Building Success on a Foundation of Finance

Building Success on a Foundation of Finance

Accounting 101

Building Success on a Foundation of Finance

By Paul Johnson

What is the secret of successful businesses? The answer is elusive, but you could argue that it’s a strong financial foundation. No business is immune to disruption or perfect at predicting what comes next. But as long as they have their finances in order they can survive the unexpected and keep growth trending upward.

The next question to answer is how do you build a financial foundation? It looks different at every company, but it should include these essential qualities and capabilities:

Fast and Efficient Financial Workflows

The amount of time it takes to close the books or produce reports has a huge impact on performance. When finance is slow and inefficient it forces decision makers to wait to act or to move forward without a clear financial perspective. When finance is fast, the situation is exactly opposite. These companies spend far less resources on the nuts and bolts of accounting. Instead, they work on utilizing accounting to drive revenue, cut costs, or sustain growth.

Rigorous and Transparent Internal Controls

Finance is both complicated and consequential. When companies lack internal controls to monitor and govern their financial processes, those processes inevitably produce issues. Internal controls let companies manage everything from data access to transaction approvals. Essentially, they give companies a way to standardize finance from the top down, ensuring it operates as effectively as possible.

Alert and Available Financial Staff

Modern accountants still spend huge amounts of time manually entering data and cross-checking figures. It’s a dull process that is prone to error. Worse, it wastes the time and talent of financial professionals who could be extremely valuable working on other projects. A strong financial foundation automates and innovates the heavy-lifting of accounting so that financial staff can focus on more productive things.

Intuitive and Integrated Accounting Software

Older accounting software offers limited capabilities and outdated interfaces. What little value it still has declines further every year. Modern accounting software, by contrast, makes it easy to organize and analyze data to produce in-depth financial insights. It’s also a lot easier to use thanks to the cloud, automation, and a series of user-friendly menus and tools. Technology and finance are now inextricably linked, and best-in-class accounting software is basically a prerequisite for a stable financial foundation.

Once these four pieces are in place finance is positioned to fire on all cylinders. At that point accounting is an asset and not just an administrative obligation.

Sage Intacct is a next-generation financial management solution that transforms accounting departments top to bottom. If you’re ready to upgrade and enhance finance for years to come, contact Altasphere Consulting for a consultation.

Five Ways to Get Audit-Ready Rapidly

Five Ways to Get Audit-Ready Rapidly


Five Ways to Get Audit-Ready Rapidly

By Paul Johnson

Audits are a fact of life, even for companies not strictly required to perform them. A careful review of finances reveals if and when mistakes have been made. Conversely, it reveals when and where opportunities or obstacles may lie. Every company benefits from taking a deep look at the books, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Accountants have to gather, organize, and analyze months or years worth of financial data. Each step in the process takes time and creates the risk of error, which can both lead to big penalties if the audit is legally required. And even when the process goes perfectly, completing an audit is a huge distraction and disruption. Companies want and need to perform audits, but for understandable reasons they tend to dread and avoid them.

If your company fits in this category, it’s time to embrace a different approach. Here are five ways to improve and expedite every part of the audit:

  • Revenue Recognition – Auditing revenue accounting requires a clear paper trail through a complex network of transactions and payment schedules. Variances in GAAP-accounting practices make things even trickier. Working with an automated accounting system set up specifically for complicated revenue recognition ensures that the details shine though the complexity.
  • Accounts Receivable – An audit of accounts receivable must include allowances for uncollected accounts. It also has to recognize when a payment covers multiple accounting periods. An accounting tool that applies cash receipts to client invoices automatically creates clarity instead of confusion.
  • Consolidation – Consolidations often involve immense amounts of data organized into a dense series of spreadsheets. This approach makes spreadsheet errors inevitable while making it almost impossible for auditors to find clear connections. When the consolidation process is automated instead it produces organized reports that lead auditors into the root data.
  • Pace – Audits are expensive, time-sensitive, and distracting, creating a powerful incentive to finish them fast. A well-organized accounting system accelerates any kind of audit. And if it lets you create sub-ledgers for something like receivables, auditors can start on that section of the books before you complete the final close.
  • Presentation – Improving your audit is about making things easier for both your accountants and your auditor. The more errors and inconsistencies your data contains the more time auditors have to invest double-checking your figures. The same thing happens when data is disorganized. A system that makes things easier for you ideally does the same for your auditor.

Imagine if auditing was easy, automatic, and almost instantaneous. You could comply with lawyers or regulators without stress or anxiety. You could also investigate your data for financial insights on demand.

All of that is possible when you utilize Sage Intacct for auditing specifically and financial management generally. If your next audit is approaching, contact Atlasphere Consulting soon.