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The Importance of Using GAAP Financial Statements

Use GAAP Financials, Using GAAP Financial Statements, GAAP Financial StatementsI have written about this in the past, yet it is an ongoing subject that we deal with business owners day after day. A client recently asked me why we (The Strategic CFO) were insisting on generating the clients financial statements on an accrual basis and per GAAP. He insisted that cash basis was fine and that we were just creating a lot of busy work. He also stated that he did not care or need the balance sheet, just the income statement. Today, we’re talking about the importance of using GAAP financial statements.

GAAP Financial Statements

Our firm did not invent GAAP financial statements. GAAP means Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. These principles have evolved over time as we get smarter and more advanced. The main principle behind GAAP financials is to generate a set of financial statements that represent the most accurate picture about your company. They should be comparable, not misleading and clear so a third party can understand. So the uniform application of GAAP to business transactions would most clearly represent a true picture of your business.

The Importance of Using GAAP Financial Statements

There are several reasons companies should be using GAAP financial statements. First, public companies and certain loan documents require GAAP financial statements. We recommend that all private businesses also use GAAP financials as a best practice so you can have the best information to run your business. By not having your financial statements per GAAP (which uses accrual based accounting), you are basically 60-90 days behind your business.

Use GAAP Financials, Using GAAP Financial Statements, GAAP Financial Statements

Running Behind Your Business without GAAP

Let’s look at an example of a manufacturing facility. Someone in the manufacturing facility orders $50,000 worth of raw material, but you have not yet received an invoice from the vendor. The vendor takes 30 days to generate an invoice because they have an inefficient accounting department. The invoice gets mailed, taking 1 week to get to you. Your staff person got the mail and did not enter the invoice in the system for a week. Then because you did not review your aged payables until the end of the month, you are likely to be 60 days behind your business. You will not have the liability section reflecting the payable for this example until much later. That means your balance sheet is not accurate. Plus, you ay not have that payable in your cash forecast for payment.

This example is one transaction, but it adds up when you consider all the transactions in your business. You will be 60 to 90 days behind your business by not keeping your books on accrual basis.


Don’t let something as simple as not having your financial statements per GAAP take value from you! Learn about 10 other destroyers that could be taking value away from your company.

Download the Top 10 Destroyers of Value


Accurate Reports on Your Business

As a business leader, you want the most accurate reports on your business on a timely basis so you can make business decisions.  Your income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow paints the picture of the recent historical performance of your business. You need to monitor the trends so that you can make business decisions timely.

Critical for Growth

We see it over and over again… A good business is mismanaged because the CEO or entrepreneur does not want to spend the money or take the time to understand his financials or keep them per GAAP. Eventually, they are upside down on working capital and run out of cash. This is especially true in a high growth environment.

Reasons for Using GAAP Financial Statements

If you have a small business of 3 employees with one legal entity and have sales of $800,000 per year with no plans for growth, no debt, no outside investors, then you can certainly keep your books on cash basis and ignore GAAP.  But if you grew beyond that and have a substantial business that you want to grow, or you have debt, our outside investors, then you seriously need to consider keeping your books and records on an accrual basis and per GAAP. In short, why should you keep your books and records on an accrual basis and per GAAP.

  • Working Capital – Not having them per GAAP can lead to operational disaster
  • Outside Investors and Lenders will require them
  • Growth – If you are beyond a mom and pop shop, then these financials will be your key tool for growth
  • Value – From a valuation standpoint, GAAP financials add value

Why Use GAAP Financials

So to answer the question we started this blog with why use GAAP financials? First, using these principles allow your business to be presented correctly to third parties. Then, you need accrual based financials to properly run your business. Otherwise, you are 60-90 days behind running your business. It may be required by your lender. Having your books kept per GAAP actually adds value to your business from a valuation perspective. While you are working on adding value, make sure there aren’t “destroyers” taking value from you. Download our Top 10 Destroyers of Value whitepaper and protect your company’s value.

