Consider Creating An Accounting Procedure Guide
Most of the articles I have written over the last year and a half here at Rea materialized from my real-life experiences. This one is no exception. As you know, my husband and I own a business of our own. In addition to serving as a bookkeeper and client education and development liaison for the firm, I’ve spent all my free time helping my husband run our business from the sidelines. The arrangement has worked up until now. As our business grows, I’ve realized that it’s important for me to be more present in our business.
It was with a heavy, albeit excited, heart that I communicated my intention to leave the firm.
Transition can be hard, but with the proper processes and procedures in place, the experience is a little easier. As I transition my clients to a new client service specialist, I am especially reminded of how important it is to document passwords and create repetitive bookkeeping practices.
When a job is performed consistently across a department and/or offices, easier transitions are more likely to occur – not to mention a slew of other benefits. Unification of processes, makes it easier for others to review work or pick up where someone else left off. As a result, you can rest assured that if somebody were to leave your business or change roles in your organization:
- Work will continue to be completed on time.
- Your colleagues are more likely to maintain a positive attitude rather than become frustrated or overwhelmed by an increased workload.
- Your customers will continue to receive the same, high-quality service they’ve come to expect from your business.
Most small businesses only have one bookkeeper; and, when they leave, the impact can truly be significant. That’s why I have always believed that all bookkeeping professionals should make it a priority to create and maintain documentation that outlines their specific processes and procedures. Now, I will be the first to admit that each and every one of us is replaceable. However, without the tools needed to be successful before, during and after the transition, the sting is bound to last a little longer.
QuickTip: Create A Procedure Guide
Creating a procedure guide is a great way to eliminate the sting of losing your bookkeeper while facilitating a smooth transition. Your bookkeeping procedure guide should include screenshots of the different forms used in your bookkeeping program along with highlights of the required fields. Simple but important tasks, such as receiving payments and paying bills, can be easily documented in this guide. I would start by breaking the guide out into two pieces: “Accounts Payable” and “Accounts Receivable.” Then build out each piece from there.
Conduct an internet search on “accounting policies” and “manuals” for ideas that can help get you started.
I have enjoyed sharing my bookkeeping knowledge with you and I sincerely hope that these “QuickTips” have helped make your life a little easier and your business a little better.
And while it has been my mission to use this monthly newsletter to inspire you, I want you to know that getting to know so many of you has also helped inspire me along the way.
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