The average employee thief has worked with the company for four to five years and that nine in 10 are first-time offenders, reports the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
During recruitment, employers have no screening method that can be used to spot potential fraudsters. The only way to avoid bookkeeping fraud is to put in place internal controls to dissuade, prevent and detect fraud attempts. This is a three-step flow internal control mechanism to avoid bookkeeping fraud.
Avoid Manual Accounting Processes
Businesses with good financial records rely heavily on automated accounting processes to streamline financial transactions from end-to-end. Best practice, use accounting systems with strong security controls to avoid unwanted intrusions. Most of these solutions provide great financial reports and audit trails which gives insight into your financial health as a business. Multisoft Solutions supply and implement robust accounting systems for varying company in different industry segments. The solutions come with strong security controls. Learn more about Accounting systems
Avoid One-Man Job Responsibilities
To ensure proper checks and controls in your finances, avoid the “money guy or lady” accounting approach. Many small and midsized business have single individuals performing all critical accounting tasks—from paying bills, preparing financial statements, issuing paychecks and bank deposits. This is a non-starter as a small business as it creates a one-man manager and could lead to fraud that can go undetected for many years.
As a multiple business management solutions provider, we advise that every financial transaction should go through at least two stages manned by two employees. One for collecting or making payments while the other reconciles the books and ensure accurate financial reports on the transactions. Companies with lean teams may struggle with this approach; however, with the support of Multisoft solutions’ excellent outsourced data entry & bookkeeping services, you can be assured of accurate bookkeeping and streamlining on financial controls so your employees focus on delivery on your core business mandate.
Multisoft Solutions delivers excellent Accounting support services.
Adapt Best Reporting Standards and Processes
Set clear reporting schedules and internally assign a senior management team member to review all financial reports and processes periodically—it could be weekly or monthly. This will ensure proper checks and reduce the risk of fraudulent attempts such as false entries. This Manager does not necessarily need any skills in accounting auditing. He/ she simply needs to compare account payables/receivable receipt and invoices against the amounts entered in the books. He/she will then cross-check both figures against cash in the bank.
For tips on accounting management for your business.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us +233 (0)302 235149
Determining the right Business Management Software (BMS) solution for your small business can be very daunting given the vast number of available options. Some of these numerous solutions might offer just barely enough for your present needs, but you’ve to keep in mind your future needs, whether you anticipate them or not.
Certainly, there are some solutions that are indeed “one-size-fits-all” in that, they are flexible, adaptable and scalable, and are designed to not only accommodate but cope with business evolution. You want your small business to grow, after all, and you never know what’s around the corner, especially in this fast moving business space.
SAP Business One is one such turnkey solution to consider, since it comes with excellent features that allow you to gain greater control over your business. It allows you to streamline your business operations while providing you with real time reports.
The right BMS will make the most intricate operations simple for your business and SAP Business One is designed to do just that. It’s a comprehensive solution that covers virtually all aspects of your business including finance, logistics/operations and customer relationship management.
Currently, SAP Business One has more than 46,000 customer that are serviced by 1500 certified SAP Business One partners, covering more than 25 different industries in 120 different
countries, according to BLUEKEY, one of the world’s leading SAP Business One Partners. This is evidence that SAP Business One has worked for many companies just like yours
As a small business, making a wrong choice in the usage of ERP software can be very dangerous. You possibly stand the bad chance of losing revenue and depriving yourself significant business growth. It is always advisable to look out for software that has these features: Configurability Fluidity , Simplicity , Scalability and Integrability
Truth be told, as a small and growing business, it’s important to achieve some quick wins while automating your first business process, and then have the flexibility to make changes easily in order to adapt to the evolution of your business both in size and in complexity. SAP Business One is in anyway built with this objective.
As a small business, looking for an opportunity to grow, your focus must be on solutions that can help you manage your key elements of business: People, Business processes, Workflows & Tasks, Data and Collaboration. However, you do not need pricey software that would break your bank account. So adopting what I describe as “Buy low, Use high” strategy will forever be the best for your business. With this strategy your attention must be on both quality & price.