Use GAAP Financials, Using GAAP Financial Statements, GAAP Financial Statements

Use GAAP Financials, Using GAAP Financial Statements, GAAP Financial Statements

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Transform Your Accounting Department By Outsourcing

Many businesses owners and CEOs come to us because they are experiencing frustration with their business’s bookkeeping and accounting. Whether they have severe inefficiencies in their systems and processes, have continuous cash flow issues, or that they’ve been a victim of fraud… Each one negatively impacts the success of their business. They find themselves being tethered to closely managing their bookkeeping and accounting back office. As a result, this prevents them from dedicating their time and energy to leading and growing their business. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to transform your accounting department by outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting to an outsourced full-service accounting department.

Past Bookkeeping and Accounting Options

In the past, the only bookkeeping and accounting options for business owners were one of the following:

  • To handle the back office themselves or with a part-time in-house hire.
  • Ask their CPA that files their taxes to help with daily bookkeeping functions.
  • Try building an in-house accounting department, hiring one or more full-time employees to manage the back office

But thanks to recent technologies, like cloud-based software and platforms, small businesses now have a better option when it comes to managing the back office.

So, how does outsourced bookkeeping and accounting compare to having in-house staff? What are the challenges and benefits, and how do you choose the right partner?


Click here to download: The Guide to Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping & Accounting for SMBs


Compare In-House vs Outsourced Bookkeeping and Accounting

Building an in-house accounting department brings many challenges. Likely, it will not yield the results expected or desired in order for the business to grow.

The costs of having in-house staff is a major concern, not just with salaries, but also the costs of overhead, IT, and employee turnover. Other hidden costs that inevitably begin to surface, such as:

  • Bookkeeping mistakes
  • Continued education
  • Unfortunate costs and risks of fraud

Businesses with internal back offices also do not typically have back up plans to cover/replace employees in the event of illness, vacation, or employee loss.

Outsourcing your back office with a fractional share of a full-service accounting department provides many of the same benefits and functions of having in-house staff. But it’s a fraction of the cost.

By outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting functions, you will see a return on investment in the form of streamlined operations and risk mitigation. Relying on a purely compliance oriented back office will not help your business grow.

Outsourcing to the right partner will help your business gain a competitive edge with optimized systems, improvements in your cash flow, increased profits, and the ability to have management reporting delivering actionable financial intelligence for making data-driven business decisions.

How to Recognize When Your Business is Ready to Outsource

Outsourcing will bolster your business’s back office at an affordable price. Many business owners and CEOs do not know when the time is right. The following are common signs that it is time for you to consider outsourcing:

  • Vision and goals are delayed because you spend more time functioning as a bookkeeper than you do as CEO
  • Back office has no separation of duties, exposing your business to risk
  • No contingency plan for the loss of your in-house bookkeeper
  • Financial reports are geared toward compliance and tax compliance, but not managing your business
  • Base business decisions on gut feelings, rather than data
  • Business is growing
  • Cash flow concerns

Your business can begin outsourcing some or all of its back office functions at any time or size. A strong outsourced accounting partner will work with you to provide the services you need at the right time. In addition, it will set your back office processes up in the beginning to accommodate growth in the future.

Best Time to Outsource Your Back Office Function

You can transfer your bookkeeping and accounting functions from in-house to outsourced whenever you are ready.

Many businesses think that it would be better to begin outsourcing at quarter-end or after this year’s taxes have been filed. Waiting for these timelines, however, just delays receiving priceless data, saved money, and extra time that comes from having a smart back office that combines the tools, technology, and expertise necessary for a solid financial foundation.

Common Outsourcing Pitfalls to Avoid

If you decide outsourcing some or all of your back office functions is right for your business, then careful discern who you want to partner with.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting can do wonders for your business and its future. Choosing the wrong provider can be costly. Be on the look-out for the following when selecting services.

Hidden Costs

Be very clear about your expectations of service. Ask questions about what your scope of service includes up-front to avoid unexpected costs appearing on your invoice.

Availability

Consider how much involvement you want to have with your bookkeeping and accounting. Be sure you choose a provider and service level that will include enough availability to meet your needs. While some will only communicate on a weekly basis, on a different plan, other providers will be available whenever you call.

