The New Age of Accounting
Change has always been a constant in the accounting industry, from the days of calculators to the advent of the personal computer and Excel spreadsheets. But today is different: The pace of change is accelerating, and the tools and technologies available today are not simply advancing accounting but revolutionizing it.
There are tremendous opportunities in this new age of accounting. Accountants who keep adapting and learning can use the latest innovations, from machine learning to automation, to accomplish more in less time and benefit their organizations in previously unheard-of ways.
More Data, Deeper Insights
Many of the advancements in the digital era revolve around data—gaining visibility into more data, analyzing it quickly, and visualizing it in more insightful ways. Implementing the latest data analytics tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), can provide a significant competitive advantage by increasing productivity and improving decision-making.
AI may still sound like a new-age idea to some, but it has already been implemented successfully by leading accounting firms. Its applications will no doubt increase in the years to come, but already AI is being used to digest and analyze large volumes of data at speeds humans simply can’t match. That accelerates and expands data analysis, and it frees employees to shift from manual data entry and basic analyses to higher-level strategic planning and other mission-critical work.
In addition to AI, accountants can benefit from advances such as cloud-based accounting systems that streamline information and provide secure access, anytime and anywhere, to workers and clients. Integrated cloud-based systems can provide significant cost benefits compared to expensive on-site solutions, as well as accelerating decision-making and providing improved visibility into data from across the organization.
Next-Gen Accounting Skills
To take full advantage of the new age of accounting, accountants need to develop and focus on a new set of technical capabilities, as well as honing some old-fashioned skills.
First and foremost among the new digital skill requirements is the ability to understand and work with big data using the latest software and features. With masses of business-wide data now being analyzed in minutes, accountants need to be able to quickly assimilate all that information, interpret findings and trends, and make informed recommendations to the executive team.
At the same time that digital literacy requirements are increasing, some old-school skills are becoming increasingly valuable. In particular, modern accountants need to be highly skilled at both verbal and written communication to express complex concepts clearly and convincingly. The ability to collaborate, both in person and digitally, is also vital as the accounting team becomes more involved in making strategic business decisions.
Prepare for the Future
Accountants in today’s fast-paced digital world need to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and technologies. To be sure, that can be a challenging task given how quickly innovations are emerging. But, as with many other advances in today’s world, adapting to these innovations is not a choice but a necessity. Embracing the revolutionary changes underway right now is the only way to future-proof your organization and help it become more competitive and productive, both now and into the future.
We get it: Outsourcing your accounting tasks is a big decision that requires a great deal of trust. The firm you choose should earn that trust by proving that they have extensive experience and a dedicated team that will give you the expertise and service you deserve.
To that end, here’s a brief primer on Insero & Co., which is one of the premier firms in New York, providing audit, tax, outsourced accounting, and business advisory services.
Insero has been providing outsource accounting services for more than 20 years and has served hundreds of clients, from small nonprofits to large corporations. We’ve worked with more than 200 organizations across New York State, meaning we have experience working inside organizations just like yours.
What does all that experience mean for you? It’s not just that we’ve seen it all and can help you through everything from budgets to bookkeeping. It’s that we’ve learned from every engagement and have refined our processes, so you can count on us to deliver what you need, when you need it, with no surprises along the way.
A Team You Can Trust
The people on your team will be full-time employees of Insero—that makes a big difference in continuity. You won’t be working with temps looking elsewhere for employment or professionals doing this as a side gig, so you can relax knowing that staff turnover is not a concern.
Your dedicated team will include employees with high-level accounting knowledge and expertise. Instead of cookie-cutter solutions, our experts will tailor their services to your needs, adjusting as they go to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.
Every firm says they’re dedicated to client service, so what does that mean? It means we invest heavily in developing the highest level of service, including training everyone in the firm on how to deliver it. We also ensure that every client is receiving regular communication and follow-through, as well as the personal attention that sets our firm apart.
The Insero Difference
Of course, the best way to get to know Insero & Co. is to talk with us. What you’ll find is that our people are both knowledgeable and personable, and the firm as a whole is large enough to provide the resources our clients need, yet still small enough to provide flexible, relationship-based service. Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out if we have the experience and team you’re looking for to handle your outsource accounting needs.