Your budget may not be enough but you certainly do not want just any software. You’re looking for a robust ERP software solution that can exceed your business expectations. Your attention should therefore be solutions that offer high affordability and quality. This is the reason why SAP Business One has been ticked as the ideal ERP solution for both small, mid-sized and Enterprises.
Accounting and Auditing may in the next few years be disrupted by emerging innovations such as robot process automation (Bots) and mechanical robotics (Daniela Rus, “The Robots are Coming,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2015)
The use of computers for business operations has come to stay. In fact, computers have already become ever-present in our world of business today, and in the near future mechanical robotics will as well be seen sitting in the chairs, in our offices.
The debate about whether or not machines will replace accountants in the near future is the result of the sudden increase in demand for various business software solutions like Sage Evolution Premium and SAP Business One for business operations the world over.
Accounting Software experts argue that the profession stands on the cusp of technological development however conservative accountants disagree and argue that programs like VIP Premier Payroll & other sophisticated tax systems work quite well, but have no ability to make deep decisions especially when confronted with unstructured data.
Valid arguments they are! Maybe in the near future, we will see fewer accountants of one type and more of the other. ‘If history tells us anything, there were speculations of job losses when spreadsheets and computers were introduced into the accounting process, but instead we saw significant growth of jobs in the accounting departments. It is certain that how we perform the work and the skillsets will change, but this will create new opportunities.
The future of accounting hinges on outputs and not inputs. Business owners will invest in any legitimate resources that can enhance the bottom-line results even if it’s just simple software.
Over the past 10 years, a lot of businesses have shifted from manual accounting processes to automated operations. For instance, the advent of Sage one accounting, VIP Payroll and SAP Business One, is saving companies more money while doing more work. No need to hire more accountants. But as with any transition, there will be a distribution of adoption, so some people will scream saying that their jobs are at risk, but more likely is that they got blindsided and failed to invest new skills.
“To be on the safer side means rising to the change and embracing the transition with a smile – invest in tech skills and stay open for the opportunities that come along with this evolution”
I believe that development in technology has only brought even greater opportunities to accountants. Despite the smart business operations performed by a computer, a company will also need a brain which can devise strategies required to bolster its financial growth.
The onus, therefore, lies on accountants to be agile, versatile and open to changes. They will need to fasten their belts and fly even higher.
Be open to tech knowledge in accounting. Enroll in our flagship programme: Practical Accounting Training.
Summary of Research Carried out by IMA, ACCA and the Accountancy futures academy (Nov 2013)
The accounting profession is in the midst of a technology revolution, with cloud computing, mobile devices, social media, Big Data and Payment tools making the most impact. Our discussion for this morning will be centered on five out of the ten game changers identified in a survey carried out by ACCA and IMA.
The report on the survey is titled DIGITAL DARWINISM: THRIVING IN THE FACE OF TECHNOLOGY CHANGE
According to Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most adaptable to change.
As trusted advisers to business, accountants and finance professionals are expected to lead, not follow. The profession has historically been quick to identify and then exploit the potential of emerging technologies: from the earliest known records of commerce, to the earliest commercial computer systems. Accountants’ enthusiastic use of the first programmable computer and widespread adoption of the spreadsheet helped to turn accountancy into the profession it is today. Embracing emerging technologies will turn it into the profession it aspires to be tomorrow.
Whiles discussing these trends, we must all be mindful of the fact that the cost of connectivity will continue to go down due to better platforms like 4G as against 3G and also the release of frequency being used by analog TV and Radio.
I will like to acknowledge the research team IMA, ACCA and the Accountancy futures academy for carrying out this research. I will also like to acknowledge Chris Gentle (Partner and head of research Deloitte) for writing the foreword to the research.
According to Chris Gentle “ As we head deeper into the 21st century, it is already clear that developments in digital technologies are going to affect the world even more radically over the next 20 years than in the last 20 years.
Technology has already made business global. We can collaborate and share information as quickly and easily with business contacts on the other side of the world as with colleagues at the other side of the building.
As new digital technologies emerge and converge they will reshape lifestyles and business activities, how economies develop, and how countries are governed, in revolutionary ways. The future will not be like the past and we will all need to adapt. Accountants and finance professionals must be open to the changes created by cloud computing, mobile devices, payment gateways and social platforms, and face up to the demands of cybercrime and enhanced compliance request.