Small Firms

Although a small firm might be full of amazing individuals, they might not have a plan if someone quits or goes on vacation. Ask your potential Client Accounting Services (CAS) providers how many team members will be dedicated to your account and what will happen in the event someone leaves their firm.

Offshore Firms

These CAS providers often come at a much lower price, but they also have many drawbacks. They often operate in different time zones than your business, making their availability difficult. Communication, skill sets, expertise and processes can be a challenge when being serviced by firms in other countries.

Transform Your Accounting Department By Outsourcing

There are scalable solutions that grow with your business. With a highly personalized touch, GrowthForce dedicates an entire 3-person team to each of its clients. We offer a range of outsourced bookkeeping and accounting service options designed to grow with your business, as its back office needs expand and change with growth.

With the right outsourced bookkeeping and accounting partner, you can transform your standard back office (performing housekeeping duties) into a solid financial foundation for your business (providing actionable data and management accounting to grow your business).

If you would like to learn more about the process and reasons to outsource your back office’s bookkeeping and accounting functions, we encourage you to speak with a GrowthForce specialist today or take a look at our latest resource, The Guide to Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping and Accounting.

Transform Your Accounting Department By Outsourcing


Stephen King is a guest blogger at The Strategic CFO. He is the President and CEO of GrowthForce – an outsourced bookkeeping firm based in Houston, TX.

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Becoming a Smart CEO

While larger companies typically employ an in-house CFO to measure and manage the organization’s financial risk as well as financial planning and allocation, most small businesses do not share the same luxuries. As a result, many growing businesses choose to outsource their financial processes such as bookkeeping, billing, and financial reporting. The CEO then becomes is the company’s only financial leaderWithout having a CFO on staff, the CEO makes major financial decisions. They are also responsible for reporting, growth, and business strategy. Becoming a smart CEO starts with becoming a financial leader.

Becoming a Smart CEO: Learn From 4 Types of CFOs

By looking at the 4 types of CFOs (once outlined by McKinsey & Company), we will narrow down how CEOs can adopt traits from each CFO to becoming a smart CEO.


Download The CEO's Guide to Keeping Score


The 4 Types of CFOs

There are 4 types of CFOs that CEOs need to know about.

1. The Numbers Expert

The numbers expert type of CFO traditionally has experience with multiple positions within the finance department, including controllership, treasury, auditing, and financial planning. They are usually an internal hire. Because of this, they tend to hold a great understanding of the inner workings of the company.

2. The Strategist

The strategist is a CFO that a company usually hires from outside of the finance department. They typically have experience working in other verticals, such as operations, marketing, and general management. These folks focus on tightly run operations and the allocation of business resources. They also often have a major influence on their colleagues regarding major business decisions.

3. The KPI Advocate

The KPI advocate type of CFO love their scorecards. Many are hired from outside of the organization because they provide a non-biased look at performance metrics, cost reports, and standardized data. To them, everything is measurable. They often have a strong focus on meeting or exceeding established goals.

4. The Growth and Development Wizard

Although the least common among CFOs, the growth and development wizard type is becoming more popular. Growth and development wizards are usually hired externally. They generally have years of experience in mergers, acquisitions, private equity, and venture capitalism. They keep their eye on the prize of expanding the current business operations of the company.

The Smart CEO

Just because there are four established types of CFOs doesn’t mean that every CFO fits into one singular category. Consider the same for CEOs who operate without an on-staff CFO.

A smart CEO will embody multiple attributes of each type of CFO. With the help of their outsourced financial services firm, a smart CEO will pay close attention to bookkeeping and financial management while using KPIs and reports to make data-driven decisions and build better business strategies.

Smart CEOs then use their existing financial data to identify opportunities for growth and can start to make plans for expansion, product line extensions, partnerships, or even mergers and acquisitions.

Becoming a Smart CEO


Stephen King, President and CEO at GrowthForce, is a guest blogger at The Strategic CFO. Interested in outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping? Learn how GrowthForce can help.

