Accounting for Change

Managing the transition from a small, single proprietorship or family business to a chain of cutting edge franchise opportunities? If you are at the forefront of growing a successful small business and have reached the critical point when pursuing further growth means a slew of changes in the way your business is run, here are a few pointers you must keep in mind. Read through the entire article to note the most pressing issues for your business and prioritize these issues together with your finance team.

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1.)    Fear  Less of the Unknown

Acknowledged it, everyone tackles discomfort and fear in different ways and these may manifest in self-defeating or downright destructive behavior. Managed stress levels by connecting your key operations people with key financed people.

2.)    Engage Alliances

While maintaining a departmental focus is important, when cross-department alliances start to openly engage in creative ways of finding solutions, you unleash a creative force that has the power to see everything as an opportunity for business. Facilitating the open exchange of information establishes trust, builds channels of communication, and creates goodwill.

3.)    Plan to Change

Mark the calendar with both the major steps and the incremental changes in your projected growth or transition phase. From a simple procedural implementation, to assistance-wide, renovation, having clear, key measures that have been agreed to by both finance and operations will encourage everyone to cooperate all the way through.

4.)    Change the System

Since small businesses operate using cash basis accounting which counts the day to day balance of cash in and out of your coffers, bigger operations necessitate a shift to a cruel accounting. All corporations, even family owed ones, are required by law to use Generally Acceptable Accounting Procedures or GAAP compliant accrued system of accounting.

What you should bear in mind the most is considering if it may be wiser to have an outside influence to lead the change among your bookkeepers and accountants or if it would be better to promote from the ranks.

5.)    Expect Mistakes

Day to day operations may keep on increasing in volume and complexity. As the work load becomes heavier and heavier, the chances for making careless mistakes also increases. Even the most meticulous bookkeepers and the most scrupulous accountants can overlook  a figure or two, perhaps even input data in the wrong fields.

6.)    Cheer on Improvement

As the changes continue rolling, and as your employees let go of their former comfort zones, the old ways of doing things encourage them to see every step forward as an adventure! No bookkeeping or accounting system is perfect and immune to human error, but the ongoing search for a better way to do business is always a continuous process that everyone should be involved in.

7.)    Recognize. Recognize. Recognize!

It pays to honor not only individual achievement but group effort as well. Teams and groups, aside from individuals, also deserve to be praised when successful turn-around of systems and targets are consistently achieved. Accuracy, speed and insight are all valuable aspects of finance work and it takes a well functioning team to put together and crunch those numbers. Together.

When finance team acknowledge their initial fear of change but forge alliances across departments in planning for the company’s development, the books and numbers will almost seem to take care of themselves. What will it profit a team if it gains only monetary profit, but losses its financial soul?

As a manager of a department or a company, and a manager of change it will become increasingly important to keep everyone’s spirits up as you all go through these changes together. Expect mistakes, encourage your people to improve and recognize those improvements as your people grow along with your company. You can be sure that true grace will bless all of your bottom lines!