How Automation Can Help Nonprofits
Many nonprofits spend years relying on manual data entry, spreadsheets, and basic financial tools like QuickBooks. Why? Because those processes work…at least at first.
As your organization grows, you might find that the time you’re spending on repetitive manual tasks is growing too, with month-end closes growing longer and longer, until they seem to take up most of the month. All those tedious, time-consuming activities can lead to a dash to the finish line that causes oversights and errors.
To address these challenges, many nonprofits are moving to Sage Intacct and other cloud ERP solutions that automate key processes, including close management, saving time and improving accuracy.
Spend More Time on What Matters
The primary benefit of automation is that it saves time—often hours and hours of time every month. When you fully automate your month-end close, for instance, you basically move into a perpetual state of close, so there’s no months-end rush where you’re digging through data and struggling to reconcile budgets.
Organizations that automate can take the hours employees formerly spent on mind-numbing manual tasks and instead devote them to bigger-picture, more intellectually demanding activities. That means more time developing and executing new strategies, cultivating donors, improving marketing, and performing other mission-focused work.
The Right Numbers Every Time
Another challenge with manual processes is that they are inherently error-prone. Even the most diligent of employees will make the occasional mistake, which can lead to hours or days of confusion. Worst of all, if data entry or other errors aren’t caught right away, they might be seen by donors and board members, which can do real damage to your nonprofit’s reputation.
By streamlining and automating data flow and reconciliation steps, you can reduce the risk of human error and gain more confidence in the integrity of your processes. And you can still maintain control over your automated processes—updating and fine-tuning as needed to address changing requirements.
Time to Automate?
Insero & Co. can help you decide whether it’s time to automate your processes and, if so, how to make the shift as seamlessly as possible using best-in-class software. Our team has decades of experience helping hundreds of nonprofits through these and other challenges. Contact us to talk about the relationship-based services we provide and how they might help save you time every month.
Client: $4 million nonprofit organization
When the Chief Financial Officer of a $4 million nonprofit left abruptly, the board reached out to Insero & Co.’s Nonprofit Outsource Accounting Services Group for assistance. They had an immediate need for coverage, but also wanted to step back and figure out what would be best for the organization in the long run. This was especially important since the organization had experienced recent turnover of nearly all internal management roles, including the Executive Director. The board asked Insero to help evaluate the CFO position and make recommendations for process improvements, as well as hiring and pay structure for the accounting department.
Insero’s Outsource Consultants were able to provide the organization with an interim CFO to fill the immediate needs of day to day operations, as well as a strategic planning partner to assess the current structure and provide guidance to the board. After an initial assessment, Insero was able to assist with the recruiting and placement of a new CFO as a direct hire. We also developed a six-month transition plan to support the new CFO, who attends all board meetings and delivers Finance and Board Packages, which have now been automated to print directly from their accounting software.
Other process improvements included:
- Grant management procedures
- Month-end close process
- Refining the annual budget process
- Defining ownership roles within the organization
All of this was achieved at a fraction of the cost of the previous CFO’s salary and benefits.
With over 40 years of experience working with nonprofits, Insero’s specialists have the knowledge and capacity to help you with your organization’s needs. Our clients include foundations, arts and cultural organizations, chambers of commerce, social clubs, fraternities and sororities, housing assistance and development organizations, recreation facilities and programs, community support organizations, child care providers, and more. Learn more about our service offerings below: To learn more about how we can help your organization, contact us today.
The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter
Using Sales Receipts: When? How?
Some types of businesses always use sales receipts. Some use them occasionally. Here’s what you need to know about them.
How do you let your customers know how much they owe you, and for what products or services? In these days of ecommerce and merchant accounts, your customers may provide a credit card number over the phone or on a website. Or perhaps you send invoices after a sale and receive checks or account numbers in the mail. QuickBooks can help you both create the invoices and record the payments.
There’s another type of sales document that you can use in certain situations: the sales receipt. You’d probably be most likely to use one of these when customers pay you in full for products or services at the same time they receive them. (more…)
The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter
Are You Applying Finance Charges? Should You Be?