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Burned by Outsourcing Accounting

Making the decision to enlist an outside company to handle any portion of your business is a big choice, and you should not take it lightly. With the right outsourced professionals, your business stands to improve leaps and bounds. However, we have heard so many stories of companies being burned by outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping. If you select the wrong outsourced service provider, you risk causing irreversible damage to your company with things like:

  • Inefficient and unorganized systems
  • Poor communication
  • Lowered standards
  • Unhappy customers

So, before you select an outsourcing company, be sure you understand their strengths, expertise and service model, and the types of pitfalls to avoid. When you select the right company to partner with, your business will work smarter, your systems will improve. You and your employees will have more time and resources to dedicate to your company’s primary functions. Then, your business will flourish.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid Being Burned by Outsourcing Accounting

Like almost any choice you make in business, outsourcing your company’s bookkeeping, accounting, controller and/or CFO has both pros and cons. While outsourcing frees up your time, saves company dollars on benefits and payroll, secures an unbiased perspective on business finances, and can potentially increase profitability, choosing the wrong company outsourcing can be detrimental to your business. Before you decide to partner with an outsourcing company, take precautions to avoid the following 2 things:

  • Being burned by outsourced accounting
  • Running into these all-too-common problems with outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services

1. Inefficiency

We often have new clients approach us because, in spite of having a complete outsourced accounting department, their businesses continues to run into cash flow issues. When our representatives look into their back office practices, we find extreme inefficiencies. When evaluating the bookkeeping practices established by other outsourced providers, we have seen everything including the following:

Facing these types of concerns, companies have no chance of leveraging the numbers reported by their back offices for strategic planning, cash flow improvement, or revenue generation. They also face audits and paying potential fees and penalties due to non-compliance and tax errors. In these cases, extremely inefficient outsourced bookkeeping severely curtail the potential for business growth.

2. Hidden Costs or Prices Which Seem Too Low to Be True

Many outsourced services advertise prices way below average. They collect the true value of their services in additional fees and hidden costs. In the end, clients are not happily surprised when the bill arrives. Outsourcing providers will also sometimes charge well below average. They will consequently deliver well below average quality service with copious mistakes and a disregard for timeliness. It is also a good idea to be wary of rigid, all-or-nothing service options. Most reputable companies offer a range of flexible, customizable service plans.

A truly professional bookkeeping provider will openly disclose the cost of service, additional fees for add-ons, and offer clients a range of pricing and subscription options.

3. Lack of Communication, Expertise, and Professionalism

We group these outsourcing concerns together because they often occur together. Below-average outsourced accounting and bookkeeping providers hire self-taught bookkeepers. They often do not keep enough employees on staff to provide consistent service in the event of an employee’s illness, vacation, or decision to leave their company. In addition, businesses working with outsourcing companies located overseas might also face a breakdown in communication due to cultural differences and time zones. All of these concerns can lead to a lack of communication, expertise, and professionalism.

These providers often operate without a written set of policies or established procedures for their own business operations, nor do they apply these sorts of high standards to their clients’ operations. A low quality outsourcing provider leads to the following:

  • Inaccurate work
  • Non-compliance
  • Regulatory concerns
  • Communication issues
  • A lack of transparency

4. Threats to Your Company’s Confidentiality and/or Security

Poorly run, mismanaged outsourcing service providers can also pose a threat to the security and confidentiality of their clients’ personal or proprietary information. Outsourced accounting providers receive lots of confidential information pertaining to their clients’ employees and businesses. Whether an outsourcing provider has a poor vetting process for bringing in new hires or lacks information technology security, these oversights put their clients’ confidential information at risk.


Click here to download: The Guide to Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping & Accounting for SMBs


Top 3 Outsourcing Best Practices

If you conduct some research on professional outsourced bookkeeping companies, then you can avoid many of the problems faced when partnered with undesirable outsourcing providers.

