unprecedented times

How to Plan in Unprecedented Times

Businesses creating their 2020 forecast and budget may have thought they planned for everything that could happen however none of them planned for a pandemic that would shut down the entire world for months. Suddenly, everyone was pivoting their business plan to accommodate the stay-at-home orders, and still connect with their customers. For those that were completely shut down, they spun their wheels on how they would enforce new safety guidelines upon reopening to prevent having to close again. However, the main challenge for every business was how would they keep their cash flow going to stay open. A very different goal than they had in January. So how are they now looking at their finances to replan for 2020?

Forecasting and Continue to Forecast

As businesses develop new plans, new services, and new budgets a new forecast is also needed to ensure strong execution. Keep a rolling forecast with an accurate budget and adjusting as cash flow and financial projections shift. Being fluid with your forecast allows for quick reactions and changes to the market.

Adjust

Businesses cannot operate the way they did at the beginning of 2020 due to new safety standards. This creates openings in the market for new and innovative products or services to reach your current and prospective customers. For some this may mean making their service available for an at-home experience, for retail it means creating online shopping experiences, and for others it means adapting. With this in mind running scenario analyses can help you decide which changes to your business will be profitable.

Monitor Your Cash Flow

Cash is king currently. By monitoring your cash regularly you can ensure there is enough for upcoming bills, and purchases. You will also have the insight early to see if you need to speak to your landlord about splitting the rent into two payments that month, or if you need to pull back on any upcoming purchases to keep cash within the company.

Planning in 2020 will help you not only survive but thrive.

Find out how rinehimerbaker can be the right partner to help create strategic growth for your company.


The Cost of Not Taking Action

What does it ultimately cost a company that decides to push off modernizing their finance solution? Does it actually cost a company anything? It turns out it does.

Overtime on manual processes

Old school on-premise software solutions can lead to long extended manual processes filled with human error for reports that need to be produced monthly. This ultimately leads to hours upon hours of overtime for the finance team which is a heavy expense for smaller to medium-sized businesses.

Lack of timely, accurate reports

Many companies that still use outdated technology have month-end processes that can take 15+ days. That’s 3 out of 4 weeks every month. By the time the data is pulled together its irrelevant for executives, lenders, and bankers. When a company chooses to stay with these processes they are choosing to prevent themselves from being relevant and staying ahead of the competition.

Derail Potential Investments and Purchases

Companies that don’t have real-time accurate reports that they can produce quickly can hinder a potential investment or purchase. Many investments will ultimately walk away during due diligence if they lose faith in your ability to drive your company based on data.

Ultimately companies can lose the growth the strive to create by deciding to not choose to update.


How to Become a Successful Company: 3 Tips for Managing the Startup Phase

For any new business getting through the startup phase can be intimidating. It’s estimated that almost 90% of new companies fail with most companies making similar mistakes and lacking the information and team they need to sail past the startup phase and enter into the growth stage. The faster a new company makes it to the growth stage the better their odds of survival become.  How does a company make it through the startup phase successfully? Through partnering with people/companies that have expertise in helping companies get off the ground, investing in long term goals not just short-term solutions, and evolving as the company develops.

Partnering with the right mentors:

One of the biggest mistakes a new startup makes is not looking externally for partners that can guide them through the startup process. Partnering with a strategic business partner can give you inside knowledge into what has been successful for other companies in your industry, how to take a deep look at your finances as you begin to make money, where to invest in the future, and how to build your brand. Many companies that don’t reach out for advisement often react to late or completely miss what is happening in their business ultimately leading to their demise.

Look for a partner that has helped similar companies or companies within the same industry. This way they will completely understand the challenges you face, and how to make your company competitive.

Investing in the long-term:

Being short-sighted is something startup companies face without evening knowing they are up against it. Owners, startup executive boards are often focused on reacting to day-to-day challenges and crisis therefore they are only spending money on what they have to get by. However, those companies that have a partner by their side to help pull their eyes up to what’s happening one year, five years down the road. How are you investing in technology, sales, marketing to ensure you make it not only to the growth stage but past it?

Evolution of your company:

Many startups make the mistake of trying to make their idea or product work for their customers they don’t allow for the business to evolve. Evolution is key to not going out of business. Consumers and markets are constantly changing therefore companies should always be looking at how they can react to changes and improve their business practices.

Find out how rinehimerbaker can be the right partner to help create strategic growth for your company.


ERP Solution Overview

Setting Yourself Up For A Successful Investment Round Or Sale Web Series

At rinehimerbaker, our goal is to help companies meet and exceed their financial growth goals including having a successful investment round or sale. Having your financials wrapped up in a bow for prospective investment companies can ensure a sale is completed in your benefit. But how do you get your financials ready? Watch our three-part web series to find out our top tricks and tips or contact our team now to have a customized meeting related directly to your companies needs.

Fill out the form below to access the 3-part web series.

 


manage your remote team

Best Practices for Managing Your Finance Team Remotely

In 2020 more and more companies are offering remote work options for their employees especially under changing circumstances. However, if you haven’t managed a remote team before it can be a daunting task. Below are our top four tips to help you regroup and get your team on track.