Eight-seven percent of the accountants surveyed said that their companies could be doing more to leverage technology, but fewer than 15% said they were very confident in the ability of their companies to understand and manage emerging technologies.
The survey found that most companies do not have a written plan for emerging technologies. Only 4% of small companies (fewer than 200 employees) have such plans, compared with 35% of midsize companies (201–500 employees) and 46% of large companies (500 or more employees).
Companies are far from adopting, or preparing to adopt, new technologies. For example, 90% of large firms either already have implemented or will implement social media and smartphones within three years. Also quickly becoming part of the technology foundation for large companies are cloud and software as a service (84%) and tablets (74%).
Smartphones top the list for midsize companies (71%) and small companies (62%), with the cloud ranking second for both (67% for midsize companies and 46% for small companies).
Cloud and mobile
Cloud computing and the use of smartphones and tablets are tightly intertwined. The survey identified the following as potential benefits from cloud computing:
- The ability to work anytime, anywhere;
- The ability to serve clients in any location;
- Improved security and backup procedures;
- Improved collaboration with clients and supplier.
Mobile devices, of course, are ideal for connecting to cloud-based services when out of the office, a scenario becoming increasingly common in the accounting profession. More than 80% of accountants reported that they do at least some work outside the office, with the number of hours worked ranging from an average of 5.8 for accountants at midsize companies to 8.6 for accountants at large companies (accountants at small companies averaged 6.5 hours out of the office).
The most-cited reason for working out of the office was client/supplier visits, both local and out of town. Also popular was doing work from a home office. The use of mobile devices with the cloud creates opportunities for accountants to provide faster and more efficient client service.
In addition to improved client service, the top reasons for adopting mobile devices include increased productivity and improved work/life benefits.
Eighty-five percent of accountant’s at large companies reported using a smartphone, a note book , or both, compared with 71% at midsize and 50% at small. A plurality of accountants use smartphones but not notebooks , and the survey participants were much more likely to use both a smartphone and notebook than just a notebook. Accountants at large companies use the most mobile apps, an average of 5.4 each, compared with 4.3 at midsize and 2.3 at small.
Accountant’s in large companies spend nearly 7 hours a week, on average, using social media for personal activity and 5.6 hours for professional purposes. At midsize firms, the averages were 3.8 hours and 2.9 hours, respectively, compared with 3.3 and 1.8 at small firms.
LinkedIn ranked as the most popular social media tool for professional use. Following is a ranking of the most popular social media services for individual accountants:
- LinkedIn (68% among large firms, 74% among midsize firms, 70% among small firms);
- Facebook (64%, 50%, 61%);
- Twitter (42%, 21%, 9%);
- Professional online communities (28%, 19%, 16%); and
- Blogs (23%, 10%, 12%).
At the company level, Facebook is the most popular social media tool among midsize firms and tied with LinkedIn for the top spot among large firms. LinkedIn is the preferred social media choice of small firms, but only slightly ahead of having a firm presence in professional online communities.
The professional benefits of social media cited most often by survey participants include:
- Knowledge sharing;
- Interacting with other professionals in accounting;
- Generating new business;
- Finding new clients; and
- Interacting with other professionals who can support the business.
Data analysis skills appear to be a huge potential growth area for accountants, 67% of whom in the survey said that they expect Big Data to impact the accounting profession.
Why is Big Data such a big deal? One reason, the study reported, is the astronomical increase in the amount of information being produced, a growth fueled in part by social media.
“There’s no question that social media is contributing to the demand for better data analytics,” the study reported. “Facebook has more than 1 billion users and Twitter can easily exceed more than 400 million tweets in a given day. That’s a lot of data, but only a limited amount is relevant.
“The biggest challenge companies have today is how to mine all that data to better and more profitably serve their customers,” the report said. This challenge can create opportunities for accountants. The role of data scientist is a natural fit for the accounting profession and plays right into one of their strongest skills.
