Tips And Tools For An Effective And Efficient Accounting Department

Accounting Management: Tips And Tools For An Effective And Efficient Department

 

Running a successful accounting department can be challenging. There is a lot of data to manage as well as team members. Use these tips and tools to operate a more successful, effective, and efficient department.

 

Build And Develop Your Team

If you are the head of the accounting department or close to the top, you have a duty of care to your employees and an interest in their personal and professional development. Each member of staff is a building block, and how you fit them together creates a structure that you should be able to build upon. 

 

This can help you to lead your team through changes and increase your department’s capacity for growth. Your management skills can help you develop your team, your team members to develop their skills, and your department to become an even greater asset to the business.

 

Review Your Common Work Practices

This is a great way to get your team more involved with the business and decision-making and show your leadership skills and initiative. Many of your common, day-to-day business practices may be suitable for streamlining or re-evaluation to see if you can find new efficiencies. 

 

By involving your team, you can utilize their knowledge and experience as well as your own to optimal processes that can save time every day. This can increase capacity, promote growth, and create a happier, more efficient workplace.

 

Involve Everyone In Decision Making

Giving people a voice in the business and departmental decisions that affect their work life is empowering for them. This can help them to become more engaged with their job and the department and can give you valuable insights into how the office works and the processes that power it. 

 

You can use these team discussions about decisions to find new efficiencies, develop new processes, and react to changes in the business in a way that everyone can support and work with.  Though you may want to retain control and have the final say on matters, do not be afraid to introduce some democracy to discussions and take votes on issues.

 

Create Learning Opportunities And Resources

When people get bitten by the accounting bug they can often be enthusiastic about developing new skills and gaining new qualifications. Some employers in the field can see this as a threat and think employees who gain new skills will take them elsewhere. 

 

If you create avenues to new learning opportunities for employees and support them as they gain new certifications, you will have very loyal employees. Investing in your workforce is incredibly cost-effective and can give your department new skills and capabilities from a very small financial outlay.

 

Mentor Your Employees

Every team member is worthy of mentorship. They will have goals for themselves both inside and outside of the workplace, and you can help them to achieve them. This can be incredibly beneficial to your employee and your business. 

 

Happy workers are productive workers, and people who achieve goals are often hungry to achieve more. Create a thriving atmosphere of go-getters in your office through effective mentorship. This will help your business to get more value from your team and increase your capacity for growth.

 

Follow these simple tips and see the difference they can make to your department. With some careful mentorship and active discussions, your team will become stronger and more productive.  And always remember, accounting success is Universal.

 

How to Learn Accounting without an Accounting Background?

When it comes to business concepts of sales, purchases, and overhead, the first thing that comes to mind is accounting.  Accounting aids in making informed and strategic decisions that help in businesses grow in the right direction and at the right time.

As a subject, Accounting may be considered quite tough to grasp as it requires meticulous financial recordings and tedious ledger management, coupled with complex concepts that need intensive practice. While this is true to some extent, learning accounting is not impossible as it is based upon basic math skills. With our comprehensive and easy-to-learn accounting guide, you can get started and manage your business details and finances or get your dream job.

 

Capitalize on E-Learning Programs and Online Courses

In this digitally advanced age, everything has evolved. Now ordering food is just a click away, entertainment modes have become immensely diverse, and even education has shifted to online mediums. So, why not avail the opportunity and get started with any of the e-learning programs offered by numerous well-known schools, universities and colleges.

Learning online is more convenient than the conventional college-going experience. The world is now a global village with no boundaries, and any prospective learner from any educational background can enroll in their desired e-learning courses. These online programs are well developed as per modern market needs, ranging from basics to advanced levels. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunity and build your skills by learning from famous institutions like The University of Michigan, Udemy, Coursera, MIT, and many more that too free of cost!

