Good Accounting: The Base for Any Growing Business

Imposed by internet “experts”, the “get rich” business model trend puts all of its focus on planning, branding, and marketing. Though crucial for any growing organization, these strategies are only as profitable as they are built upon sturdy financial support. Though being the only practice that effectively manages your budget, accounting is greatly overlooked by new-fangled business advisors. Its importance, however, is just as paramount as ever.

In fact, flawless bookkeeping is the most solid foundation an aspiring business can procure. Without it, any kind of ROI, progress, or growth would be impossible. Here’s why.

  • Staying on Top of Your Expenses

Running a business is never an easy feat, nor an inexpensive one. Particularly for those entering the market, the costs of launching a startup and running a small company can be overwhelming. However insignificant it may seem in the greater scale of things, even a single pen comes with a price that needs to be included in the overall calculation and run through the books. You might never lose sight of large expenses, but if not properly managed, pennyworths may widen the gap between how much your business spends and how much it earns.

  • Managing Cash Flow

Most commonly, these financial nuances are what makes or breaks a business. For no other reason but profitability, an ambitious entrepreneur has to be aware of every coin that comes in or goes out of the company. If well-situated, small business runners can choose to button up their numbers and keep their books on their own or outsource this sensitive task to an accounting firm. The choice is entirely yours, but it is the one you’ll have to make. Without accurate and transparent books, cash flow management is not possible, and without proper cash flow management, no business can move forward.

  • Evaluating Performance

Speaking of moving forward, accounting is essential for a reason or two more. Staying on top of your books means being aware of everything that happens under your leadership, which enables you to gauge the effectiveness of your current workflow and predict future performance with greater certainty. When clean, financial books will tell you exactly where you stand and in which direction you can go from there. After all, acquiring that kind of insight is what being business-savvy is all about.

  • Planning Ahead

Despite being overly superficial most of the time, the so-called internet experts are right about one thing: a business decision is only as good as it is data-based. Filled with numbers, your books are the ultimate source of financial information, and they should be leveraged as invaluable intelligence bases. With one glance, you’ll know everything about your future options, and be able to set projections, adjust goals and plan strategically.

  • Investing and Growing

If aspiring from a small-sized to a fully-grown business, the investment is the one word you should never use lightly. Every decision you make along the way, every marketing campaign you start, and every project you plan on developing will leave a noticeable trace on your budget. Before choosing to improve by investing in a new business venture, you need to know if is such an investment even possible and whether or not it will be profitable in the long run. Calculations of this magnitude cannot be done without good accounting.

Ultimately, successful businesses know no difference between small expenses and costly investments, and both are impossible to keep track of without an effective bookkeeping system. Whether it comes to applying for loans and filing for tax returns, hiring new people and expanding to new markets, or simply purchasing office supplies and throwing office parties, good accounting is what makes a small business opportunistic and eligible for further growth.

4 Things You Need to Know If You Want to Do Business in Asia

Ever since we entered the 21st century a lot of things have changed rapidly in business. The advancement of technology and the global use of the internet has created many opportunities around the globe. Today there are fewer business barriers than ever before as the whole world is completely connected.

Entrepreneurs and companies can easily get in touch with someone across the globe or acquire information that they need to start their business incentives abroad. Asia is becoming one of the hot markets for business investments, as this region is opening up to the West and offering many opportunities, given the fact that the market is still not saturated.

This is why a lot of people are looking to do some business in the East, no matter if we are talking about finding outsourcing partners or starting up new offices in Asian countries. However, there are certain specifics you need to know about Asia from a business perspective to make sure that everything goes as planned.

1. You will have to connect with locals to help you

A lot of people make a terrible mistake by thinking that they can do everything on their own, without anyone’s help. Even if you travel to the country that you want to do business in, you will never be able to make all the arrangements on your own.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, Asians are unlikely to get into business with a foreigner instantly and give their trust right away. You will need a person that knows the laws, the business environment and has the connections needed to “break into” the market

2.  Understand “the concept of face.”

This is a very important thing when it comes to business in Asia. Simply put, this concept means that you need to avoid shaming anyone with whom you do business and blaming them directly, even if they are the ones responsible for the mistakes that have been made.

When someone “loses face,” it basically means that they lost their reputation as a business person and this might mean the end of your cooperation for good. Be mild when telling someone that they are wrong and always take a part of the blame on yourself as well.

For example, if someone doesn’t understand what you are proposing, excuse yourself and say that you are not clear enough and this is how the whole situation can be resolved without the person losing face.

