As the COVID-19 crisis forces businesses to change how they operate, many companies find they need more financial analysis and bookkeeping support than ever before.
From emergency measures, such as determining the size of a loan request, to getting a better understanding of fixed-cost obligations, business leaders need up-to-date financial insight. That includes frequent cash-flow forecasts to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment.
Bookkeeping That Fits Your Evolving Needs
Outsourced bookkeeping and controller services offer a cloud-based, remote-work answer to these evolving business needs.
Now is the time to find a custom solution that not only addresses immediate concerns, but also improves your underlying operational efficiency by providing a bird's-eye view of your processes. And even when this crisis passes, you'll continue to enjoy the advantages of improved financial insights as well as time saved on daily tasks.
Adjusting to the New Normal
For many businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has been a jarring wakeup call. Systems that worked fine in a booming economy have proved inadequate to meet the needs of a sudden, catastrophic downturn.
One of the primary goals of an outsourced bookkeeping and controller service is to implement processes that improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations while also instilling flexibility for the unexpected. That includes disruptions like the current one as well as unanticipated opportunities for growth. An inability to scale properly can be just as damaging to your company in the long run as a period of temporary economic instability.
Determine Your Bookkeeping Requirements
The first step in adjusting your bookkeeping to these changing times is to figure out exactly which services your business needs. Look for an outsourced bookkeeping services provider that will work with you to determine the right solution for your company.
In general, these are the types of questions they will ask:
- Do you have remote check deposit and mail processing?
- Are you equipped with digital document-capture technology?
- How do you pay your employees?
- How frequently do you analyze financial data (e.g., monthly or quarterly)?
- How robust is your cash-flow forecasting?
- What is the ownership/governance structure? Are there partners who need distributions or regular reporting? Are there shareholders, a board of directors, etc.?
Develop Custom Financial Insight for Your Business
An outsourced bookkeeping services provider will also work with you to design a solution for monitoring your key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time with a custom dashboard. Not all businesses gauge their finances the same way, so it's critical that you have a system that suits your needs and can deliver up-to-the-minute updates.
Not sure what your KPIs are? An outsourced bookkeeping services provider can help with that, too, by reviewing your chart of accounts. They'll help you right the ship by asking the appropriate questions, such as:
- Are you cash-strapped today?
- Could you benefit from a "cash flash" that prioritizes payments?
- How do you recognize revenue?
- What's the frequency of your incoming payments?
- Do you receive advance payments for work that hasn't been done yet?
- Do you need product or location profitability? Job profitability?
- What are the risks that face your business on a daily or long-term basis? How do you keep your eye on those risks today (late receivable payments, sales activities, upcoming large payments, etc.)?
Double Down on Efficiency
Again, the goal of transitioning to an outsourced bookkeeping services provider is not just to weather the current economic storm, but also to position your business to operate more efficiently, with fewer errors, when stability returns. Cloud-based bookkeeping software systems, with built-in backup and internal controls, are the wave of the future.
To help you get there, your outsourced bookkeeping services provider will determine your current state of readiness through questions like these:
- What does your tech stack look like today?
- Do you have a front-end sales system that we'll need to work with?
- Does it interface directly with a ledger system, or do we need to build a bridge?
- What is your payroll system?
- Does your technology stack enhance your ability to manage risks and stay informed or does it inhibit your ability to stay on top of things?
- How tech-savvy is your bank? (Some banks can be a good relationship lender but don't interface well with today's technology. It's important to evaluate the total package.)
Take Advantage of This Time to Reset
Anxiety in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak is normal. The key is to channel that anxiety into proactive steps that will help your business get through today's turbulence while also positioning it to thrive in the years ahead. And the first step is to find a remote bookkeeping services provider that can introduce the processes you need to achieve greater financial insight and improved efficiency.