For accounting, the options are simple with courses like the following to consider:

Choose a Suitable Learning Method

Several learning options like online learning, YouTube videos, e-learning diploma programs, and onsite learning are available. But, every prospect has its pros and cons. One must pick the most suitable medium as per our requirements. So, before selecting any accounting learning programs, one needs to consider the following factors:

  • When it comes to learning supplementary skills like accounting, computer basics, language, or any soft skills, budget is one of the significant factors that impact the preferences of aspiring students. E-learning programs are very cheap, and most of the time, fundamental courses are less costly. So, select your desired lessons as per your learning requirements and budget.
  • Analyze and decide beforehand the key gains that you desire from your accounting course and keep track of your learning and professional outcomes even during as well as after the completion of your online course
  • Management is the most substantial aspect of after-college learning or supplementary education. So, organize your calendar accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Knowing your optimal learning style and habits is also crucial. Some people are good kinesthetic learners, while some are auditory or visual learners. So, select courses as per your learning styles to connect with like-minded peers. This approach will amplify your learning capacity manifold!

Follow the learning method compatible with your coveted outcomes, budget, learning style, and schedule.

 

Devote Time to Learning

Irrespective of the learning methodology you choose, devote ample time to it. Accounting concepts construct gradually, so investing enough time in deep learning each topic is crucial to building a conceptual foundation.  Avoid rushing while learning basics as a strong foundation needs clear concepts. Keep practicing accounting problems daily as that will enable you to progress toward your desired educational goal.

 

Concentrate on Real-World Application

Keep in mind that learning accounting equations and principles does not require memorization. Accounting is the game of practice, so always apply your understanding to real-world problems. For instance, online accounting courses incorporate a case-based teaching methodology that provides the students with an opportunity to take on real business problems and real-world challenges.

Furthermore, attempt to recreate scenarios that you might have experienced during the course of your career. Applying concepts and equations to subjective experiences can help learners connect with real-world problems and practical solutions. It is also significant to understand accounting is not something one can understand overnight; it needs time and repeated practice.

 

Do Network with Accounting Professionals

When we connect with the peers and professionals from our relevant field, it gives us more analytical and practical insights about the subject. Such communities not only help hone our accounting skills but also provide motivation and support. These accounting networks are supportive platforms for newbies as they have also experienced similar challenges in the past and are open to helping others through their accounting journey. Along with professional growth, accounting networks also develop a community spirit and sense of belonging amongst online learners.

 

Wrapping Up

Whenever we learn a new skill, the most notable aspect is to take control of that learning. Before taking on something that is not quite compatible with our educational background, degree, and experiences, we need to put aside the inevitable fear and be prepared to move outside our comfort zone.

Learning the fundamentals of accounting will not only help you diversify your skillset, boost your confidence and performance in organizations but will also assist you in making more intelligent decisions. Therefore, whether you want to supervise your finances or are interested in pursuing a book-keeping or an accountant job in your dream organization, learning and practicing the basics of accounting can help get you started.

Now, consider the perfect solution for you to excel in your accounting career and get paid what you are worth.

Author Bio: 
Maliha Safiullah is a Former Correspondent for 60 Minutes, Channel Nine Australia and is a published writer having worked as a Feature Writer for Dawn News, Pakistan.

How to Start an Accounting Business

Tips for Starting Your Own Accounting Business

Are you interested in taking your accounting experience further? Does the idea of starting your own business and working from home sound enticing? Accounting is one of the most flexible fields when it comes to working situations; it’s possible to land a position at a large accounting services corporation or an established local accounting company. It’s also possible to develop your own client list and become a one-person operation, offering professional accounting services to a select few. Universal Accounting offers a range of accounting courses designed to help you secure the accounting job you want or start an accounting business on your own.

 

While many accounting professionals find rewarding and fulfilling work as employees of established companies, many others are discovering the value of the flexibility and sense of ownership that comes with starting a business at home. Working from home may require more work than just accounting services; you will need to build a client list, manage your business expenses, and file the appropriate business and tax paperwork with the appropriate local, state, and federal agencies. Most accounting professionals who decide to work from home find these additional responsibilities to be well worth the effort.