Technology

Before you can offer your team the ability to work remotely or from home on a part-time basis you have to have the right technology in place. Cloud-based solutions give your employees the ability to access all of the information they need to get their job done as well as keep the rest of the company up-to-date. Cloud-based solutions are more flexible and easier to administer compared to VPNs and access to on-premise solutions.

Clear Direction and Expectations

When you aren’t in the same place as your employees it can be challenging to ensure you’re all communicating exactly what needs to be completed. How can you keep the lines of communication open?

First outline exactly what you want to be completed and think about what questions you would have if you were given the same assignment or project. Ensure you make time to go through the goals and objectives and let your team ask questions prior to starting their tasks. Give reasonable timelines for projects and offer touchpoints throughout to ensure everyone remains on the same page.

At the end of a project or task have a check-in to see what worked, what was helpful, and what could have been better. Clear communication is key.

Schedule Pulse Checks

Since your employees are working from home or an outside office they are often left to their own devices to ensure they are completing their job. Scheduling regular check-ins to discuss everything going on with their projects, daily tasks, challenges, and take note of what’s going on in their personal life. The more you communicate with each remote team member the better you will understand their workload, where they excel, and what they need from you.

Offer Flexibility

Part of working remotely is having the ability to work at a pace that is best for you. From a manager’s perspective focusing on accomplished tasks vs. hours is key to being a success in these new roles. It also gives your team the ability to take care of their personal life the way they need to which in turns means when they work they will be 100% focused on the tasks your company needs to be completed.

While managing a remote team may be a new concept for some companies, it can be one that is extremely productive with the right steps taken.

 


time poor

Managing Your Business When You are Time Poor

One of the main constraints owners face is the fact that there is only 24 hours in a day. The needs of a successful business can take up more than 24 hours in any given day rendering them time poor. Below are top tips for managing your business when you are running out of steam daily to help reorganize your company’s structure.  

 

Expand Your Team- 

 Having the right internal and external team can help balance the hours in a day. While your company is in the growth stage the balance between hiring your own key staff members and using outsourced companies is important to redistributing the work load. Startup and growing companies alike should focus their hiring efforts on employees who are involved with the product or service creation and delivery. This will allow the business to stay focused on what they do best and not get weighed down by day to day support tasks. Owners should look to outsource support services such as social media management and accounting.  Creating a balance between internal/external teams helps you redistribute tasks, maintain efficiency,  while minimizing your total costs.  

 

Have a Clear Vision for Each Day: 

 Before beginning each workday take the time to have clear priorities on what needs to be accomplished. Your business priorities should not only be set for you but for your internal team and external partners. The next step is to recognize any distractions that need to be handled before starting your daily tasks. This can include any fires that need to be put out or personal items that need completion so they don’t distract you the rest of the day.  Create weekly check-ins with all of your internal team members and bi-weekly check-ins with your external teams. This will help you stay on top of what is happening and able to change focuses as your business changes.  

 Another way to manage your day to day work is to set up calendar blocking allowing you to focus on each aspect of your business uninterrupted. This is the practice is separating out chunks of time each week to focus on specific tasks or portions of your business. You can set aside Monday mornings for marketing, Friday afternoon for employee checks, etc. This practice helps you focus on and complete tasks in a more efficient way.  

Redefining how you manage your 24 hours a day through internal and external resources can be the difference in creating dynamic growth.

 


Using a Slow in Business to Your Advantage

Businesses have stagnant periods throughout their longevity that sometimes are caused by actions that are out of their control such as large customers going out of business, changes in the supply chain, or pandemics.

Currently, the world is facing a business slow due to COVID-19 that companies haven’t experienced before. Employees are quarantined, customers are shutting down for extended periods, and states are calling for mandatory shut-downs. While many executives see this time as a negative to their bottom line there is a silver lining- It’s a time to complete improvement projects that will allow your organization to come out stronger. We have pulled together three ways executive teams can maximize a slow-down.

• Accessing current processes and how they can be improved
Many times executives are faced with needing to automated and improve processes but they lack the time to get these projects completed efficiently. With the inability to travel, and the reduction of travel time from everyone’s day there is more time to look into how to upgrade technology and eliminate manual work. Where should a company start? First look at the processes or business tasks that currently can’t be done remotely. Is there a solution that would allow team members to executive this at home? If so, set up a demo and evaluate the pros and cons of implementing it now. Secondly, take time to follow up on current best practices for HR, finance, sales, and marketing. Is there anything your team has tabled for the year that would be a benefit if you took the slow time now to evaluate? Any improvements that can help with a remote team will only increase your overall strategic power once COVID-19 is controlled.

• Elevating Your Customer Experience
This is a great time to check in with your customers and find out how they are doing during this economic crisis. It’s also a great time to send out a survey through your preferred platform on how they enjoy working with your company. It’s a great time to find out what your team does well, and where opportunities lie to improve.

• Education
Many companies are offering FREE webinars, web series, and information daily to provide thought leadership and helpful advice. Take advantage of these opportunities and use them for the above two bullet points. Rarely in the day to day operations do we have time to work on improving our business

Not just focusing on the bad during the time, but the ways you can improve your own business, and provide value to your customers. At rinehimerbaker, we can help you evaluate your current finance processes and technology package. Contact our team through the form below to get started today.


