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Finance and Accounting

Every week our clients move over one hundred million dollars through the accounting and financial systems that we support.  Their financial systems are built to perform this task with a minimum level of accounting and staff help.  

But many of these companies got to where they are today only after replacing an old, outdated system and investing in the proper software, training and procedures.  Typically when we first get called, management shares with is problems like the following:

Excessive Reliance on Spreadsheets.  Accountants use spreadsheets to fill gaps in ineffective financial systems.  The difficulty with this solution is that it is a stop-gap solution.  It develops a reliance on sub-optimal processes that leave room for higher error rates and extra-ordinary administrative costs.

Rekeying Information.  Accountants have to spend considerable time rekeying information from feeder accounting systems into downstream financial and reporting systems.  This adds to the overhead of the organization, reduces the quality of work and provides an opportunity for introducing keying errors.

Lack of Technical Support.  When the original software developer has been sold or is no longer supporting the financial system they wrote, often support resources are scattered or hard to find.  We have seen situations where

Any of these issues can delay the monthly close, impact accounting operations, and make the finance department look bad.

Long Monthly Close.  Having a monthly accounting close extend beyond two weeks introduces a series of related problems:

Weak Controls and Control Procedures.  Internal controls are part of a well-run accounting department.  Without them, the organization faces an increased likelihood that accounting irregularities will occur.  One $30MM/year distributor had no controls preventing entry of prior period accounting information.  The company would send its financial reports to the bank to honor revolving credit covenants, and the accounting department would routinely backdate entries, altering the reported inventory and profits.