It is common for a small business to be a one-man operation or have a very small team. Paying bills, collecting payments from your customers, and making sure you have available cash flow can be a time-consuming process that leaves you spending less time growing your business.
Having too much on your plate often results in hap-hazard accounting methods and incomplete books and records. Poor accounting and incomplete financial records often result in hits to your bottom line, inability to obtain financing, and prevention of long term planning.
Outsourcing all or a portion of your accounting functions may be the best option for you. Our hosted accounting systems, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash management services integrate with our financial and tax reporting and alleviate the ongoing time burden, enabling you to spend more time focusing on your business.
The following sections on cash management, payables and accounts receivable provide a good summary of how each of these functions can be outsourced. The Complete Outsourcing section explains how S&Co can accomplish all of your accounting needs.
Cash Management & Accounts Payable
We collect your invoices, pay the bills, reconcile your bank account(s) and provide you reports of exactly what was done. To ensure timely processing, we require that a minimum operating balance be kept in your bank account. Here is a brief overview of how it works:
- After considering the businesses cash flow cycle, payroll cycle and vendor needs, we will recommend a recurring payables cycle: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.
- Each vendor is grouped into one of three categories: auto pay, pay within dollar limits and pay only upon prior approval. New vendors and pre-defined limits can be modified each payables cycle. Payments to vendors established as “by approval only” will only be made if the invoice is authorized for payment via a signature of the client.
- Invoices to be paid and other source information is either mailed directly to our PO Box or gathered by the client and forwarded prior to each payables cycle.
- We can prepare and mail the checks using a signature stamp or prepare a package of signature ready checks with supporting documentation for the client to review, sign and mail.
- The client provides on-line access (for reporting purposes only) to pertinent bank accounts. The ability to electronically download cleared transactions facilitates bank account reconciliation and provides real-time reporting of available cash to ensure adequate cash is available to support the payables being processed.
- A bank account reconciliation report and a complete check listing for each payables cycle is forwarded to the client. In addition, the client has remote access to these reports and all their records 24/7.
Accounts Receivable Management
While we work with all businesses, this is a great solution for non-profits, rental agents, property managers, condominium associations, utilities and any business that invoice customers on a recurring weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Here is a brief overview of how it works:
- Using an accounting system we setup, we will create an invoice each period and categorize each amount for accounting. The payment terms are defined by the client and can include mailing payment or automatic withdraw from the customer accounts.
- If your customers pay by check, the remittance address will be our PO Box. If your customers pay by automatic withdrawal, we will process the ACH on your behalf. If your customers send payment directly to you, then you can either (a) forward it to the PO Box for processing or (b) make the deposit and provide copies of all deposited items.
- We will record every deposit into an accounting system and credit the appropriate customer’s accounts receivable balance.
- Each item constituting the deposit will be entered separately to facilitate the recording of all pertinent information. This includes (a) the date, (b) the name of the payee, (c) the check number and (d) invoice or reference number for which the payment was made.
- The client provides on-line access (for reporting purposes only) to pertinent bank accounts. The ability to electronically download cleared transactions facilitates bank account reconciliation and provides real-time reporting of any/all deposits. This helps to ensure that all payments are properly credited to customer accounts receivable.
- Past due notices are mailed to your customers each month. Any collection action beyond past due notices are generally facilitated by the client.
- An accounts receivable aging report and a complete listing of all deposits is forwarded to the client every month. In addition, the client has remote access to these reports and all their records 24/7.
Complete Outsourcing of Accounting
When you combine the cash management, accounts payable and accounts receivable outsourcings described above with our CFO On-Call, Payroll and Tax Services, it is easy to see the benefits of outsourcing your entire accounting function.
The potential savings of a well-organized accounting system that produces regular and timely reporting for management use cannot be overstated. Regardless if you outsource all or a portion of your accounting to S&Co, we maintain your accounting records on our secure computer system which features built in back-ups, redundant hard drives and provides you 24/7 remote access to all your financial records.
To facilitate your remote access, we normally maintain your accounting system using Quickbooks; which is easier for our clients to use than other options. As certified Quickbooks Pro Advisors, we use our expertise to build your system and customize reports that enable you to easily monitor your business. Financial reporting that is just a few clicks away will help you manage and grow your Bottom Line.