Post written by Carie Randle, Accounting Manager

I’ve written about the importance of outsourcing your accounting to professionals for better control over your financials, but now it’s time to review your internal processes. Are they working or is there room for improvement?

Planning ahead and implementing/maintaining processes are key ways to prevent chaos, stay organized and prevent bookkeeping emergencies….and minimize those “freak out” moments.

The one thing that causes most clients to panic is usually when documents aren’t being sent to the bookkeeper. It may seem simple, but we can attest that it occurs more often than it should, and sometimes even when processes are in place but just aren’t followed. One of the most common bookkeeping emergencies I’ve experienced with clients who aren’t following established processes is the need to pay an extremely past due vendor bill.

It happens all too often that a bill is emailed to an employee who doesn’t have a clue that they need to forward it or to whom they should forward it to…or an email is received by a manager/owner who intends to go back and review the bill for accuracy at a later time, but then the bill gets buried in their cluttered inbox.

Weeks or sometimes even months later, the vendor calls the client inquiring about payment, refusing any further orders until it’s paid. Next, the client to call us questioning why we haven’t paid the bill and demands that we process payment immediately! Once the process breaks down, it creates a lot of “freaking out” and a lot of unnecessary time and effort for all involved.

We depend on our clients to forward all vendor bills upon receiving them so that we can get them entered and submitted for approval on the next weekly bill pay run prior to the bill’s due date.

Even better, many of our clients have vendors email their bills directly to us and utilize our approval process to review bills prior to us paying them.

This ensures that no bills get lost in transition and all bills are paid on time.

Whatever process that’s in place, it’s important for you to be sure your entire team is aware, so that they know exactly what to do if they receive a bill.

An equally common emergency is generating invoices. Obviously, revenue is the most important part of any business. We understand that clients want to get invoicing out as soon as possible so that payment can be received as quickly as possible.

But it’s important to know that putting off submission of invoicing information for weeks and submitting them all at once expecting a timely turnaround is not ideal for your business or your bookkeeper!

The best practice for maximum efficiency is to agree on and set a schedule for invoicing to be done, understand it, and stick to it. If the schedule is set for Tuesdays and Thursdays, be sure to have all information submitted by the end of the day on Mondays and Wednesdays. This schedule enables your bookkeeper to get started on it first thing the next morning. Providing all necessary information to generate an invoice prior to the scheduled processing day insures a timely and smooth process.

To keep our clients’ sensitive information secure and to be most efficient, we recommend and prefer for documents to be uploaded to our document storage/sharing site, SmartVault. Alternatively, documents can be emailed to our company shared email: [email protected].

Financial Optics services many clients that all have their own internal processes and procedures and we work together with them to find the best processes for getting documents to us. Whether you’re an existing client with room for improvement or someone who’s looking for help getting your bookkeeping more organized and streamlined, let us help!

We’d be happy to discuss what struggles you’re having, recommend processes that are time-tested, and we’ll hold you accountable to follow those processes so that you never have to freak out!

Thank you for taking the time to read the Financial Optics blog! If you have any questions about this post or any other questions, give us a call at 913.649.1040. We’re happy to help.