Don’t Feel Like a Turkey: Tips to Avoid These 4 Silly Mistakes

 

 

Don’t you hate that feeling?

 

You have worked all week and you are getting ready for the weekend. Exhausted, you head home. As you take a seat every part of you cringes: you made an error and it’s going to cost you.

 

It could cost you in all kinds of ways: time, money, credibility, consistency, peace of mind for the rest of the weekend, to name a few. The real question is, how can we avoid this feeling all together?

 

All together? We can’t. We’re human. But we can certainly lower the frequency by avoiding these 4 mistakes:

 

Mistake #1: Not Taking a Break Before The Final Edit Using These 3 Techniques

Read that first bit again. You are exhausted, and rightly so. It’s is the end of the week. Wrangling coworkers and massaging the numbers are not mental energy light task.  Take a BREAK!

1) two to ten minutes to walk around or stretch but you must be upright and on your feet

2) take a sip or two of a palpably cold beverage (try to avoid heavy eating as it will only exacerbate that tired feeling)

3) let your eyes focus on something from a considerably far distance (out the window, across the office, etc). By doing this you let your eye muscles readjust and relax. Not only can it help your ocular health, but it will help your eyes snag those last few errors in whatever you are working on.

 

Mistake #2: Performing Unnecessary Data Entry Leaving You Vulnerable to a Typing Error

We are typing quickly and one stroke wrong and it is a long headache later until we find the small slip. It’s in these instances we benefit from augmenting ourselves through an automated process.

An automated process is essentially creating your own virtual assistant that runs off and handles the tedious while you knock the important work out of the park.

 

Mistake #3: Working With the Wrong Keyboard or Desk Set Up

Have you ever sat at a desk and laid your hands on a keyboard and the setup felt all wrong?

Whether it be the keyboard you trained yourself to use, the desk height, or the product is plain poor and it is physically uncomfortable no matter how you contort it (I’m looking at you old, clunky keyboards of the early ‘00s), it isn’t working for you.

When it slows down your usual routine and hinders you from comfortably focusing on what needs to get done, you need to resolve it. As a fellow frugal individual I cringe at the idea of purchasing my own keyboard/seat/(desk is a little far) for work but if it will help you do your work mistake free, I would seriously consider it.

Point is, you need a good setting or errors will happen as your physical environment is not conducive to your strongest work.

 

Mistake #4: Did You Really Edit It or Did You Edit it the Way We All Cleaned Our Spaces as Kids?

Maybe you were a meticulous child and have no idea what I’m talking about but I guarantee you know a child like this. When asked to clean up they grab everything and pile it up quickly and shove it away.

The floor is technically clean and the stuff is technically put away, but come time to find anything it is near impossible. You don’t want to edit like that child “cleans” their room. It’s a technicality that in the end hurts you in the long term for some short term relief. Quick, in this case, is not quality.

But how do we keep ourselves from being that kid?

Have an adult keep you accountable 😉 Let your co-workers check you, have checks in place that require you to go through in a responsible, meticulous manner even when you feel like rushing.

Have any additional tips or mistakes to avoid? Comment below or hit us up on Twitter @ProRata !

How to Set Up Controls in Your Accounting Process

You may have seen the recent buzz word control.

 

With GAAP 2018 rules around the corner, even though they never state you must have controls in place, it has made it into the conversation (check out the previously blog post citing BDO).

 

Here’s why:

-Eliminates areas in the process where an error could have occurred

-Ensures compliance

-Ensures reliability and integrity of financial information

-Creates more time in the day to actually peel through your calculations for processes

that can not be automated and are an area where you provide the most value for your

clients

 

Among other ways internal controls have been touted (sources below).

 

So how do you set controls up in your accounting process? Can a spreadsheet be used as an internal control?

 

Controls in the modern accounting process as it relates to software ultimately boil down to automation of redundant tasks or as one client called it: “donkey work.” As seen in the sources, there are additional controls we could hit but they aren’t really new to the space. Let’s hit home automation first.

 

Why a spreadsheet can’t be an internal control: spreadsheets are known for being fraught with business risk (refer to 88% of Spreadsheets blog as well as sources). You could attempt to put controls in places but as noted in Theiia, even those controls are not seen as truly automated controls, free of error. That can really only be provided by an automation tool.

 

What does a good automation tool look like?

Your automation tools should seamlessly integrate with your current accounting software (on-premise, hosted, or cloud) and more often than not, work as both frontend and backend tool. A strong automation tool will allow for you to create the permissions, set it, and forget it. The QuickBooks Online app store has this for just about everything: automate your time tracking for payroll of hourly employees with TSheets or automate your revenue recognition and reporting with ProRata.

 

How to Set-Up Internal Controls for Automation Processes:

With a great internal control i.e. a great business tool, the how-to is simple:

  1. An email or a call giving permission for their dev team to set it up in your current accounting software
  2. Hop on, set the permissions/rules you want the software to follow
  3. Go back to focusing on the parts of your day that truly matter.

 

 

Internal Control Sources:

Washington University (http://f2.washington.edu/fm/fr/internal-controls)

AccountingWEB (http://www.accountingweb.com/community-voice/blogs/admin/six-components-of-good-internal-control-systems-for-smaller-entities)

Small Business Chronicle (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/seven-internal-control-procedures-accounting-76070.html)

Spreadsheet Sources:

https://iaonline.theiia.org/five-common-spreadsheet-risks-and-ways-to-control-them

http://www.prorata.com/blog/revenue-recognition/88-of-the-time-spreadsheets-are-wrong-and-its-not-your-fault-the-importance-of-revenue-recognition-software/

Daylight Savings: Bet You Thought This Article Would be About a Q4 Promotion

     Daylight savings is this weekend and don’t worry, this article is not some cheap word play on the word ‘savings.’

 

     Do we save money and time for our clients?

 

     Of course, that is why you get ProRata.

 

     Is that what this article is about?

 

     No. We respect our readers.

 

     Time to understand this whole 2018 GAAP Compliance. Its scaring the daylights out of people. We’re getting calls.

 

     Let’s fall back on the literature and shed some light on why automating revenue recognition or at the very least getting a CPA to make sure you are absolutely compliant.

 

     The GAAP rules for 2018 have shifted and here are the area you need to look up if it is relevant to your business:

              -As of December 15, 2018, everyone is to be following FASB regulated guidelines (not

               just public companies)

              -SaaS companies will likely be required to make an estimate of “variable consideration”

             including any contingent usage fees or royalties (if you have contingent fees above and

             beyond the usual SaaS business, make sure to go to the FASB website)

               -Keep an eye out for distinct performance obligations as accounting units within a

               customer contract have changed for specific types of obligations (if you have obligations

                above and beyond the usual SaaS business, make sure to go to the FASB website)

               -Anything not covered by the standards previously that one would normally be at the

               company’s disgression must now be reported to standard

     The last three points specifically affects SaaS companies, otherwise it is business as usual. Overall a push for internal controls (automation acts as an internal control, especially of needlessly error-prone processes such as revenue recognition spreadsheets) has been a hallmark of rhetoric surrounding the new guidelines. Additionally, keeping good data that is uniform for investors and auditors is emphasized in compliment to encouraging businesses to have an internal control for obvious reasons such as keeping your business from going under and keeping you out of jail.

 

    Hope this helps! Please comment with questions below or @ProRata on Twitter. Enjoy falling back November 6th!