Most business owners have one area where they don’t have control, and that is in their accounting. The owner turns over the receipts, billings, and other sensitive records to the bookkeeper, accountant or CPA and hopes the reports will make sense when they come back. He has never taken an accounting class in his life and often just doesn’t know how to read those reports. They’re like a foreign language. He is frustrated. All he really wants to know is where his money is going and whether or not he has enough cash to do what he wants to do. Sound like you?
The same lessons of Fortune 500 accounting are applicable to analyze small business financial results and explain variances. In this role accountants can help CFOs and CEOs determine which products were profitable, why they made or missed their targets, whether or not to open a new location, whether or not to hire new people or eliminate positions. They can identify and help to remove theft. Companies can make better decisions because the information was given in the moment, as things were happening.
When my client told me of his struggles a light bulb went on in my head. AHA! Small business owners need the same type of analysis as the larger companies. They just don’t have anyone on their team who can do this for them! And many business owners are embarrassed or afraid to admit they don’t know everything they feel they should know about their business… especially in the area of accounting and finance!
A good analyst can help business owners avoid costly mistakes that would put them out of business. It’s not just “bean-counting” any more. It’s a more managerial approach to accounting that is needed. An internal look at sales prices, product costs, year-over-year comparisons, budgets, or cash flows that will help steer the ship and keep it on course or make corrections in the moment, not at year’s end or tax day when it’s too late to be effective. Marcy Maslov was co-contributor to this press release.