Benefits of Accounting and Financial Management

If you are in business, you know that it is important to understand how your business is performing. In order to do that, you need some way to keep track of and interpret the numbers that go along with your business. This is where accounting and financial management come into play. Accounting tools can be used to measure and interpret the financial progress of your business. They can also help you communicate the status of your business to important third parties, such as banks and the government. Here are some of the benefits of accounting and financial management.No more guessing. By maintaining an accounting system, you can improve your odds of making the right decision for your business. While the information alone is not the only factor to consider, it does provide one very important piece of the puzzle in your decision making process. Good accounting records show you where you stand financially, so you won’t have to guess at what your financial position is.

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Make better decisions. Accounting plays an important role by giving us a means of communicating the financial part of a business to others. The most crucial function of any accounting system is to provide real data, by which managers and owners can base their decisions. Having numerical facts greatly helps in making profitable decisions for your business. And while the accounting information gathered does not guarantee a good decision, it does greatly improve your chances of making the best decision possible.Solve problems. Accounting systems provide reports that help you analyze the profitability and performance of your business. Not only can an accounting system help you make decisions, but it can also help you find areas of your business that need to be improved. Once you are able to identify trouble areas, you can focus on improving them.Track complex information. If your business requires any loans, the lending institution will likely require financial reports to understand the net income and net worth of your business. They may also want to evaluate your financial statements periodically to monitor your ability to repay the loan.Providing this kind of information is next to impossible without an accounting system that can provide financial statements.

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Good accounting records show where your business stands financially. Use every advantage available to your business to improve and enhance its performance. Implement and maintain your accounting and financial management system, and your business will be on its way to financial success!

Obtaining Business Management And Accounting Associates Degree

Obtaining business management and accounting associates degree typically requires two years of study at an accredited school. Individuals must first receive a High School Diploma or GED, prior to enrolling in an Associate program. There are a number of different types of learning institutions that offer this degree. Most community colleges provide this level of training. It is also possible to acquire these types of degrees from four-year colleges.There are a range of courses the must be taken when pursing this level of education. Students should have a strong aptitude in math and critical thinking. Core course will include accounting, statistics, corporate law and operational management. There are also a number of electives to choose from to round out the educational experience. There are a certain number of credits students must earn, in order to be eligible to graduate. This will depend on the particular school, each one has their own credit requirements. The curriculum will also depend on the particular college.

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There is the option of attending school full or part time. Many working adults, opt to take course after work, this make take up to three years to complete. A full time student should complete their program in two years.In many cases, students choose to go to a local Community College for two years and then once the have their Associate’s degree, they matriculate to a four year college. This is often a strategy that is employed to save money. Also, students that did not make the grade to get into a four year program, will pursue this option and work to improve their grades in order to attend a four year college.There are also many distance learning options that are available. It is also possible to find many accredited universities that provide online programs. This is a convenient and cost effective alternative to traditional schools. Students have the opportunity to set their own schedule and take courses at their convenience. Professors interact with their students online where they will post assignments.Students are required to have all of the required books for their course. They will also have the same fundamental classes that all students must take. Upon completion of the course, students will be mailed their accreditation.There are a number of job opportunities for individuals with these kinds of credentials. Career paths in business and accounting often intersect. There is the possibility of an Accountant becoming a manager and a manager heading an accounting department. There is a vast range of industry sectors that welcome individuals that have this type of accreditation.

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Business management and accounting associates degree programs prepare students for careers in management in various business settings. Many self-employed individuals that own their own enterprise, also benefit from the education and skills provided by this form of education. There are a number of advantages to obtaining these credentials such as being hired for a particular position or seeking a promotion on a current job. Some students will continue on with their studies, and pursue a bachelor degree in business administration after completing this degree.

Implementing New Business Management Software – 7 Ways to Make it Smooth and Seamless

As a very small business or a business just getting started, you might be using an entry level accounting system where the investment in training and configuration is minimal because the product is fairly easy to use. Often these systems are ideal until your business begins adding more users and your business processes become more complex than what the system can support.When a small business decides to implement a new accounting or business management system, it cannot shut its doors or stop day-to-day responsibilities to install, configure, and test a new system. Also, it cannot expect to start using a new system without investing time to consider potential improvements to existing business processes or train end users and migrate historical data.This is where the role of your solution provider or consultant is critical. Top solution providers efficiently transition you from your old system to your new system with minimal downtime for your staff. In addition, your solution provider will continue supporting the solution for you as your business grows and evolves.When choosing a new system, your choice of a solution provider should carry as much weight as the product itself. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a solution provider:

