For busy professionals, accounting can often be an afterthought. However, the accounting team at your company certainly doesn’t see it that way. And senior executives also recognize that great accounting is vital to making strategic business decisions.
As a treasury management professional, I often see how the differing perspectives of the accounting department and employees can lead to major internal friction. But interacting with your accounting department doesn’t have to be a chore. With a few simple, proactive steps, you can make the process pleasant and easy for all parties and quickly become accounting’s favorite employee.
Keep detailed expense records
Let’s face it: no one in accounting wants to play detective with your expenses or spend weeks tracking down a missing receipt. Submit supporting documents for all filed expenses, including canceled checks, cash register tapes, account statements, credit card sales slips, invoices, and petty cash slips for small cash payments. Great expense records make it quick and easy for accounting to spot the relevant business need for each expense. Clear documentation saves everyone time and effort.
Submit billable hours on time
Tracking and filing expenses and billable hours can be time consuming, and I know that it’s hardly any employee’s favorite activity. The longer you put this process off, however, the more painful it gets. Worse, without this information, accounting can’t bill clients on time, which delays payments and messes with your company’s bottom line. Schedule 15 minutes in your calendar each week to ensure all your expenses and billable hours are up-to-date.
Triple check client payment information
Correcting errors in client payment information is a time-consuming, administrative headache. Avoid mistakes by proofreading client payment instructions:
● Do the invoices accurately reflect the services you provided?
● Are the billable hours correct?
● Is the client address for the invoice up to date?
● Are payment instructions clear?
● Is a purchase order number required, and if so has it been entered?
Taking five minutes to carefully check documentation up front can save hours later on.
Stay on top of past due accounts
Keep track of which clients are past due on payments. Systematically follow up with these clients, if that’s your responsibility. Otherwise, make sure the accounts receivable department has all of the information they need to do their job. Keep a log recording all of your payment-related interactions, including when you last spoke with the client, their response, and any next steps. Careful tracking of client interactions helps to make sure no one is duplicating work and collections are being made efficiently.
Do you have any tips for working better with accounting or methods that have worked for you in the past? I invite you to share more about your approach below in the comments.