 

Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Accounting Practice

Modern life may be incredibly fast-paced and over-saturated with technology, but technological advancements have also made it easier than ever to stay connected with others and to do professional work remotely. Companies in various industries have started relying more heavily on telecommuting over recent years, attracting top talent from well outside their local areas by offering them the tools to do their work remotely on their own schedules. This flexibility is great for businesses and even better for individuals for several reasons:

  • Working from home enables you to more easily balance your career and personal responsibilities.
  • If you work from home managing your own business, your personal success hinges on the effort you put into your accounting practice.
  • You always have room to grow. If your accounting business really takes off, you could secure a high-paying position at a large accounting firm thanks to your experience or eventually open up your own local accounting practice and hire a few employees to handle more clients.
  • For accounting professionals with young children, working from home can offer peace of mind and save a surprising amount of money considering the cost of daycare.
  • When you manage your own accounting practice yourself from home, you have the freedom to work whenever you want, as hard as you want. You don’t need to juggle vacation time or paid time off to manage things like illness or family events; simply let your clients know when you’re available.
  • Working for yourself from home will empower you with invaluable business management experience.
  • As you grow your client list for your home accounting business, you will develop business contacts that can become friends and professional assets in the future.

Ultimately, starting your own accounting business and working from home offers you the chance to be your own boss and grow your business on your own terms.

 

Starting Your Home Accounting Practice the Right Way

One of the most common causes of small businesses failing is the owner failed to take full account of all the expenses tied to opening a business and keeping it running. Payroll, overhead, property leasing, utility bills, and countless other expenses can quickly pile up without a steady stream of customers or clients. When you open your own accounting practice out of your home, you generally don’t need to worry about many of the most common expenses most other small business owners face.

Since you’ll be working from home, you don’t need to invest in business property or lease an office. This is an option for the future if your business grows. For now, you just need a clean, quiet space to work and perhaps meet clients. Most modern accounting professionals will work almost entirely remotely, but if you plan on meeting with clients in person, make sure you have a comfortable space where you can go over the work you’ll be performing for them.

 

Prepare for Your Expenses and Tax Obligations

It costs money to open and run any business, even if you are your one and only employee. Expect to pay for a business license and the appropriate local and state licenses. You also need to prepare some type of marketing budget. Unless you already have people asking you for accounting services, you need some way of finding your first clients. Advertising locally is generally the best route for new accounting practices, and you can also offer your services to friends and family; they may not only take advantage of your services but also introduce you to new clients.

Overhead for a home accounting business can come in many other forms, including the software you need to handle client orders, a functional and reliable computer and phone system that empowers you to do timely and accurate work, and office supplies. You should also prepare to invest in a quality printer, as accounting work generally involves working with lots of different forms and documents. You can manage most of your documentation digitally, but paper copies are a necessity for many accounting projects. Finally, you also need to invest in your own professional development.

 

Complete Your Education

For your home accounting practice to succeed, you need to be able to attract and retain clients. Your qualifications as a professional accountant are crucial for not only maintaining clientele but also performing your work admirably and keeping your clientele satisfied. Whether you want to open an accounting practice out of your home as a side business for extra income or to transition to working from home as your full-time career, Universal Accounting offers a wide range of courses designed to help you get your accounting firm off the ground.

Universal Accounting can provide you with the tools to attract and retain new clients so you can start earning what you deserve for the good work you do. We offer a proven turnkey solution for building an accounting business out of your home. Call Universal Accounting today at (877) 833-7909 for more information about the accounting courses we offer and find out how we can help you start working from home as a professional accountant.

Happy Holidays to YOU!

presentGive Yourself the Gift of Profitability

Who wouldn’t want the gift of profitability?  That’s probably even on Santa’s wish list.  A solid investment in yourself and your business would make a great present that may not fit in your stocking, but will definitely fill your bank account!  What’s the investment?

Every successful business thrives on three things: a service that’s in-demand, effective marketing, and complementary offerings.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find all these components in one package?  You can, and they’re all right here!

A Service that’s In-Demand

In order to run a successful practice you must offer a necessary and valuable service.  Small-business accounting is such a service.  By law, businesses are required to keep books.  Not only that, but many small businesses are in need of knowledgeable and skilled accountants who will perform that needed function and help them achieve greater profitability.

