Explore how to use your time as a business owner in line with your desire to be responsible and wise – and avoid costly delays or confusions or uninformed reactions
Being a responsible business owner or organisational leader is probably close to your heart – you have a desire to effectively administer what has been entrusted to your care. You want to make good decisions, and support others to make good decisions, for the financial well-being of your business, team and clients.
However, you may have experienced hurdles in having the time or processes you need to support a good decision-making process. hurdles like:
- Delays – where the information you are looking at is out-of-date or incomplete
- Confusion – where it’s not clear what the figures mean or if they are correct
- On-the-fly reactions – where there’s little consideration of broader plans
Further, you may be personally facing your own challenges or “overwhelm” when it comes to bookkeeping and payroll:
- Bandwidth – you are juggling multiple important areas and trying to get your head above the nitty gritty so you can think bigger picture
- Training – the specialist skills and qualifications that you have gained over the years may not fully overlap with the large scope of areas they come under the bookkeeping and payroll functions
- Headspace – the wide range of expectations that come with financial processing may be exposing you or one of your team to an unanticipated level of pressure or critique that they are not feeling comfortable with
So, when it comes to the bookkeeping and payroll management responsibilities of your business, it can be important to think about these hurdles and challenges, and how to create a function that:
- Provides decision-makers with timely, accurate and relevant information; and
- Supports you and you team in a way that allows you to operate successfully and sustainably in your roles
It may be surprising to realise the great extent of the scope of areas that can fall under the bookkeeping and payroll management function of your business. For example, this could potentially extend to:
- Data-entry functions
- Bookkeeping processing functions
- Payroll and remuneration functions
- Expense management functions
- Compliance control functions (like GST, STP, Super, PAYG)
- Reporting functions (internal and external)
- Strategic development functions
- Administrative and workflow functions
- System set up and integrity monitoring functions
- Communication functions
- Governance and approval functions
This list could probably be extended even further in some cases, but you get the picture.
This is where we come to what we refer to as “a dangerous assumption”. And that assumption is this:
If someone is a whizz at one aspect of your business finances, they’ll be a whizz at all aspects of your business finances.
This assumption, if not checked, could lead to undue pressure on a single person, and possibly bring them into unfamiliar and stressful territory. Noting this ahead of time can aid better planning and resourcing in way that is achievable and supports continuity of the function.
So, when thinking through the range of people that could be involved in your business finances, it may help to think both about the range of scope (and the time, skills and temperament required) and also possible sources of help and support from other sources like additional staff or specialist providers.
What may be some of the outcomes that you’d like to see from a good financial management and decision-making process? For now some helpful ones to note may be:
- Reporting – some key things here may be: to have a regular record of income and expenses giving a good indication of how the pulse of your business finances is travelling along; and a clear understanding of the financial health and viability of your business in terms of assets, liabilities and available cash.
- Communication – having all stakeholders in your business (including leaders, staff, clients) having an appropriate level and frequency of financial information, encouraging engagement and participation as appropriate
- Trust – allowing the clarity and reliability of financial processing and compliance to give a sense of trust and confidence that finances are being managed well and being used in line with your business vision and planning
- Growth – having the financial function service the growth of your business by: giving the strategic planning process robust and helpful financial insights; and developing practices and procedures that support, rather than hinder, your operations
Would you like to explore further topics related to bookkeeping and payroll in your business or organisation? eBook available now: