There are many reasons we are hired by clients to perform part or all of their accounting functions. Their expectations are always that we bring a demonstrated expertise to their company that will result in an efficient, error free and cost effective way for them to be assured that their accounting records are accurate and result in reports that help them manage their business.
At TGG, we have a high level of confidence that our processes and procedures, as well as our experienced staff, uniquely qualify us to meet our client’s accounting and finance needs. It is important when we begin an engagement with a new client that we establish a standard set of processes and procedures at the beginning. It allows us to quickly take control of the financial process, maintain order, and allow our staff to step in with repetitive tasks that they are familiar with, which decreases the possibility of errors and reduces the learning curve.
An effective implementation is comprised of several different steps: 1) A complete analysis of each process 2) Create a plan to implement standard processes 3) Communicate changes necessary to the client 4) Document the process. Part I of this blog will cover Step 1; Part II will cover Steps 2, 3 & 4.
Step 1 – A Complete Analysis of Each Process
Perform an assessment of current accounting operations, including a complete analysis of each process that is being transitioned to TGG which may include anything from processing Accounts Payable to Month End Close and Financial Statement Production. This process can be very time consuming. It involves sitting down with the operational staff at the client’s site and have them go through their processes in detail. This usually happens naturally at the start of an assignment as part of the transition process. This step requires an in depth knowledge of what the standard practice is for the process being analyzed to know how to get the information needed. It requires a lengthy conversation with the client.
Some of the important information is usually gleaned by asking many questions. For example, when analyzing the Accounts Payable process the client will typically tell you the steps they go through to enter and process bills. The additional questions to ask would be things like who opens the mail, how are the bill distributed, how do you determine who approves the bill, what is the approval process, is there a signature approval matrix, is there a regular check run, if so what is the cut off to receive an invoice to be included in the weekly check run etc.
The point of this exercise is to determine if there are things specific to this client that we need to modify our standard process to include. The analysis will also help us identify which departments at the company need to be involved when implementing changes.
Look forward to Part 2 of this blog for details on Steps 2, 3 and 4!Written by: Nancy Brzezniak TGG Accounting