Sal Caroniti, CPA has insights that small business owners need when it comes to efficient and timely financial reporting:
One of the many attributes of a successful company is the ability of the accounting personnel to adequately, accurately and efficiently report its financial results to management and ownership. Having an efficient and accurate accounting system is an important part of accomplishing this objective.
The internal accounting staff (possibly through the assistance of their outside CPA) should evaluate whether or not the company’s current accounting software provides the necessary “tools” to get the job done when accurate and timely reporting are required. In many cases, accounting systems that normally accompany other software programs that are stronger in manufacturing, distribution, retail or other applications have a tendency to be weak since much of the development dollars by software companies are spent in non-accounting areas.
With this said, no accounting software system is perfect. What is important is for one to identify what aspects of the system are strong and which are weak. For example, many accounting packages do not have very strong financial reporting modules, thus forcing controllers or accounting personnel to take the extra step of downloading the final month or year-end account balances into Excel for user-friendly financial statements.
Obviously, the goal is to ultimately use the software to its utmost ability, but oftentimes, one must make a decision to utilize other tools necessary to speed up the process and provide more accurate and user-friendly means of providing financial results and statistics to support management decisions.
Knowing how to get the most from your accounting system through recognizing the accounting software’s strengths and weakness can lead to better reporting and more accurate and timely decisions. Please, talk to us if you need assistance evaluating your current software.