:
1) Month end reconciliations and close of books
2) Financial reports with analysis
3) In person review (at least quarterly) to discuss insights and recommendations
4) 12 month forecast that give indications of key statistics and cash balances
The big businesses get it and you can too.
The Shared Finance Center provides outsourced accounting, bookkeeping and CFO support to small business owners and in doing so we heavily focus on maximizing cash flow. If you think that this post would be helpful to anyone you know, please pass it along. Also please follow our blog for regular tips to grow your business.