What is a Standard Operating Procedure and why do you need them? Are they beneficial even for small businesses?

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What complicated your prep work for year-end review? Were you missing details needed in order to invoice your customers, whom, by the way, wanted to spend their tax dollars before the 31st? Were you working to reconcile your vendor statement and discovered you are still missing receipts or details from back in July, that you didn’t follow-up on? Do you have all the W9 forms you need from vendors you paid throughout the year?

Whatever the scenario is, why not learn from it. Change up your procedures to avoid the same mistakes in 2020. Take steps now to work and improve the flow of your bookkeeping, by creating procedures, SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Your company doesn’t need to be a large company with hundreds of employees to benefits from putting in place and following procedures.

Start by getting an outline of each position – not person, position – in your company. Then break it down into steps. If there are tasks that involve more than one position, those in the roles should work as a team. The goal is to, literally, walk step by step through the procedure to recreate the completed task.

Some of it may seem, elementary or tedious, but whatever action is required to complete the task, then it should be in the SOP. Creating operating procedures for each department can encompass the entire department, or be broken down into sections or sub-departments, like a workflow chart.

Example-when a new customer contacts your company, what is the procedure? Is it different if the contact is made in person or via your website ‘Contact Us’ section? How does that procedure move the customer to purchasing your products or service? Your SOP should define that. If there is no procedure to follow-up with potential customers, money is walking out of your door and into your competitors. The customer came to you because they want to buy what you have. Give them that opportunity to do so.

Developing procedures allows you to find holes in the systems, giving you opportunities to fix them. The unforeseen benefit, this can greatly benefit your bottom line. Maybe you are a manufacturer and you have someone tossing scraps from the cuts they are making in the sheet of metal. In the other end of your assembly line, and another department is ordering small sections of metal at a high cost due to the required prep work to create this inventory item. Lightbulb moment, potentially you have what you need right in your own factory. But you only discover this because you have an SOP.

Keeping your supervisor involved is also important. They will be the final review for revisions and to ensure flows between departments, are seamless. SOP will continue to evolve, change and need reviewed. It isn’t a one and done. Continue to refer and utilize the documents to ensure accurate and relevant to your company’s growth and changes.

My dad would say, ‘a loss is only a loss, if you don’t learn from it’. Take the opportunity to turn your frustration from the year-end prep work, into a lesson, using that energy to catapult you into a better ending this year. Create, review, and revise your SOP today. December 31, 2020 will be here soon. If you need help developing your financial procedures, contact us. We bring years of experience to the table in a multitude of industries.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Tammy Stifel
OrganizerForU
Bookkeeping | New Businesses | Quickbooks
p. 515.988.7532
e. tammy@organizerforu.com

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A little more about us:
We guide, assist and manage your bookkeeping operations, customizing our service to fit within your needs, budget and timeframe.

Services include:

Providing daily, weekly, monthly or occasional BOOKKEEPING SERVICES. We assist to the degree that meets your needs and your budget. We provide you with a clear picture of your finances.

  • Handling A/P and A/R entries, monthly financial reports, yearly audit assistance, state banking regulation audits, payroll processing, sales tax filing, and developing and implementing work-flow systems to ensure documentation requirements are accurate and complete.
  • Creating the foundation for a cost-effective accounting system for NEW BUSINESSES, and those working to get more established, then providing customized, agreed-upon bookkeeping services contracting with clients for a clear understanding of the services to be provided.
  • SCRUTINIZING existing financials to determine more timely, accurate and EFFICIENT bookkeeping options.
  • Training of bookkeeping personnel in QUICKBOOKS as a Certified ProAdvisor.
    Examining financials to provide DECISION-MAKING INFORMATION regarding financial department personnel needs, resources and timing for product and service expansion, financial strategies for real estate or asset purchases, etc.
    MANAGING your books in a way that allows YOU to do what YOU DO BEST, sell your product or provide your services, while staying as involved in the bookkeeping as needed for proper management of your financials.
    CONSULTING on-call for client financial questions.

OrganizerForU offers a 20- to 30-minute complementary phone consultation. We value your time and we know that time efficiency is cost effective. During our call, we listen as you describe the current financial situation of your business, asking the right questions to determine how our services can meet your needs. We take time to briefly explain how our services are provided, to ensure we are a good fit for your needs and situation.

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