3. Culture is very important

Bear in mind that Asia is culturally very different than the West and that they pay a lot of attention to things that might not even be considered when doing business in Western countries. In Asia, respect and courtesy matter, so you need to have an open relationship with people.

When someone is aggressive and overly ambitious here, they are considered to be inexperienced. Learn some local expressions if you cannot comprehend the language, as this shows that you respect the country you are in. Also, make sure that your business incentives don’t clash with the religious beliefs in the country you are in.

4. Luxurious brands are well-received in Asia

Luxurious western brands which sell “cool” stuff are usually accepted quite readily by the Asian people. Asia is becoming more and more connected to the West, and people there love adopting Western culture and gadgets, as they find them incredibly cool. Still, it’s important that your products deliver the user experience that is promised or your audience will quickly turn on you.

Remember that Asia is a growing market and that there are many business opportunities lurking in this part of the world. In the end, make sure that you respect the country that you want to do business in, and that you never think of Asia as one big country, as there are many differences between all the different countries.

A man at the glass-desk with laptop. An image from kaboompics.com.

5 Ways Outsourcing Your Payroll Can Improve Work-Life Balance

Written by Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliances at SD Worx.

Outsourcing Payroll

There are plenty of reasons why outsourcing payroll strategies can be hugely beneficial to your company. Typically, it is the financial arguments that are used, not the emotional ones. However, there are many ways in which outsourcing your payroll can improve the wellbeing of your employees and can restore their work-life balance.

It’s well known that happier employees are much more likely to commit themselves fully whilst at work, bringing increased employee retention rates. Yet, many employers don’t realise that changing your payroll strategy can have an incredibly positive effect on the happiness of your employees. Here’s five reasons why:

1. Reduced workload

If your team is overworked and understaffed, an outsourced payroll strategy is the perfect way to get things back on track. An outsourced payroll strategy takes away the need to recruit and train an additional team member, and can dramatically reduce the workload of your staff much more quickly than getting a new member of staff.

Reducing this workload will make your employees instantly happier as the amount of potential overtime required will fall. Working fewer extra hours will allow employees to improve their work-life balance and will free up time for them to do the things they really love outside of work.

2. Reassuring the workforce

Payroll duties are sometimes given to members of staff who already have packed schedules with their own duties and responsibilities, which can lead to an anxious workforce.

Some employees may also feel concerned about other staff members having full access to their salary details. Moreover, relying on an over-tasked employee to process payroll can create tension for employees who expect to be paid accurately and on time each month.

By outsourcing payroll, an impartial person has access to salary details, which will eliminate any personal tensions surrounding payroll. Knowing that an outside specialist has sole responsibility will also reassure employees that their payroll matters are being taken care of, leading to a more relaxed workforce, a better work-life balance, and a better company culture.

3. No delays

Internal payroll managers are subject to the same demands on their time as everyone else in your company. If a company is going through a busy period where everybody’s help is required to solve an urgent issue or meet an external deadline, those members of your team responsible for payroll are no exception to this.

By outsourcing your payroll to specialist company, you hand over a big responsibility that would require lots of time, money and pressure on payroll employees. The payroll process becomes the outsourcing company’s top priority, so the internal team can focus on other tasks. There are few things which disgruntle an employee more than delayed pay, so offer your employees guaranteed on time payment by using an outsourcing partner to handle your payroll.

4. Lifting the pressure

Managing payroll is a huge responsibility, since you are personally responsible for the livelihoods of everyone in the company, many of which will be close personal friends and colleagues. This can put a lot of moral burden on an employee.

Outsourcing your payroll removes the personal element, as the person making sure that everybody is paid each month won’t individually know the people whom they are paying. Taking this emotional burden away from one of the members of your staff will relieve them of a huge weight, meaning that they are less likely to have to put in long hours to get the payroll sorted in time and will be able to regain a much better work-life balance.

5. Lead by example

Making a positive action such as changing the way you run your payroll will have a trickle-down effect throughout the business. Firstly, it will show employees that their payroll is an essential part of the business, and will lead the way for other changes in different areas and departments.

Many workplaces suffer by not adapting their strategies as the business grows and develops. Outsourcing your payroll strategy is a great example to show your teams of how to be proactive about making changes for the better that will set the business up well for its next phase. You’ll be amazed at how influential such a decision can be, and how large an impact it can have on the mindset of your workers.


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HR Outsourcing May Steady the Path to Success

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For years, HR outsourcing (HRO) has begrudgingly worn a label of dedication to small businesses. Yes, there are incredible merits for small businesses within this stereotype, however the advantages of an outsourced Human Resources department show benefits for organizations of all sizes.