To appreciate the demand for small-business accountants, consult the US Department of Labor.  They report that between 2012 and 2022, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 13%.  They predict “As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records.”

Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper Program will not only teach you small business accounting with a practical, hands-on approach, but it will enable you to earn a designation that evidences your skill and expertise, putting potential clients at ease.  The program covers four units which each take less than 15 hours to complete, all on your own time and at your own pace.  The units include:

In less than 60 hours you could complete all four modules and be on your way to a successful accounting practice with a certificate to hang on your office wall.  That’s much more appealing than 4 years on a university campus.

Effective Marketing

Regardless of how unmatched your services may be, you won’t have any clients unless you market effectively.  While accountants are good with numbers, they generally aren’t as comfortable promoting their services.

With over 30 years’ experience training professionals like you, Universal Accounting Center knows how to market accounting services to small businesses!  Our Universal Practice Builder Program will arm you with the ability to accomplish the following:

  • Become your area’s Profit and Growth Expert
  • Produce 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • Utilize 12 proven marketing strategies
  • Practice effective marketing via phone, newsletter, and professional websites
  • Practice tactical goal planning and setting
  • Prepare and present seminar training for three different instructional courses

In addition, this program is guaranteed to earn you $30,000 of additional annualized billings in just 12 months!  Talk about a risk-free investment!

Complementary Offerings

Successful practices continue to grow and generate profit when they offer complementary offerings their target market finds valuable.  You probably already know that Intuit’s QuickBooks is the accounting software used by more than 80% of small business owners.  Mastering this program will enable you to increase your offerings by providing QuickBooks setup and consultation services.  QuickBooks Made Profitable will teach you just how to use this program to draw and retain more clients to your accounting practice.  You’ll learn how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profitability as well.  Imagine how much this program alone could increase your bottom line.

So there you have it; a present that will brighten your future and make your practice more profitable.  Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving!  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today!

IRS Resources You Should Know About

Treasury tax check with cash.The IRS, in addition to being a somewhat ominous government agency which exacts compliance and accuracy, also provides taxpayers with resources designed to simplify the tax reporting process.  As a tax preparer, you should be aware of these resources and not only share them with clients but utilize them yourself.  Here are just a few you should know about:

e-Services for Tax Pros.  As described by the IRS, “e-Services is a suite of web-based products that will allow tax professionals and payers to conduct business with the IRS electronically.  There services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the internet.”  The following are available to all those who qualify:

      • Registration
      • e-file Application
      • Transcript Delivery System (TDS)
      • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching
      • QuickAlerts Messaging Service

Basic Tools for Tax Professionals.  In the event that you need to access information or instruction from the IRS, this would be the place to look for it.  Organized in a list format with links to more information, this would make a good bookmark for all tax preparers.

Circular 230 Tax Professionals and Tax Code, Regulations and Official Guidance.  If you’re interested in reading up on IRS regulations governing attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Appraisers, this series of documents can provide you with the information for which you’re looking.

e-News Subscriptions.  The IRS sends out updates and alerts to subscribers, so if you’re interested in being the first to hear about IRS news and tips, this is where you want to go.

Forms and Publications.  This site provides all taxpayers with easy access to all IRS forms and publications.

Current Tax Tips and Fact Sheets 2014 are both useful resources that will enable you to be aware of any tax changes or alerts as you approach this year’s filing season.

Latest News.  If you don’t subscribe to IRS updates and newsletters, you can still access the most recent news releases by visiting this screen.

PTIN Requirements.  If you still haven’t secured your PTIN, you may want to visit this screen to learn more about the new IRS regulations for tax preparers.  You can also apply for your PTN here.

Frequently Asked Tax Questions and Answers.  And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in any of those other resources, you’re likely to find it here, or at least be directed to where it might be.

The IRS has all this information and more, proving to be a helpful resource to many of us who may need it.

Universal Accounting is Also a Valuable Resource

Here at Universal, we’re interested in seeing you succeed as a tax preparer.  Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!  Or call us at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll now!

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