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1. Understands Your Business and System Needs
A software provider should understand your business and business processes to interject which processes can be more efficient. The provider should listen to you, give good examples of how the system should work, and ask good questions, not just about software, but also how your people work, who they are, their skill sets, and how they would use the application.2. Exhibits Exceptional Knowledge About Their Product(s)
It is a must for your software provider to thoroughly understand the functionalities, capabilities and intricacies of their solutions and coherently explain those to your end users so you optimize your investment and use the business management system to its fullest potential for your organization.3. Knowledge of Other Products and Solutions
A good solution provider makes sure you understand what you are looking for and know ahead of time what the expected returns and benefits will be. If you do not know what you need to do well versus what a business management system does well, you can get trapped into buying a system because of something it does that is not important to you. System selection prepares the client for the sales cycle, gets their information together, and allows them to quickly eliminate inappropriate systems.4. Proven Approach to Implementing
Entry level accounting systems can often be implemented by following the software vendor’s checklist. However, mid-level systems require more planning and testing because there are many different configuration options to make it adaptable to your business processes. The top solution providers have developed and can explain to you their approach to implementing the system. The approach should include options for functional design, pilot testing, data migration planning, a cut-over strategy and ongoing support.5. Communication
When evaluating systems, many businesses are first introduced to a salesperson and may not have the opportunity to assess the communication skills of the consultants who will eventually be assigned to the project. A top solution provider will have an approach for communicating with the client regarding project status and budgets. Also, your solution provider is often preparing deliverables to you, including procedures documentation, end user training guides and more – a top solution provider can provide sample documents that demonstrate their ability to communicate in these areas.

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6. System Cut-Over
When your company starts using the new business management system, your comfort level must be established by the solution provider. That can take anywhere from 30 days to six months, depending upon the client and how significant the changes are in IT and business processes. During this time, your solution provider should still pay attention to you, check in to make sure things are working the way they were expected, and provide any additional support and training your end users need.7. Ongoing Support
Many businesses begin realizing a positive return on their investment in a new system within the first 12 to 18 months. The project and your relationship with your solution provider should not end there. As your business grows and evolves, you want some assurance that your solution provider is always looking after your business – recommending improvements to business processes, assessing new modules or tools and their impact on your business, or offering user groups where you can interact and share ideas with other end users. The top solution providers make these and other services available to you for as long as you own the system.

Top Ten Business Management Apps

Efficiently managing your employees and keeping them focused and on task can be hard work. Several programs exist to increase productivity and maximise profit. They can automate the most time-costly processes involved in running a business. These applications are the best ten of the bunch in my opinion.1. Tree.io
Tree.io is in my opinion the best new business management software out there. It combines a powerful project management tool with functional sales and CRM tools, plus a superb personalised support service that empowers your support staff. The project management section is incredibly easy to use. You can create milestones to give your employees something to work towards, move tasks between projects with a few clicks and your employees can log time worked on each specific task. I really cant recommend Tree.io highly enough. Its like Basecamp, Salesforce and Helpdeskpilot rolled into one!Tree.io is free indefinitely for up to 3 users so it’s perfect for small businesses or startups. Their pro plan allows unlimited users and is £9 per user per month.2. GoogleDocs
GoogleDocs is the perfect way to manage and share your business documents. All your documents, spreadsheets, presentations and reports can be uploaded from your desktop within minutes and viewed and edited by the members of your team. It even has support for mobile devices so you can access your documents on the move. GoogleDocs is invaluble for businesses who need to share their documents instantly between employees, clients and suppliers.

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To use GoogleDocs you need to create a Google Account. This is completely free of charge and gives you access to all of Googles other services like Gmail, GoogleTalk etc.3. Solar Accounts
Solar Accounts is a simple, easy to use accounting software for small businesses or self employed individuals. It features double-entry bookkeeping, transaction history, customisable invoices and instant access to your financial records.You can get Solar Accounts for free for a 60 day trial period but after that you have to pay a one-time fee of £124.99 to continue using it.4. agreeAdate
agreeAdate is a really useful program for organising meetings, conference calls, appointments, staff interviews and more. You can quickly and easily find when people are free and then schedule a meeting or appointment that is convenient for everyone.Registering for agreeAdate is completely free. With the free membership you can plan events for up to 10 people. If you need to create events for more people you can upgrade to a premium account for $3.99 or $7.99.5. Toggl
Toggl is a helpful time-tracking app that supports live tracking or the timesheet approach, depending on how you run your business. Designed for large or small teams, Toggl lets you assign different rates to each team member or each product or client. With support for mobiles and multiple languages, Toggl is invaluable for businesses that want to keep track of every minute.However, you don’t get all this stuff for free; Toggl’s prices range from $5 a month for 1 user to $79 a month for max 40 users.6. GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting is a tool that enables you to host an online conference for up to 15 people at a time. Using this app you can share your screen with all the attendees, hand over keyboard control to another attendee, and change who’s screen is being shared.GoToMeeting is free for a 30 day trial period and after this it costs £29 a month.7. SageOne Accounts
SageOne Accounts is online accounting software like Solar Accounts but you don’t have to download anything. With SageOne Accounts you can view an instant snapshot of your businesses performance, automatically keep on top of VAT and keep all your customers and suppliers in one place. SageOne also features a 24/7 telephone helpline in case you get stuck and you can access it anywhere with an internet connection.SageOne is free for 30 days and costs £10 per month after that.

