Assistance for complex transactions
Businesses in non-financial service industries such as healthcare, fashion, food & beverage, or the arts may not have the accounting know-how needed to keep the financial side of their operations in order. Support from an independent accounting firm or outsourcing all financial housekeeping tasks altogether is both convenient and cost-effective for businesses of any size, at any stage of their development.
We have a team in place to enable businesses to address specific accounting, payroll, and tax compliance issues. Our team adopts a practical and pragmatic approach to help businesses review these issues along with their corresponding requirements to identify what the true risks are for them. This makes sure that any review or solution is entirely suitable for a business and not a “one size fits all” solution.
Many of these solutions may now be automated and made even more convenient using cloud accounting software.
Better bookkeeping for better performance
Whether a business owner prefers a hands-on approach to accounting or would rather leave everything to an accountant, our accounting services team helps to maintain the financial health of a business by making sure records are prepared systematically and consistently. These records include transactions such as payables and receivables, profit and loss statements as well as payroll processing.
Making sure the books are in order is essential for avoiding penalties due to bookkeeping errors, as well as for spotting and minimizing cash drains and mismanaged funds.
Cloud accounting for better efficiency
More and more businesses as well as their accounting services providers are making the switch to cloud accounting, or web-based accounting platforms, not only for ease and convenience but also to ensure the accuracy and security of their financial information. It also makes it easier for business owners and accountants to access and collaborate on the same financial records, making accounting processes more transparent and facilitating communication.
Our team uses up-to-date cloud accounting software and can help businesses upgrade their own accounting systems the same way, as well as provide cloud accounting familiarisation support to in-house staff.
Our Accounting Services include
To take the necessary steps toward growth, business owners need a truthful representation of how well the business is doing. To create this representation, various reports must be prepared and the data within them must be analyzed:
- Cash flow
These reports are formal records that, when interpreted correctly, can give business owners insight into areas of the business that are doing well and maybe built upon, or areas that need improvement.
Business decisions that are made without first being informed by these reports may be regarded as blind decisions, and reports that merely record data without accompanying analyses may be said to be purposeless. This makes these reports indispensable not just to business owners and key decision-makers but to investors and government authorities, as well.
Financial Reporting and Analysis are required by law, primarily for taxation purposes, but they are also vital to shareholders who are entitled to information on the performance of a business they have invested in. Banks and other financial institutions that may be approached by a business for a loan will likewise want to inspect these reports.
Standardised and customised
Because of the many ways in which Financial Reporting and Analysis may be carried out, over 110 countries around the world have agreed to standardize these methods by using International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS. Note that Philippine Financial Reporting Standards or PFRS are fully aligned with IFRS.
Also, note that the US has its own Financial Reporting standards known as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP and that any reports prepared for European countries must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Finally, though China and India use IFRS, they have adjusted them to some extent to suit their country’s needs.
More than a requirement
Business owners may look upon Financial Reporting and Analysis as just another requirement to meet, but there are several benefits from preparing and analyzing these reports:
- Facilitates the management of a business’ liabilities such as lines of credit or loans
- Simplifies debt management by making it easy to keep tabs on a business’ liquidity
- Recognises trends which enable business process adjustments
For Financial Reports that are prepared more frequently, such as monthly or quarterly reports, updating and checking on these in real-time makes it possible to make quick or agile, yet informed decisions that make sure the business remains liquid. Using Financial Reporting software also helps to progressively enhance business efficiency.
If the business value is defined as how much an entire business is worth, Corporate Finance focuses on achieving the highest possible business value for a corporation. To this end, our team provides services such as:
- Assisting in developing corporate strategies
- Identifying possible targets for the client to acquire
- Advising on disposal transactions
- Assisting in finance raising transactions
We also work with the business’ Corporate Finance department to find funding for major initiatives, make sound investment choices, facilitate investment banking, and design its capital structure.
Specific examples of ways in which we assist corporations include choosing between taking out a loan from a bank or selling shares as a means of funding an expansion project; making capital budgeting decisions, and choosing between capital investment options.