1. Understand Your Scope of Services

Before signing the dotted line to a particular deal, understand every aspect of your contract. Understand which services they include, what might cost extra, and how flexible you are to downgrade, upgrade, or otherwise modify your level of service before your contract has ended. Be sure to ask questions so you completed understand the process, policies, and procedures involved.

2. Find Out about Industry Experience

Your back office has the power to drive your business to success or failure. As a result, it is extremely important to ask about industry experience when looking to outsource your company’s bookkeeping, accounting, controller and, maybe even, CFO functions. You should choose a company that understands the ins, outs, and intricacies of your business’s industry. You would be best partnered with an outsourcing company that has employees with plenty of experience working with other clients in your industry.

3. Ask about the Team and Technology

Consistency and efficiency of service are essential to choosing a strong outsourced accounting company. Before making your decision, find out how many people they have on their team. Then, find out how many members will be dedicated to your account. You should also ask about their policies, procedures and contingency plans for employee loss.

In addition, ask them what technologies they offer to improve efficiency, accuracy, and compliance in your financial department. Find out what type of technology support they provide. And learn how they will help you streamline your financial department’s software integration to best partner with them and grow your business.

When it comes to outsourced accounting services, your company should get everything it needs from the company you choose. Look for a company who provides the experienced team and robust technology your business needs for an efficient, smart, and strategic back office. It should not only accurately records your financial history, but it should also leverage the information to accelerate your company’s growth well into the future.

GrowthForce: Outsourced Accounting & Bookkeeping Services

“The GrowthForce methodology and management accounting practices, combined with the fact that you understood my needs for the business, established the P & L the way that I needed to have it set up to run the business, was very beneficial to me. We were profitable the first month, and I knew it because my accounts and books were clean and I could understand where the money was coming from and going to.”

~ President, JTAM Engineering

GrowthForce is one of the original U.S. based outsourced bookkeeping and accounting leaders in the industry! Tap into over 20 years of expert bookkeeping and accounting experience.

To learn more about how our reliable and professional teams can assist you with our online accounting services, get the Guide to Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping and Accounting. Avoid being burned by outsourcing accounting again!

Burned by Outsourcing Accounting


Stephen King is a guest blogger at The Strategic CFO. He is the President and CEO of GrowthForce – an outsourced bookkeeping firm based in Houston, TX.

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Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow ReportHave you ever been in a cash flow crisis? You aren’t able to make payroll. You can’t pay your vendors. There is simply not enough cash. BUT sales are rocketing. So in theory, there should be enough cash. Wrong. I say this during every Office Hours I host for our SCFO Lab members… “You need to have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report. If you don’t have one, get one.” As we are quickly coming into the holidays and the new year, let’s look at why you need to have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report.

Or, do you live in a company that is cash rich, and you simply do not see the need to forecast cash because you know you have plenty in the bank?  Well, you still need a cash flow forecast.

Handling a Cash Flow Crisis?

Handling a cash flow crisis is never easy because it puts financial leaders in a difficult place. It may look like asking vendors to extend their payment terms, selling off assets, or laying off employees. Whether your cash flow crisis resulted from the fluctuating market or mismanagement, there are a couple of tips in handling a cash flow crisis.

(NOTE: Regardless of whether cash is tight or flush, every company should have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report.)


Every company needs cash. That’s why you need to have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report! Learn 25 different ways to improve your cash flow with our free whitepaper. 

Click here to Download the 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow


Update Financials & Reports

Look at your financial statements regularly, and make sure they are updated – especially your Statement of Cash Flows, 13-Week Cash Flow Forecast, and Daily Cash Report. You cannot make smart and strategic decisions without the most up-to-date facts.  Having an updated cash flow forecast for your business that is updated weekly allows you to have a true pulse on the business. Your accounting records should be based on accrual based accounting.  But your cash flow forecast ties in nicely as a great tool.

Communicate Effectively

Communication is key to handling a cash flow crisis. Talk to your vendors about extending the payment schedule. Communicate with your banker that you don’t think you will meet your bank covenants. Coach your sales people to collect all outstanding sales.

Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

The #1 reason why you need to have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report is because it’s active cash management. This report is a big picture tool that tells companies how much cash is required on a forward rolling basis. More specifically, it gives you the freedom to make big decisions.

Cash Rich or Cash Poor – You Need a Cash Flow Forecast

So, we briefly discussed that in a cash flow crisis the cash flow forecast allows you to manage cash and adjust payments to vendors while making payroll and keeping the lights on. What about in a cash rich company?

I recently started on a client, and the company is a cash rich company. The CFO was surprised when I mentioned to him that he should have a cash flow forecast. Here are a few reasons why a cash rich company would want to know exactly how rich they are:

  1. If you are cash rich, then you may be looking at acquisitions. It would be nice to know who much you pay as cash and how much you finance.
  2. CAPEX acquisitions – you want to know how much actual cash you have to acquire CAPEX.
  3. Distributions/Bonuses, etc. – how much can you pay out?
  4. Plan for the worst –  I do not care what industry what you are in; they all eventually have downturns. Plan ahead and save up for those rainy days.
  5. If you are cash rich, then that means you made a large profit. That also means you have to probably pay taxes, or distribute cash to pay taxes. How much cash for taxes do you need?

How to Create a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

Now, let’s look at how to create a 13-Week Cash Flow Report.

There are several pieces of information that you need to gather as you build this report, including the following:

Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow ReportTips on Making Your Cash Flow Report Successful

Here are a couple of tips on making your cash flow report successful.

Get C-Level Support

If your C-level is not supportive of creating the 13-Week Cash Flow Report or using it as they run the business, then it’s just going to be another report that never gets used. Don’t let it become that! This tool is so valuable AND every company should be using one. Not using a 13-Week Cash Flow Forecast is like deciding not to drink water for an extended time. You know you need to water/cash, but you do nothing about it. Eventually, you become so illiquid that you are financially distressed, if not bankrupt.

For example, we once put together a 13-Week Cash Flow Forecast for a company that was making a small percentage of what they used to make when the market was better. We predicted that if they did not take any action, then they would be out of cash within 9 months. Unfortunately, the CEO and senior leadership did not make any changes and had to shut their doors. Our long term cash flow forecast was accurate and we warned the CEO.

Use The Report As A Playbook

The report is useless unless you actually use it as a playbook and use it to make strategic decisions. When you use the report as a playbook, you go from being an accounting/finance professional that knows how to build reports to a financial leader that strategically directs the firm.

How to Use a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

Once you have created the 13-Week Cash Flow Forecast, it’s important to maintain it. We suggest to maintain and update it at least weekly. We also suggest that you use this report in conjunction with the Daily Cash Report.

If you want to increase cash flow, then click here to access our 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow whitepaper.

Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Cash Flow Tuneup Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. This tool enables you to quantify the cash unlocked in your company.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Why You Need to Have a 13-Week Cash Flow Report

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Role of a Company Back Office

When customers, clients and entrepreneurs visualize any business, they usually imagine the operation’s storefront, logo, products, services, or marketing campaigns. In other words, most people choose to define businesses by their brands, products, services, ideas, and messages. Behind the attractive exterior and desirable offerings, however, the heart of most successful businesses is a well-functioning back office that provides the platform for organizational growth. In essence, your company’s back office is the lifeblood of everything your business does and will do. This article will look at the role of a company back office and how to optimize it.

The efficiency and reliability of the back office ensures the health of your business… It allows you to continue to do what you do best – focus on your core competencies.

The Role of a Company Back Office: Foundation for Financial and Operational Success

Your small or medium sized company’s complete back office may consist of HR, Operations, IT, and Accounting and Compliance. The back office should stay abreast of ever-changing federal regulations, safety laws, and employment standards. In addition, it should also maintain up-to-date information systems and bookkeeping records.

The role of a company back office should help strengthen the infrastructure of your business by establishing and maintaining efficient business operations. In this article, we focus mainly on the accounting and compliance functions of your back office.

Layers That Build The Accounting Foundation Of Your Back Office

There are 4 layers that build the accounting foundation of your back office.