Recent statistics have pulled back the curtains to reveal increased reliance on HROs for business-related tasks. A global Deloitte study found that more than 35 percent of respondents already measure the value of their HRO, with another 32% planning increases in Human Resources over the next year.

And while some attribute Human Resource outsourcing to small business ventures, the industry is exploding. Outsourcing firms are expected to generate $53.9 billion in business by 2020.

The figures are clear, but for business owners thinking of making the shift, the advantages must offer total compliance satisfaction in order for the investment to pay dividends. If leaders can trust an outsourcing firm to manage daily tasks, long-term strategic goals can take center stage to focus on the business’s long term growth and needs.

So why are more organizations outsourcing the functions of HR, and is it truly achieving the goals it sets to satisfy?

HROs Reduce Company Risk

Over the past decade, workplace case complexity has increased almost across the board. Especially for startups and small businesses, the resources exhausted throughout workplace investigations quickly become overwhelming. HR professionals, likewise, are not experts in all fields of law and sometimes untrained to handle complex caseloads.

A HRO mitigates these risks by remaining up-to-date on all local, state, and federal regulations the organization must comply with. Likewise, they have the benefit of conducting unbiased, thorough, and timely investigations that reach clear conclusions and move the organization beyond the situation.

Although HR is not directly a profit center for businesses, it does minimize risk, create better efficiencies, and save money from being lost or spent unnecessarily. So even though HR might not be bringing in revenue, it can directly help with keeping more profit for the company.

Because minor oversights can cause costly delay, or worse, litigation, it is important for organizations to trust their workplace investigations with HR professionals who are experts in the field of risk mitigation and fair procedures.

HROs Meet Compliance Standards

A must for organizations of all sizes, compliance standards have the nasty habit of constant updates and overhauls, delays and reversals. It is imperative that businesses keep up-to-date with all standards expected within their industry and state–which can become overwhelming for an HR team already overloaded with important tasks.

But compliance means more than regulatory satisfaction. HR compliance is an umbrella term that may include things like cultural obligations, the ACA, licenses, collective bargaining, separation, and a slew of other considerations.

And organizations aren’t just worried about keeping up, they’re also tasked with recognizing any variances between their own policies and applicable laws.

Typically, the HRO chosen immediately focuses on compliance standards and potential issues, reducing risk and assuring satisfaction. Their goal is to provide a strategy that replaces any potentially damaging policies and reviews your policy regularly in line with updates to law.

Without this burden, organizations are freed from surrendering in-house time and resources to keeping up with regularly changing laws and reviewing their policies.

HROs Prove Financially Beneficial

Especially for smaller businesses (it’s a hard-to-shake label), a HRO is simply more cost-effective than hiring a full-time, in-house HR professional.

For companies of all sizes, there are smaller benefits that HR outsourcing brings with it. More office space without an HR team allows the organization to grow in workforce without concern for office overpopulation. In fact, a recent Deloitte study found that of those surveyed, a healthy 47 percent chose to outsource based on its solution to capacity issues.

Efficiency and productivity are influenced by office design, and outsourcing HR satisfies the conditions for a more efficient, productive workspace.

HROs Provide More Affordable Group Rates

Healthcare affordability is a top concern for employees. Not only that, but those who receive affordable health care coverage through their employer are more likely to find satisfaction in the job. Prudential Financial Inc found that 46% of employers were either outsourcing or looking to outsource the requirements of the ACA.

Because HROs work with many companies, they can take advantage of reduced bulk pricing. For small and large businesses, this provides quality coverage for employees at lower costs.

The advantages of an HRO for group rates extends beyond the coverage employees receive. Because of the ever-changing ACA requirements, with sweeping changes on the way, administrative costs are cut sifting through constant updates.

For organizations with an HR team, outsourcing health care oversight to an HRO minimizes the burden on HR while preventing easily-made mistakes.

HROs Strengthen Recruiting Methods

As companies turn to more strategic, aggressive recruiting methods, outsourcing this HR function has become more widely popular. Organizations are “becoming increasingly inventive to attract and retain valuable candidates”, Byrne Mulrooney told SHRM earlier in 2016.

Because many HR teams are unequipped to attract top talent in a way larger organizations can, the task is being outsourced to companies specializing in the field, like Mulrooney’s. When combined with bolstered benefits, appeal to organizations outsourcing these functions is elevated on a budget.

Choosing one or more HR function to outsource is smart organizational planning. Freeing up resources and time to focus on the growth of the company allows leaders to plan for long-term growth and goals. As the industry continues to grow, it will undoubtedly change the roles of internal HR teams, aligning them with more strategic functions over day-to-day tasks.


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