We also help with determining the dividend amount due to shareholders to maximize shareholder value. Our team also facilitates the kind of provisional decision-making that influences business operations, making sure that the corporation remains liquid enough to ensure uninterrupted operations.
A broader perspective.
Instead of concentrating on a specific aspect of the business, accounting for Corporate Finance uses tools in assessing the business’ overall ability to continue operations and to remain competitive in its vertical. As such, our team may also perform functions including:
- Risk analysis and management
- Raising capital
- Making financial forecasts
In helping key decision-makers choose a course of action to take in maximizing business value, accounting provides them with methods for calculating the impact of their management activities on corporate profit. These methods include standards in the form of budgets which may be prepared with assistance from accounting.
Because of this general, rather than localized perspective, accounting for Corporate Finance provides the data used by department or project heads in designing specific business processes. This is enabled by Corporate Finance accounting’s focus on data alone, excluding other decision-making factors such as market developments and corporate culture.
Key accounting activities.
Strengthening a corporation’s financial position through capital investments is one of the essential tasks with which our team can help a business. In so doing, we help to determine the business’ capital expenditure, identify projects to allocate resources, and calculate the expected revenue from potential capital projects.
We can also help to source capital either through bank loans, selling shares, or issuing debt securities, all while making sure that shareholder value isn’t compromised. Our team likewise helps to ensure liquidity by offering commercial papers or unsecured loans or obtaining extra credit for the short term.
Often contrasted with an Audit, Compilations present detailed financial information in an easily digestible form without confirming the information’s validity. This information includes:
- Assets and liabilities
- Income and cash flow
Third-party or independent Certified Public Accountants are usually engaged for Compilations by businesses without their own accounting team, although businesses that do have in-house accountants aren’t disqualified from tapping them for this purpose. Note that in the Philippines, the Board of Accountancy (BoA) requires a CPA to be BoA-accredited before signing off on a Compilation Certificate.
Also, note that accountants who detect significant inaccuracies may be compelled to withdraw from a Compilation engagement as a matter of principle. Though they aren’t required to vouch for the accuracy of the information, accountants are mandated to present information that confirms any suspected, deliberate misstatements.
While CPAs also aren’t required to have an in-depth understanding of the industry that the business belongs to, they do need to have a sufficient grasp of how the business works to be able to prepare a satisfactory Compilation.
Not an audit.
Because the information in a Compilation doesn’t have to be verified the way it has to be in an Audit, a Compilation is faster and costs less to complete, making it the go-to statement is both time-sensitive and cost-sensitive situations. However, anyone using the Compilation must take note of the fact that the information in it isn’t verified or audited.
While some parties may be satisfied with Compilations as a financial statement, there are institutions—such as financing companies and others that offer loans—which will accept nothing less than a fully audited statement. Even so, a Compilation does have the merit of having been prepared by a CPA with due professional skill and care
Compiling the facts.
In preparing a Compilation, the CPA collects documents that confirm the amounts on a business’s financial statements and looks for errors in the data. Again, while the CPA isn’t required to verify the data, they may ask the business owners about issues regarding the documents which may include:
- Bank statements
- General ledger / list of transactions
- Investment statements
- Loan balances
If the CPA corrects any errors, these corrections need to be recorded in a journal. The CPA will also have to submit a compilation report that says that the information within reflects the management of the business and that the information hasn’t been audited and therefore doesn’t provide any assurance.
As an integral part of running a business of any size, accounting is an ongoing process that requires training and experience to carry out the right way. Businesses without in-house accounting professionals may lack the local day-to-day bookkeeping know-how or the necessary skills for reviewing document sources promptly for their own activities or transaction processing.
Outsourced Accounting can help these businesses, as well as support the in-house accounting teams of larger businesses in the following ways:
- On an ad hoc or retainer basis
- On a seasonal or per project basis
- On a basis which is customised to the business’ specific needs
Outsourced Accounting is a cost-efficient way for businesses to make up for their manpower or man-hour deficiencies in maintaining the necessary records or complying with regulatory requirements. It saves them from having to hire and provide benefits for full-time accounting staff, as well as costly penalties incurred by not having the relevant competencies.