Accounting Systems Design and Optimization

A fully integrated accounting system maintains and manages all of your company’s bookkeeping, payroll, and accounting functions; thus streamlining financial operations and reporting.

Policies and Procedures

The design and implementation of your company’s policies and procedures covers everything from daily financial operations, weekly and monthly reporting, due diligence, and bookkeeping and accounting best practices.

Compliance

Compliance is the necessary and legally required responsibilities with respect to financial reporting and record keeping. Efficient bookkeeping and accounting practices involves maintaining accurate financial records essential to tax compliance and for avoiding audits, and enables you to keep track of your company’s financial (and overall) wellbeing.

Staffing and the Cycle of Hiring

Management Reporting will help determine a budget for the number of employees needed for profitable operation. The back office must also be able to synchronize the timing of onboarding and training new employees with the demand created by your growing business.

Transform Your Back Office from Mundane to Miraculous

Establishing a smart back office helps create operation efficiency and build a strong financial foundation for your business. With a streamlined, integrated system, and accurate data, you can leverage a wealth of financial information to optimize every business decision you make. Management accounting and cash flow forecasting can be tailored to accommodate successful strategic planning.


Click here to download: The Smart Back Office for SMBs


System Optimization: Recognizing the Difference Between a Successful or Struggling Back Office

A neglected back office is one that seems to work against you rather than for you. In other words, if you still see your back office as a mundane chore that primarily exists to take up your valuable time, then you are overlooking one of your company’s greatest assets.

For example, business owners often neglect their back offices. They do not take advantage of the financial information at their fingertips. As a result, they find themselves in cash flow crunches. These business owners often become too caught up in doing what they do best… They are focusing on product development, sales, and networking. Without a full accounting department in place, they may not getting the kinds of cash management tools they need to forecast their weekly and monthly needs. As a result, these business owners tend to find themselves reacting to negative cash crunch situations. If they spent more time on the back office, then they could be proactively avoiding cash shortfalls.

What sets a successful back office accounting solution apart from a struggling one is its ability to help business owners foresee cash flow issues and take proactive steps to avoid these sorts of challenges before they occur. In addition to cash flow forecasting, an experienced accounting team will also help you with the following:

  • Pinpoint and correct costly inefficiencies in your business
  • Predict your cycle of hiring
  • Establish policies and procedures that work for your business’s bottom line rather than against it

Next Steps For Improving the Company Back Office

So, what are the next steps for improving the company back office? Outsource back office functions. Then optimize your small business accounting system. Finally, eliminate the burden. The right online accounting and bookkeeping services provider can help you create a smart back office and strong financial foundation to drive growth and success in your company. An outsourced accounting department as part of your back office frees up your time by tackling day to day bookkeeping and accounting tasks. In  addition, an outsourced accounting department could be providing the financial information you need to make data-driven, strategically smart decisions for your company’s future.

With the right mix of team and technology, you can build your company on top of a strong financial foundation.

To learn how your business could benefit from shoring up your financial foundation with outsourced bookkeeping services, download The Smart Back Office below.

With 20+ years of experience providing professional bookkeeping services to businesses like yours, our back office experts can help you eliminate the learning curve by setting up your back office right the first time. We will help you optimize your small business back office efficiency to improve operations, streamline technology, and leverage financial information to accelerate your company’s growth.

Role of a Company Back Office


Stephen King is a guest blogger at The Strategic CFO. He is the President and CEO of GrowthForce, The Strategic CFO’s strategic partner. King has 3 decades of experience in accounting system design, technology development, and management services.

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Reposition Your Accountants to Revenue Generating Positions

A concern we often hear from CEOs when transitioning to outsourced accounting services is that although they’ve outgrown their current in-house bookkeeper, but they don’t want to fire them. This employee may be hard working, knowledgeable about the business, and add value to the company. How might their role adapt when switching your bookkeeping or accounting to an outsourced service provider? Simply, reposition your accountants to revenue generating positions or value-adding positions.