Assessing finance charges is a complicated process. But if you have a lot of late payments coming in, you may want to consider it.
There are many reasons why your customers send in payments past their due dates. Maybe they missed or misplaced your invoice, or they’re disputing the charges. They might not be very conscientious about bill-paying. Or they simply don’t have the money.
Sometimes they contact you about their oversight, but more often, you just see the overdue days pile up in your reports.
You could use stronger language in your customer messages. Send statements. Make phone calls if the delinquency goes on too long. Or you could start assessing finance charges to invoices that go unpaid past the due date. QuickBooks provides tools to accommodate this, but you’ll want to make absolutely sure you’re using them correctly – or you’ll risk angering customers and creating problems with your accounts receivable. (more…)
Join Leslie Spurgin of Insero & Co. CPAs and Charles Benincasa, Director of Finance, City of Rochester for The Financial Responsibilities of Elected Officials: What You Need to Know presented by the New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association, Inc.
When: Thursday, March 10, 2016
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM – Registration and Buffet Dinner
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM – The Financial Responsibilities of Elected Officials:
What You Need to Know
Where: Fairport Electric Building, Training Room
43 Liftbridge Lane, Fairport, New York 14450
Presented by: Leslie Spurgin | Audit Partner | Insero & Co. CPAs
Charles Benincasa | Director of Finance | City of Rochester
Click here to download the brochure.
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The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter
QuickBooks is ready to use when you install it. But you can change its settings to make it work the way your company needs it to.
There are some features that all small businesses need in their accounting software. Everyone needs a Chart of Accounts and a good set of report templates. There must be tools to bill customers and to document income and expenses. Some companies need payroll management, and some need the ability to create purchase orders. These days, many businesses want to accept payments online.
But what does your company need? It’s unlikely that you would use absolutely every feature that QuickBooks offers, but you need to make sure that every tool you want to use is set up properly.
If you’ve been using QuickBooks for a while, you may have been directed to the Preferences window already (accessible by clicking on Edit | Preferences). If you’re just starting out with the software, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the most important elements contained there. Here are some of them.
Figure 1: QuickBooks’ Preferences window. Some features are already turned on or off by default, but you can change their status.
The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter
Accurate, thorough item records inform your customers and help you track inventory levels correctly.
Whether you’re selling one-of-a-kind items or stocking dozens of the same kinds of products, you need to create records for each. When it comes time to create invoices or sales receipts, your careful work defining each type of item will:
- Ensure that your customers receive correct descriptions and pricing,
- Provide the information you must know about your inventory levels, and,
- Help you make smart decisions about reordering.
You’ll start this process by making sure that your QuickBooks file is set up to track inventory. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences, then Items & Inventory. Click the Company Preferences tab and click in the box in front of Inventory and purchase orders are activated if there isn’t a check in the box already. Here, too, you can ask that QuickBooks warn you when there isn’t enough inventory to sell. Click OK when you’re finished.
Figure 1: You need to be sure that QuickBooks knows you’ll be tracking inventory before you start making sales.
The QBC: QuickBooks® Client Newsletter
Creating bank deposits manually can be a huge chore. QuickBooks simplifies this task.
Satisfying though it may be to enter all of those customer payments manually on a paper deposit slip, it can also be tedious and time-consuming. The more successful in business you are, the more time and care it takes.
Whether you accept cash, checks, or credit/debit cards, QuickBooks has tools that help you streamline the process of moving the funds into your physical bank accounts. In fact, part of your job is done when you enter the payments on the Receive Payments or Sales Receipt screens.
An Important Decision
When you record a payment in QuickBooks, you can enter it in one of two ways. Ask us if you’re not certain which one best suits your business. Payments can be deposited:
- In a specific bank account. QuickBooks lets you specify an individual account for each transaction. If you select this option, a box labeled DEPOSIT TO will appear on the Sales Receipt and Receive Payment Select an account from the drop-down list, and your payment will be automatically deposited into it.
Figure 1: You can choose to deposit customer payments to specific accounts.