How to choose a firm.
Businesses in the process of selecting an accounting firm to outsource must bear in mind that the firm they choose will be handling its confidential financial information. The firm they choose must be able to inspire them with confidence that their records will be in safe and competent hands.
Business owners are responsible for finding out essential details such as the firm’s credentials, cloud accounting software, and fee structure. They may refer to reviews or recommendations from industry peers.
As one of the world’s leading business process outsourcing destinations, the Philippines is popular with the overseas business community for Outsourced Accounting. The country is home to a highly skilled, English-proficient workforce in general, as well as over 188,000 CPAs (as of 2018) in particular; has low labor and living costs, and offers several incentives for global businesses.
How outsourcing helps.
Many businesses that outsource their accounting liken it to having their own or expanding their own accounting team, as they’re able to delegate tasks which include:
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Customer billing and vendor records
- Expense reviews and processing
- Financial report analysis
- General accounting
- Invoice processing
- Payroll processin
Communication is key to making the relationship work between a business and its Outsourced Accounting firm. Both must agree from the outset on the means and frequency of communication as well as the division of responsibilities, timelines, and accounting objectives.
Making sure of the correctness of financial records is essential for businesses of any size, not just because it’s a statutory or regulatory requirement, but also because of the significant role, it has to play in a business’ growth.
There are many different kinds of Accounts Reconciliation which include:
- Bank reconciliation
- Business reconciliation
- Cash account reconciliation
- Customer reconciliation
- Inter-company reconciliation
- Receivables and payables
- Vendor reconciliation
Finding and rectifying discrepancies in a business’s financial records and transactions is crucial in that it can detect fraud or the misuse of funds and prevent errors, as well as explain irregularities. It also serves as the foundation for ensuring the accuracy of the financial statements that are based on these records.
Frequent and regular Accounts Reconciliation is highly recommended, as the longer a business goes without performing this task, the more difficult it becomes to back-track and verify the necessary documents. Many businesses outsource this function to an accounting services provider precisely because of this frequency, as well as the attention to detail and the particular skill set required.
Balancing the books.
There are many ways to perform Accounts Reconciliation, of which double-entry accounting —where each transaction is recorded in no less than two places—is among the most preferred. Another method is account conversion, where a business compares its ledger entries to receipts, cheques, and other such documents.
Where Accounts Reconciliation was traditionally done by hand using ledgers and spreadsheets, larger and more active businesses have increasingly turned to cloud accounting solutions to facilitate and automate this process of comparison as well as reduce the risk of error.
The general steps involved in the Accounts Reconciliation process include:
- Collating all the relevant documents
- Confirming that all incoming and outgoing funds are correctly recorded
- Comparing these records with records from the bank
- Correcting errors as well as confirming the causes behind them
Banks, individuals and businesses.
The most common kind of Account Reconciliation, Bank reconciliation entails comparing bank records to a business’ in-house records. It helps a business monitor its own liquidity and keep tabs on expenditures, as well as avoid the inconvenience resulting from bounced cheques, missed payments, and the like.
Note that Account Reconciliation is crucial for individual or self-employed professionals as well as businesses and that though the processes involved may differ in scale, they are similar in nature. The documents used in Account Reconciliation for individuals, for instance, may include bank statements and credit card receipts, while those for businesses may include balance sheets, income statements, and general ledgers.
Going over budget and underestimating the time needed is among, if not the most common causes of project failure. Yet many businesses struggle with this fundamental yet crucial aspect of every successful project, often because of a vague understanding of what Project Accounting entails and how it differs from standard accounting.
Project Accounting tracks the progress of a specific project from a financial perspective to make sure that:
- Work on a project is continuous and completed on time
- Resources are used effectively and efficiently
- Correct and accurate billing is carried out
Apart from the big picture/business-wide view versus the per-project view of standard or “business as usual” accounting and Project Accounting, both disciplines have key differences in their level of detail and how reports are prepared. Project Accounting has a start and end date that is far more detailed, reports more frequently, and involves forecasting to help project managers make sure that the goals for every stage of the project are met.
