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Management information

Good management information starts with good accounting systems

A good accounting system is at the core of monitoring business performance. Financial information is a key driver in making sound business decisions.

There is much software available and the trend towards cloud based accounting is making accessibility and recording data easier than it has ever been.

Measuring performance, profitability and solvency is critical to business planning. Accounts which are not up to date or inaccurate can be fatal to any business.

A good system shortens the road to the goal.

Orison Swett MardenAuthor

Some of the steps to good accounting

  • Design the accounting structure to provide high level information but include detailed drill down where needed for further analysis. This most important step is often overlooked, with companies settling for standard layouts or adding accounts as needed. The structure at the outset should not be changed without good reason as trends are difficult to study when the headings are different in each period.
  • Design the reporting structure, which will draw information from the accounting system.
  • Ensure accurate data entry and in particular, consistency of data entry. Systems and procedures should be prepared for staff to follow.
  • Ensure all data is entered daily if possible and kept up to date. Even accurate information is of little use when it is 3 months out of date.
  • Review the financial reports and analyse for movements, variations in trends and comparison to forecasts. Draw conclusions and question the unexpected and unusual.

How we can help

  • Review of existing systems and advising on potential improvements to the accounting structure
  • Critical review of accounting information with recommendations
  • Advising which accounting software best serves the needs of the company and making recommendations on integration with other software such as point of sale (EPOS) and stock control. If web based, on a platform like Magento, accounting, stock control, multiple locations and multiple entities can be integrated but it is likely that more than one cloud based software package will be needed with full integration.
  • We can manage your accounts data processing and reporting as part of our Outsourcing services.
  • Production of management accounts and critical review.
  • Integration and consolidation between branches whether UK based or consolidating cross border groups.

Accounts compliance

Companies and LLPs are required to file accounts annually, 9 months after the accounting date (the company year end) and in accordance with company legislation and Financial Reporting Standards.

For financial years that begin on or after 1 January 2016 your company may qualify for an audit exemption if it has at least 2 of the following:

  • an annual turnover of no more than £10.2 million
  • assets worth no more than £5.1 million
  • 50 or fewer employees on average

If your company exceeds these levels your company will require an independent audit

How we can help

We prepare statutory accounts for online filing with the Companies House. If an audit is needed we can assist you with appointing auditors and provide full accounts files and working papers for the audit, effectively managing the entire process for you, subject to your agreement as director. If you are based abroad, there is no need to send original signature documents; all approvals can be made online.

Systems

There are many systems available depending on the type of business and its size. We work with most systems and in particular Exchequer Enterprise (ERP system), QuickBooks Online, Xero and Sage. We also develop and manage integration between different software including bespoke software.

Depending on your company’s activities, you many need control over production or managing time. This is needed to control workflow and fully understand profitability, with stock control, wastage and work in progress, whether time or production related.

Many offices still store vast amounts of paper and the result tends to be that more than one person in the organisation saves copies in their “own” filing system. Many ERP systems offer integrated document management as well as workflow management, which gives managers and project leaders complete control over workflow and meeting deadlines.

How we can help

We advise on internal process systems and accounting systems along with integration, which is now critical to cut workloads and ensure data is replicated accurately across different systems.

Most systems allow flexibility of how they are set up and we will review your company’s operations and advise of the best structure and combination of software. The aim is efficiency and the output of sound and timely financial information on which to base business decisions.

The installation of such software follows a pattern, particularly where changes are being implemented. The expectations of staff should be managed, as change tends to generate nervousness and a drop in morale among staff, insecure about their job changing by having to embrace new systems. Our team deals with project management of software installation as well as design, along with staff training and maintaining staff morale.