Traditional notions and concepts of money and currency are fading. The use of cash is diminishing, cheques are being phased out and use of debit cards, pre-paid cards and the myriad of alternative electronic payment platforms is increasing. Banks increasingly provide their services online; statutory payments are increasingly made electronically; payment options using mobile phones are proliferating; there are many ways to make and accept payments for goods and services and to access start-up and working capital finance and trade finance instruments.
There are virtual ‘digital currencies’ such as Bitcoin, Linden Dollars and Ripple in today’s marketplace. A virtual currency has a value in real-world currency and/or can be used to buy goods and services. The Linden Dollar is the unit of trade in the virtual world , where players can use it to buy and sell goods. In addition, Linden Dollars are a centralized virtual currency with a central repository, and it can be converted to and from real-world currencies.
Skills needed for next decade
|1||Knowledge of data extraction tools in the mining of business intelligence||75|
|2||Use of tools that support data modeling and analysis||72|
|3||Knowledge management skills||59|
|4||Project management skills||57|
|5||Change management skills||57|
|6||Knowledge of new approaches to funding and product development||57|
|7||Ability to use technology to attract, develop and manage talent||57|
|8||Knowledge of emerging payment platforms||56|
Accountants and finance professionals have a significant role to play in the increasingly connected and interconnected ecosystem that will emerge as technologies in this report come together to create the ‘new normal’.
The internet and cloud-based resources are reshaping various aspects of business. : from the way we finance, resource and develop new and existing enterprises, to the way we create, buy and sell products and services. Nothing in the future is certain, and the unforeseen interactions between these technologies promise to be both interesting and challenging.
Summary of findings
|Technologies||Key impacts and implications||What we have to do as accountants|
|· Faster and easier access to technology resources
· A more connected world and workforce
· Opportunity to automate more business processes and services
· De-skilling of the accountancy profession
· Vast amounts of data
· Enhanced compliance and decision-making
· New ethical challenges relating to data gathering and analysis
· Challenges to data security and sovereignty
· Challenges to traditional role of the profession
· Expectation of access to accounting resources 24/7, on any device, anywhere
· Separation of skill and expertise from professionals
|· Explore new ways of establishing costs
· Prepare for changing working patterns
· Assess risks and address security
· Plan timing for adoption and implementation
· Develop change management skills
· Enhance data analysis and interpretation skills
· Recruit digital natives
· Use technology to add value
· Anticipate new regulation
· Learn enough to know which questions to ask to gain insights
· Adapt to meet changing business needs
· Manage expectations of internal and external customers
Succession planning for family owned businesses seemed to be ignored! Has contemporary HR addressed the succession planning challenges facing family owned businesses??
Contrary to popular belief, there is ample evidence that family businesses perform better than non-family businesses. In fact, ongoing research has shown that family businesses don’t only outperform non-family run competitors but they are also better managed.
Regardless of its size, the family business shares a number of significant qualities that bring special benefits to the community and economy in which they operate. For example, they tend to be more labour intensive and less capital intensive which results in a higher capacity for job creation with less employment volatility.
Other benefit of the family structure are:
- Innovation can be achieved at relatively lower costs because it uses internal sources of capital andreinvestment of profits
- Foster entrepreneurial instinct at the family level as they often act as incubators for new companies.
- Family businesses also take a longer-term view of their strategy and are less concerned with short-term shareholder value, which holds them in good stead during tough economic times.
But despite all of these positive characteristics, why do Ghanaian family owned businesses follow the founder to the grave, are there any lessons to be learnt?
While the answer is not as easy as one would hope, succession planning for family businesses is a critical factor to the future success of them. The ultimate challenge to the founding family is its ability to ensure continuity of the business into the next generation, and at the same time retaining the collaborative harmonious family relationships.
Change, and in particular succession, is driven by the biological clock. In addition, factors such as leadership, management and departure or exit style of the founder, the size of the business, its structures and conflict management procedures all impact on the succession process.
Succession planning for family owned businesses is a journey that must be planned. It must address both the transfer of business ownership and management continuity. This is hardly the case in Ghana, we see the transfer of ownership without any conscious effort at ensuring the continuity of the business.
Some of the key characteristics of the family businesses structure that need to be modified to allow for a smooth and successful generational transition include:
- The highly centralized decision-making system of family owned business must be replaced by a culture supported by formal policies and procedures; there must be an accepted way of doing things.
