If you’ve got a successful small business, you know that carefully managed growth is the key to success. Growth isn’t just about what your customers or clients see, though – it’s also about what goes on behind the scenes. It’s always important to have a good accounting department, and not just for the accounting tips. Such a department can help your business grow – at least if you plan its growth in the right way.
Accounting in small business
One of the best accounting tips you’ll ever get as a small business owner is to grow your own accounting department. While this is done differently in every business, there are a few basic factors on which you can focus. You’re not just looking at the physical process of building up a new department, though – much of what makes a successful accounting department depends on the attitude and the knowledge of the individual who starts the project. Below are a few of the factors that matter the most to this process.
Start with the right attitude
If you’re going to start growing your accounting department – and you should – it’s important to start with the right attitude. Having an accounting department available is not an excess cost, but rather a fantastic way to help your business stay on the right track. After all, every business needs accounting services along with some useful accounting tips, and having someone available to do the job in-house is a great way to ensure that you always have what you need.
As such, it’s important that you always consider the accounting department an investment for your business. It might not be a direct money-maker for your firm, but it will be the department that helps you to figure out how to keep your business financially solvent for years to come. Once you’ve got the right attitude, you can start working on making sure that the department is the best that it can be.
Invest in people
Your next step should be to invest in the right people. It’s hard to say what’s the right number of employees for any given accounting department, just because every small business is different. Instead of focusing on the number of employees, then, it’s better to focus on what those employees can do. Investing in high-quality professionals who can help you to keep the books straight and monitor the cash flow of your company is vital for those who want to ensure that their accounting department grows in the right way.
The typical path towards growing such a department is to start with a single individual who can take responsibility for the basic accounting functions of your business. For most, this means bookkeeping and payroll. If either of these tasks is too much for one person, it’s time to bring in a second person to help. As your company grows and has more specialized financial needs, you may need to bring in personnel that specializes in those areas. The goal is to make sure that each new employee added to the accounting adds something useful to your business.
Use the right tools
Accounting, like most departments, thrives not just on accounting tips but also when it has the right tools. Investing in the right hardware and software won’t just make your accounting department’s lives easier – it will help to ensure that they can do their jobs efficiently and that you will get a better return on your investment. It’s hard to overstate how important your early investments will be, as they will set the tone for how your department is run and ultimately the procedures that will have to be put in place to make sure that all of your accounts are kept in order.
When you’re building the department, take a moment to consider which types of programs are the industry norm. Picking prevalent programs will not only help to ensure that you’ve got something that will work, but it will also help you to make sure that it takes less time for new hires to become familiar with the system. While there is sometimes a desire for a business to have bespoke accounting software that will deal only with the company’s needs, having something that’s easily adaptable to future growth is often more efficient.
Know what – and when – to outsource
As you grow your accounting department, it’s also important to stop and figure out how well your money is being used. Are you really at a point where it’s reasonable to keep someone on the payroll for every aspect of your company? In some cases, it might be smarter to outsource a portion of your work to keep costs down and to keep your business functioning more efficiently. While keeping things in-house is often preferable, getting the level of expertise you need at a price you can afford is usually worth much more.
In most cases, your goal doesn’t need to be to outsource everything. Instead, offload those responsibilities that don’t make sense to keep in-house. Whether this means finding a good payroll company or consulting with an outside accountant during tax season for some accounting tips, working with others can help you to ensure that the department that you are building won’t be stretched beyond your means.
Finally, keep an eye on your accounting department as it grows. You’ve put a great deal of work into making sure that you gave this department a good start, but your involvement must not stop there. Your accounting department, much like every other department in your company, should be assessed regularly not only for efficiency but to figure out if it’s still working in a way that really meets the needs of your company.
Take some time to talk to the people in accounting and figure out how things are going. If you’re working with outdated tools or if you don’t have the right people in the right positions, it’s better to know the truth and make a change than to simply assume that your planning was perfect. If you can assess your accounting department regularly, you can make sure that it grows in a way that matches the needs of your business.
It’s entirely possible for any small business to grow an accounting department. If you’re willing to invest in the right tools and the right people, to understand why this department is important and to make changes when necessary, you will find that your investment allows your business to grow by leaps and bounds. When you’re ready to learn more about small business accounting tips or other financial issues, make sure to sign up for the PayTech newsletter.