What Is Broken Can Always Be Fixed, Even in Business
"Why is my business' cash flow so tight?"
"What do I have to do for the IRS to leave my organization alone?"
"I never seem to get ahead on my bookkeeping. How do you do it?"
Here at The Springer Company, we hear these questions from new clients and clients we've been working with for many years. We know how frustrating it feels to always worry about things that should be "easy" in business. Always ready to help, we've got a few tips to help you make running your business a bit easier.
CASH FLOW CONUNDRUMS
When we hear that your business or organization is having some cash flow problems -- more expenses than revenue or maybe receivables are just trickling in -- we know the stress level is reaching dangerous levels.
One of the first ways we help clients is with an extensive review of their accounts receivable process -- who sends invoices, how those invoices are sent, what is on the invoices, and more. For our retail and services industry clients who are more of an instant sale, we still go through a similar process -- how are rates determined, do you accept credit/debit cards, what are your processing fees, etc. We often find that this process alone shows many business owners where there was an unseen flaw in their system or that one person can't do all that is needed.
While cash may reign in the business world, we always try to leverage the client's service style with the solutions we provide while encouraging an open mind to certain types of technology for the heavy lifting. After all, empowering people is the surest way to help increase cash flow.
THE DREADED IRS LETTER
The number one thing we hear from everyone is: "Those letters from the IRS, they just make me so nervous." Well, let us be the first to empower you to take control of your journey when it comes to the IRS.
We know there is a moment of panic when you see that 1970's line art eagle and the bold typeface saying "Internal Revenue Service" on an envelope. The best thing you can do at that moment at the mailbox is to take a deep breath. While many parts of the letter can read like an assembly instruction sheet from your local big-box retailer, know that there are answers to your specific situation in every letter.
One of the first things you should know about the IRS is they read the letters you send back in response. You read that right: write back to the IRS. While it might take a bit longer than a phone call, we find that most situations are resolved more fully because there is written documentation.
Pro Tip: Don't feel like you have to use a thesaurus to respond to the IRS. The agents are people just like us. The more easily you can say something, the better. Just remember to ask for specific actions or items; being vague doesn't help anyone.
[Editor's Note: Yes, Jeremy did find the IRS building in Washington DC when he was there for a government accounting conference in 2018.]
BANISHING THE STACK OF ACCOUNTING PAPERWORK
We have walked into our fair share of accounting offices to find stacks on stacks of paperwork to process, receipts to track, checks to mail, and even some tax returns to file. While the organizing process can seem very overwhelming, know that there is always a path to success.
When we do work with organizations and businesses that have a very paper intensive process, the first thing we try to figure out is if the paper is required or if it is the way it has always been done. We also recognize and reinforce that the process as it exists isn't unsalvageable; it may just need a few adjustments to become the shining star it once was.
One of the most useful suggestions we make to an accounting department buried alive is a simple one -- ask coworkers to take on some of the processing duties. Whether a paper-based system or a paper-less system, asking fellow employees to complete remittance forms accurately, submit correctly formatted receipts, and provide useful notes on the expenses saves countless hours.
Just know that you can always have a partner like The Springer Company in your corner to help you achieve a better cash flow with automated invoicing, provide information to your friends at the IRS with well-crafted communication and documentation, and implement solutions to help your accounting team succeed.
While we are believers in leveraging technology to do the heavy lifting in accounting, we know that there is an art to providing personalized service. Whether we are providing you with first-class support or are part of your team providing top-notch service, we know that when your employees and customers are happy, you're happy. And that makes us happy!
If you're ready to fix what you think is broken with your payroll or bookkeeping, click here to take that first step -- starting the conversation.