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8. NetSuite
NetSuite is a business management software that’s been around for a while, hence some of its features are a little dated. With NetSuite you can manage your businesses finances, customer relations and ecommerce from one program. It’s designed for large businesses and corporations and has a price to match: $1,188.00!9. Mozy
Mozy is an online backup service that allows you to keep all your files safe even if your office explodes. You can select the files you want backed up and Mozy will archive them either in bulk as you sleep, or in real-time as the files are modified. Your information is kept secure with military-grade encryption and strict security policies.Mozy costs £3.99 per month for a desktop and £6.99 per month for a server.10. Vyew
Vyew is an online collaboration program that lets you work together with colleagues all over the world in real time. Vyew gives you a simple whiteboard where you can share ideas, upload documents for discussion or even share your desktop.Vyew is totally free for up to 10 live participants, but if you register for $9.95 a month you get rid of the adverts and you also get a host of additional features such as VoIP and multiple meetings.

How to Develop Business Management Metrics

“How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose” Bill Gates.”It would be nice if all of the data which sociologists require could be enumerated because then we could run them through IBM machines and draw charts as the economists do. However, not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”. William Bruce Cameron.Dr. Edward Deming, one of America’s foremost quality management gurus, is renowned for helping the Japanese recovery process. Japan was the China of the 1960s; flooding the world with low quality products. When Dr. Deming visited Japan; he taught the Japanese to focus on quality instead of quantity. He introduced the concept of Kaizen (never ending improvement) into the Japanese work culture. This concept was responsible for propelling this war-ravaged country to becoming the second biggest economy in the world and remains the mantra of most Japanese until this day. One of the tools Dr. Deming introduced to the Japanese was measurement of results.In order to constantly improve, you need to be aware of your past and present position and future destination. Measurement of management metrics is very crucial for the success of any business venture. It is no accident that the most successful companies of our time: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, YouTube are all technology oriented companies. With the tools available to them, those companies are capable of testing and measuring every aspect of their business operations.

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This ability to test and measure their activities gave them huge advantage over other types of businesses. Before producing an iPod, Apple would have an estimated guess that is as close as possible to the amount it is going to sell.What to MeasureIn any business, the critical elements that must be measured if the business wants to succeed are:
• Marketing activities and results.
• Customer acquisition and retention.
• Financial results.
• Employee performance.
• Business development.
• Supplier performance.There are other metrics that can be added to this list, depending on the industry, however, the metrics listed above can work in any industry. Even though there may be the temptation to create lots of metrics it is very important that metrics are limited to essential measurements.Every metric must be:
• Connected to the overall goals of the organisation.
• Acceptable to all stakeholders.
• Measurable.
• Directly linked to past, present and future performance of the organisation.How to Develop Business Management MetricsThe process of developing business management metrics must start with the development of a core metric. This could be a single marketing denominator such as number of customer acquisitions per month, amount of profit per customer acquisition or staff performance.After you have decided on your core metric, ensure it is communicated to every employee in the organisation.The next step in the process is to segment your metrics into the following categories:
• Business visionary metrics: this relates to the vision you have for your business. Is your business progressing the way you envisaged from the start? Are you achieving the goals you set for your business?• Management metrics: this relates to the actual running of the business. How is the business performing in terms of cashflow, profit, operations and processes?• Systemic metrics: this relates to your systems. Do you have the right systems in place? Are your activities automated? Can they be duplicated and replicated? Are they transferable and teachable?What to Focus on in Each Key MetricMarketing metrics:
• Quality and cost per lead.
• Closing ratio.
• Cost per customer acquisition.Employee performance metrics:
• Acquisition cost.
• Training Cost.
• Turnover ratio.
• Salary as a percentage of income.
• Cost as a percentage of profit.Customer relationship metrics:
• Number of customer acquisitions.
• Cost per acquisition.
• Percentage of retention.
• Cost of retention.
• Number of lost customers.
• Customer complaints.
• Customer satisfactions.
• Customer value.
• Profit per customer.
• Value per transaction.Financial metrics:
• Profit per transaction.
• Cashflow.
• Gross and net profit.
• Return on investment.
• Current and future income.
• Current and future profit.

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Supplier metrics:
• Achievement of objective.
• Quality of delivery.
• Delivery timeframe.
• Cost of late delivery.
• Profit per supplier.
• Cost per supplier.Metric TimeframeMetrics need to be divided into quarterly, annual, five or ten year goals and constantly monitored for improvement.However, no metric is written in stone; your metrics have to change as the company grows.Assigning AccountabilityAccountability for metric measurement and compliance is vital for ensuring achievement.
Every position within the organisation needs to be assigned a different set of metrics to monitor.Below is an example of positions assigned with metrics to monitor:
• CEO – income and profitability.
• Marketing director – marketing metrics.
• Operations director – performance and customer relationships.
• Human resources – employee performance.Accountability also helps to reduce unnecessary conflict in the work place. When all staff members understand the metric by which thier work is going to be judged it enables the smooth running of work assessments and appraisals.You cannot hit a target you cannot see.
What get’s measured get’s done!
Always remember that.