Larger businesses find Project Accounting particularly useful because of the way it helps to make sure everyone working on a project is on the same page, even if they’re from separate teams or departments.
Every step counts
Project Accounting may cover one or more internal projects of a business or projects that a business carries out as a service for a client or on a client’s behalf. Examples of projects that require the expertise of a Project Accountant include:
- Construction or development projects
- Marketing campaigns
- Market research
- Media events
- Movie productions
- Product development or launches
The job of the Project Accountant (who is ideally a CPA) begins even before the project is underway when the project leaders assign responsibilities to different team members and determines how each member’s contributions to the project will be recorded. The project budget is then broken down and every expense is recorded according to the project’s objectives. Periodic reviews also enable project leaders to make timely decisions as they assess the progress being made.
Quantifying project progress
To help these key decision-makers figure out how well a project is progressing, Project Accountants use different calculation methods which include comparing costs, tracking how much work was put in, and how much time was spent. This allows them to give project leaders a percentage of the project’s completion. Note how certain calculation methods, as well as billing structures, will be better suited to certain project types.
The reports resulting from these calculations will tell business owners and/or their clients what they most want to know—whether their project was a worthy investment. Software that has been specifically designed for Project Accounting can go a long way toward facilitating the preparation and ensuring the reliability of these reports.
At first, blush, compensating staff at the end of every payment period may seem simple enough—but once taxes, deductions, adjustments, and other requirements are factored in, payroll accounting for even a single employee can quickly become quite complicated. In summation, payroll accounting involves:
- Maintaining up-to-date staff records and documenting staff attendance
- Calculating compensation and deductions
- Reporting and remitting regulatory requirements
Though payroll is primarily a function of accounting, many businesses have their human resources team either handle it themselves or work on it with the accounting department or an independent firm that specializes in Payroll Outsourcing.
Because of the complexity involved, many larger or growing businesses choose to outsource their payroll accounting not just for convenience but for several other benefits. Engaging the services of an accounting firm for payroll, for instance, helps a business ensure its compliance with tax laws and other regulations covering social security and other benefits.
Note that payroll accounting varies between countries and that an accounting firm that provides payroll services for businesses overseas will have to be well versed in those particular countries’ payroll processes. Also note that full-service Payroll Outsourcing may not be cost-efficient for smaller businesses and that the business, rather than the accounting firm, may be financially liable for any errors in calculation.
Accounting and liabilities.
On top of calculating salaries and other payables earned by staff, payroll accountants have several other responsibilities in preparing and disbursing compensation, which include withholding taxes, social security, and other contributions for the business owners and staff. These responsibilities include:
- Arranging payment orders
- Calculating loan repayments
- Issuing digital or hard copy payslips
- Filing taxes for individual employees
- Preparing payroll reports and journals
In the Philippines, payroll accountants are mandated to withhold contributions for the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development and Mutual Fund (HDMF).
It’s also the responsibility of the payroll accountants to manage payroll liabilities, or a business’ pending, payroll-related debts. Examples of these liabilities include salaries that haven’t been paid yet, taxes and contributions that have yet to be remitted, and even pay for the services of the Payroll Outsourcing firm.
Payroll best practices
Once time-consuming and labor-intensive as a rule, payroll accounting systems have evolved certain best practices to help facilitate processing and transitioning from one accounting period to the next. These best practices include having reserve cash on hand to make sure the payroll will always be paid out on time in case times get tough.
Payroll accountants would also do well to have reminders in place for when payments are due and to keep tabs on their respective deposit or disbursement schedules. Many businesses also make it a point to have a separate bank account for just their payroll.
It’s also highly recommended for businesses to use payroll accounting software like Peachtree and Quickbooks which combines the traditional payroll and payroll disbursement journals into a single, automated ledger.