Accounting Trends in 2020 Video

Find out the top three accounting trends in 2020 to implement in your business to sail past your competition. Then fill out the form below to find out how our team can help you execute all three trends.

 


2020 accounting trends

Top 3 Accountings Trends to Follow in 2020

Three main 2020 accounting trends will change the landscape of finance departments in companies of all sizes: automation & artificial intelligence, cloud accounting solutions, and outsourced accounting functions. What do all of the trends have in common? They all focus around eliminate time spent on unnecessary manual work in order to spend more time growing your business.

 

  • Automation and Artificial Intelligence

 

According to Firm for the Future, 86% of current accounting tasks can be automated. With that in mind, finance executives are looking at how advanced artificial intelligence can automate their company’s current manual accounting processes. By removing hours of manual work team members can refocus energy on being strategic leaders and streamlining processes.

 

How can you take this trend to your company? Look at all of your current solutions, not only for finance, but HR, sales, and marketing. Do they work together? Does your team export report to manipulate data? Are they spending hours typing data into multiple systems? Do any of the solutions have an open API to connect them? Assess your answers to these questions and then evaluate which systems don’t have the capability to automate workflows.

 

  • Cloud Accounting Solutions

 

Accounting Today reports that cloud accounting solutions currently account for 45% of small businesses, 57% medium-sized businesses, and 58% of large-sized businesses’ accounting solutions. This number will continue to grow as companies become more fluid and dispersed across the country and internationally. Moreover, 67% of accountants think cloud-based solutions make their job easier.  Ease of access, connectivity with solutions from other departments to eliminate duplicate work, and less reliance on IT are pushing droves of accountants to evaluate cloud ERP solutions.

 

What can you do to adopt this trend? If you don’t already have a cloud-based ERP, make it a point to evaluate what your current on-premise solutions do well and where there are automation gaps. Then start to look at cloud solutions that fill the automation gap specific to your industry. Lastly, prepare your 2020 budget to accommodate for implementation of a new cloud solution.

 

  • Outsourcing Accounting Functions

 

For small to medium-sized businesses, outsourced accounting functions have become a popular option and will continue to gain popularity as companies want to remain streamlined.  Using an outsourced accounting partner gives companies top accountants to manage their finances while using their limited resources to focus on increasing profitability and grow their passion, which for most is not accounting.

 

How can you adopt this trend? Look at the time you and your employees are spending on accounting functions. Are you staying up late to make sure the accounting is being completed? Do you have limited insight into financial data? Is someone on your team taking away time from their actual job to make sure that invoices are being sent out and getting paid timely? If you don’t have a strategic finance team in place, we urge you to weigh the costs of adding an additional staff member vs. hiring a highly regarded outsourced accounting company vs. the cost of doing nothing about your financial pains.

 

rinehimerbaker is an outsourced cloud accounting company that can do it all. We offer consultation and implementation of cloud-based ERP solutions, outsourced accounting, and more.  Contact our team at accounting@rinehimerbaker.com to find out more about how we can help you keep up with 2020’s biggest accounting trends.


data driven

How Financial Leaders Can Become More Data Driven

 

As we head into the next decade, financial leaders of fast-growing companies are focused on how they can better drive decisions based on real-time data. Having access to financial and operational metrics in real-time can influence strategic company decisions. Below are some ways the tech-savvy leader can continue to evolve.

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1)    Eliminating manual work through technology – The top way that financial leaders can become more data-driven is by eliminating manual work by modernizing technology. Companies that are taking advantage of integrated solutions and automation have shorter month-end close cycles, streamlined processes and reliable, real-time information.  By moving to the right cloud-based financial solution, finance departments gain the ability to use seamless API’s connecting multiple systems in one low maintenance ERP solution. Open API allows organizations to choose the systems that work best for them.  Having integrated systems eliminates duplicate entry, reduces the risk of human error and improves job satisfaction. Utilizing cloud technology allows leaders to have visibility to critical data and attain real-time insights.

2)    Shift the direction of the finance department to value-add analysis – Once manual work has been eliminated, your team can now focus on understanding the story the data is telling and predicting the future. By reducing the amount of time spent recording transactions, resources can be redirected to support organizational initiatives such as cost savings, growth, and pursuing your organization’s strategic mission.

3)    Use financial data to create strategic goals – Financial leaders are in a prime position to drive company goals, set KPI’s and achieve measurable results when they have accurate and timely data.  Key performance metrics may include those related to revenue, margins, sales cycle, or other operational measures of success.  A fully integrated, flexible, cloud-based ERP system allows Finance Leaders the ability to quickly model scenarios and analyze the impacts on revenue, profits and cash flow.

Make this decade one of distinguishing your organization’s strategic vision and differentiate yourself as a leader who adds value, drives growth and sets your CEO up for success.  How? Make technology a priority and move to the cloud. It is the first step in driving your company forward and becoming a data-driven financial leader.

 

Contact rinehimerbaker at accounting@rinehimerbaker.com  to find out how you can become more data-driven.