Reposition Your Accountants to Revenue Generating Positions

So, how do you reposition your accountants to revenue generating positions? You could have your bookkeeper continue to handle certain accounting functions in-house. Or if you transition completely to a virtual accounting department, then the outsourced service team will still need a liaison. Either way, your in-house bookkeeper could continue to have some of the same responsibilities, but it will allow them to have an opportunity to use their knowledge and time to contribute more effectively to profit generating activities.

Reevaluated Responsibilities

The best thing you can do for your bookkeeper (and for the business) is to reevaluate their responsibilities and give them the opportunity to grow their skills and interest. If you value your staff as important resources in your company, listening to their training needs, career goals and ideas for your business will allow them to feel like the transition is not a threat to their job.

Train Accountants to be Profit-Producing Assets

If your employee becomes a profit-producing asset, then it will help increase productivity and profitability. They know your business well. If you put them into an income generating role, then they will feel encouraged with how they are contributing to the success of the company.


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Examples of Repositioning Accountants to Revenue Generating Positions

Below are two short stories of clients that were able to reposition their bookkeeping employee to their profit center after transitioning to outsourced accounting services…

Office Manager to Revenue Generating Position

This first client example is about an office manager, Greta. She was with the company since it was founded. Greta didn’t have an accounting degree but was doing the bookkeeping and office management. She was really doing a bit of everything – bookkeeping, HR, managing the office… Management realized that the company was outgrowing her bookkeeping skills.

Greta knew all the clients and knew about all of the services they provided since she did the bookkeeping and the invoicing. She would also call the clients to do collections. As a result, she was aware of what services people were happy with and what they were not happy with.

Greta has been there from the very beginning and is very knowledgeable about the company. The CEO wanted to grow the business but needed help, and decided to transition to outsourced accounting services. The CEO asked Greta if she would help with the proposals. She was thrilled about the idea. It turned out that because of all of her domain knowledge, she became exceptional at being a proposal writer. Greta knew all the clients and all the services. Since she was already helping with the proposals and doing the billing from those proposals, she also understood the process. Greta now feels more engaged getting involved in the sales process and is glad to be in an revenue generating position.

Bookkeeper to Revenue Generating Position

This next client example is about a bookkeeper, Lisa. Lisa was doing all of the bookkeeping tasks. Lisa also helped with HR, IT, and office management. She actually hated doing the bookkeeping and accounting tasks, but she was a good employee and very knowledgeable about the company and services. The company had decided to transition to outsourced bookkeeping and accounting but didn’t want to fire Lisa. So they decided to reposition her into a business development position.

Lisa was now in charge of networking, going to the Chamber of Commerce events, and working their booth at trade shows. She also visits with clients and makes client calls and because she’s been with the company so long. In the end, she’s as comfortable talking about the company as the CEO is.

Preventing Employee Turnover by Changing Roles

Repositioning a valuable employee into a role that can be profitable and productive, contributes to the growth and success of the organization.

A goal for management should be preventing the negative implications and financial impacts of turnover. You want to keep your valuable employees, but you also want to be sure you are getting what you need from your bookkeeping and accounting financial operations.

Many businesses transition to outsourced accounting services as a more cost-effective, efficient, and viable alternative to in-house accounting. The cost of outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting makes it easier to budget and helps remove the burden of hiring, managing, and training accounting staff.

Benefits of Outsourcing Bookkeeping and Accounting

Benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses include the following:

  • Reducing costs
  • Improving operational efficiencies and reducing manual processes
  • Streamlined and integrated financial systems achieving timely, accurate, and meaningful financials
  • Greater financial intelligence with management reporting for strategic decision-making
  • Understanding your KPIs for analyzing the numbers to grow your business or fulfill your mission

Valuable employees are an asset to your business. If you are ready to switch to outsourcing, but want to keep your bookkeeper as an employee, then consider repositioning them. You can outsource all or portions of their job and have them spend their time on revenue generating activities.

Reposition Your Accountants to Revenue Generating Positions


Stephen King is the President and CEO of Growthforce, an outsourced bookkeeping firm.

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