- The entity must diversify its dependence on one or two key individuals for its survival and growth. In most cases, founders stuff their kith and kin in the board so much that they dilute the board’s effectiveness , resulting in weak infrastructure that directly affects decision making
- Succession planning must be embedded into the day to day running of the business and must not be relegated to the tail end.
- Structural defects within the family (divorce, polygamy and unwarranted familial pressures)usually impact the operations of the second generation. It is the duty of the founder to address these defects before passing on the reins else it endanger the continuity of the business.
- Our inheritance system makes it even more difficult for an entrepreneur to choose a heir to carry the business forward. Under the paternal system of inheritance, the business is handed over to the eldest child or the child of the eldest wife. Under the maternal system; it is the founder’s sister’s eldest child. These may not always be the best choices, as the individual may not have the ability, education or skills to successfully lead the business into its next stage.
- A final dimension is the influence from Son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws, this group have a strong influence on the chosen successor but may not hold the same values and morals that have served the family well.
A famous saying about family owned business is that “Father, founder of the company, son rich, and grandson poor). The founder works and builds a business, the son takes it over and is poorly prepared to manage and make it grow but enjoys the wealth, and the grandson inherits a dead business and empty bank account.
The succession planning for family owned businesses is a process that should ideally be seriously underway by the time the business leader is in his or her late forties or early fifties, and the children in their mid to late twenties. As you get older, your influence will naturally wane.
Yes, it takes time and resources to complete this process but it could mean the difference between a thriving business that continues to bless you and future generation, or a sad statistical footnote. It’s important to remember that it is never too early to start the succession planning for family owned businesses.
It is said that “Accounting is the language of business”. And this why small businesses must take accounting seriously! Well, since accounting is the language of business, then it means if you can’t speak the language of accounting then you should not start a business or even dream of owning or running a business!
It’s quite amazing that most entrepreneurs have the zeal and passion to do business as a result of the skills they have acquired for a particular activity or the availability of capital at their disposal. Unfortunately most of them are not able to use financial information to make business decisions. To most, the acquisition and manipulation of financial data is seen as a burdensome!
In an article published by All Business Editors on “Top 10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail,” three out of 10 reasons small businesses fail has to do with accounting and financial management: “Failure to Track your Expenses, Overspending and Lack of Reserved Capital.”
This again underscores the fact the reason why small businesses must take accounting seriously and invest in accounting training programs. As the business grows there is a need to invest in accounting software that takes out technicalities from accounting and financial management processes.
To make life simple and allow business owners the space to concentrate on running and delivering of their services, owners must invest in tools that will help track and manage the following:
- Where your cash is going so you can management it better
- Who you owe and who owes you
- Understand your customers buying pattern
- What stuff is selling the best , to who and where
- Your banking relationship
- Your month end tax nightmare.
These are just a few out of the many reasons why small businesses must take accounting seriously if they really want to survive, grow and thrive in the business world. If you need formal training in accounting and financial management for your small business, kindly send an email to email@example.com for more information and registration details.
The evolution of today’s business world requires prompt, reliable, advanced, and modern technology. It has become essential and prudent for decision makers to have access to their business information wherever and whenever.
Multisoft Solutions is honored to introduce the most cost effective solution on the market to help manage financial information of corporate entities such as yours. Sage One Accounting is a simpler and flexible accounting solution that provides you with insight you need at reduced cost.
Sage One Accounting can offer you the following;
- Get more done, in less time: Accomplish much more, much faster—check on inventory, take orders, approve expenses, or pull up-to-the-minute reports—and make informed decisions on the spot.
- Get the insight you need, when you need it: Evaluate risks and monitor performance in real-time with user dashboards, self-service business intelligence, and reporting tools.
- Go where your business takes you: Access data on mobile devices, check inventory, take customer orders, make purchases, and view key performance indicators on the go.
- Easy to use and cost effective: integrate your business processes at remote branches and Head office into one common system.
We will be glad to have an appointment with you to further discuss the Sage One Accounting our solutions among others. To reach us kindly call; + 233 0302235149 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or view software features on www.Sageone.com