My return to a commercial accounting office after so many years in the public sector has been a real eye opener. Older folk (like me) talk about how fast technology keeps changing and how different the working day is from when we began our working lives.
In this “big little” Motueka accounting office, a lot of things have indeed changed since I last worked here. Something that really impressed me was how much more organised the office is in helping clients gather together their paperwork. There’s a questionnaire sent out at the end of the relevant financial year with all the reminders needed to gather together the necessary paperwork; some clients even opt for a folder with all the relevant divisions in it to help stay organised during the year. Gone are the days of invoices spiked on number 8 fencing wire.
Gone also are the days of a “gentleman’s handshake” to agree to terms. That questionnaire we send out has to be signed each year to confirm that you want us to do your work – it’s a compliance issue. How often do you hear that these days!
To help us and you the client, the work is scheduled across the year so that everyone knows when to expect the call to bring in the paperwork. And if you go through that questionnaire, tick the boxes and tuck the pertinent papers into a box or your folder, you can expect the team to present your financial statements with greater efficiency. We monitor time taken which helps us focus on reducing turn-around time, and if you get all your material to us at the outset, we have a much better chance of returning your accounts to you in a shorter timeframe.
Better still, if you sign up for one of the accounting software packages – Banklink for example – you can even keep yourself up to date by inputting your own data each month. This way you can more readily keep an eye on your cash flow and what you’re actually spending your money on – it’s certainly much simpler than writing up the old multi-column cash book.
So when your scheduling email appears in your inbox, take a minute or two – diary the month; remind yourself to ask for an interview if things have changed significantly in your business; if you don’t already have a folder but would like one, get in touch soon – we’ll be sending them out in April; and if you’re thinking it’s time to exchange your cash-book for something electronic, get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through the options.