The importance of getting the basics right

I had a great conversation with a talented bookkeeper the other day. We chatted about our experiences of producing useful & relevant financial reports and at one point she struggled a bit to articulate a point she was trying to make. Eventually, she sighed and settled on: “Sh*t goes in, sh*t comes out!”

We laughed but it also got me thinking. Whilst we can design wonderful dashboards, graphs and reports to support decision making, if the data we are inputting to the system is poor quality or flawed, then so will the output be. That makes for poor business decision making and we all know where that leads.

That’s why getting back to basics and ensuring your financial reporting systems are built on solid (and accurate) foundations is so crucial.

There’s often a lot of talk in finance professional circles of the more glamourous, high tech roles that make up a great team and, don’t get me wrong, they are important. A great team is only great because of the different strengths that each member brings to the table.

Maybe it’s an attempt to throw off the grey, boring image finance is often associated with but in so doing we can forget the importance of a great bookkeeper. Being able to trust your numbers brings a strength to the team that should not be under-estimated.

Poor financial information can also seriously impact your business growth plans. Getting the basics right in financial reporting could be the difference between business growth and business failure.

Technical wizardry definitely has its place but never under-estimate the importance of a great bookkeeper. Attention to detail, accuracy as well as care & pride being taken in the reconciled, organised presentation of financial information should all be attributes your bookkeeper possesses in spades. And if you’ve got one like that – hang on to them, they’re worth their weight in gold!

When I set up The Smart Team to provide flexible finance services to fast-growing businesses, I was really clear that we must never lose sight of the importance of good, old-fashioned, attention to detail and accuracy. It’s at the core of what we do: – taking care to get the basics right first and then building slick & effective processes to manage compliance, develop the finance team and position your business for growth. It all starts with sound financial information that you can trust to inform and improve your decision making.

What value do you place on getting the basics right?

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