How to Put Strategic Accounting at the Center of Your Business Strategy

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Key Takeaways

  • Review your accounting practices often to ensure your organization’s financial operations run effectively.
  • Assess whether your current accounting tools and technology are efficient and help your organization reach its goals.
  • Be prepared for future expansion by having up-to-date accounting systems that can easily provide essential financial information to make data-driven decisions.

Accounting is so much more than an administrative requirement. It’s the cornerstone of your organization’s success. And when you approach it strategically, applying the most relevant, effective technology, your accounting function can deliver timely insight into your financial operations.

A strategic approach to your financial operations will ensure you have the information needed to make data-driven decisions, the latest technology to streamline your processes, and a team with specialized accounting knowledge so you can focus on what matters – your mission.

The Importance of Prioritizing Strategic Accounting Practices

Regularly reviewing your organization’s accounting practices will ensure your financial operations run efficiently. In addition, providing education so that every senior leader, executive director, or business owner understands the basics of accounting and your strategy will help build key internal support so that you can take the steps needed to ensure your organization’s accounting is up-to-date and accurate. If not, the consequences could be detrimental to your organization. 

Benefits of Strategic Accounting Practices

Strategic accounting practices can improve financial operations and enhance organizational value.

Taking a strategic approach to your financial operations can help you:

  • Gain oversight of your finances and operations, which can lead to valuable insight into your business and its future
  • Use your financial data to evaluate risk and help avoid the time-consuming and costly consequences that can disrupt your financial operations
  • Boost your organization’s profitability and increase its value
  • Identify and address cash flow issues
  • Forecast returns on investment of capital expenditures

Consequences of Inefficient Accounting Practices

Inefficient accounting practices within your organization may:

  • Limit growth potential and your ability to recover in the event of an economic downturn
  • Increase stress and employee turnover in your accounting department
  • Negatively impact or eliminate potential buy-sell transaction opportunities for your organization
  • Create significant cash flow problems that can disrupt your business operations

If your organization is not prioritizing accounting and following best practices, it could veer off course and negatively impact critical business decisions.

When your organization optimizes accounting, you’ll optimize your business. You’ll find that taking a strategic approach to getting ahead of any disruptions and capitalizing on opportunities will ultimately result in improved financial operations.

Good business decisions are born out of having the right strategy in place. Your senior leaders, executive directors, and business owners can help move the strategic agenda forward when they stay involved and support the accounting department.

How to Take a Strategic Approach to Your Financial Operations

To take a strategic approach to your financial operations, you should:

  • Create goals and objectives: Your leaders and the accounting team should clearly understand your organization’s vision and mission before designing goals and objectives.
  • Gather and analyze data: Gather data from your organization’s leadership team and other sources, then analyze and translate it into goals, objectives, and a tangible plan. This analysis should provide you with the details that will support your strategic plan.
  • Formulate a strategy, then implement it: After you’ve analyzed the data, design and implement your strategic plan. Monitor and evaluate your plan to ensure it aligns with the agreed-upon goals and objectives. Refine it when needed.
  • Monitor and evaluate the strategy: Developing a strategic approach is circular rather than linear. The data in your plan should align with your organization’s overall strategy.

The right digital solutions are essential to keep your organization running smoothly. Digital solutions can improve operations and increase organizational value by automating your processes, helping ensure regulatory compliance, providing secure transactions, and better managing the risk of fraud. Access to updated technology can also empower you with real-time insights critical for strategic decision-making.

With rapid changes in the digital economy year after year, your organization may need to rethink your traditional policies and operations. Making changes now will improve your efficiency in the present, increase your value, and allow you to be better prepared for the future. If you have plans to scale in the coming years, recent research shows that improving your organization’s ability to learn, innovate, and seek good ideas regardless of their origin is one key to thriving in the future.

Strategic Accounting is a Good Business Strategy

If your organization lacks the technology, industry knowledge, market expertise or strategic foresight to achieve your vision for the future – you’re not alone.

Hiring an in-house accounting team is not always easy or affordable. And individuals with specialized accounting expertise can be difficult to find in an ever-changing job market. This is why some organizations choose to outsource their accounting and finance needs.

Rather than hiring internal employees or specialists, many organizations outsource to complement their team’s skill sets and knowledge and raise the level of what their organization can do.

Outsourcing is simply hiring a trusted advisor such as a consultant, freelancer, or accounting firm. These experienced professionals can add value to your organization in either an interim or full-time capacity.

Outsourcing allows your organization to:

  • Successfully scale quickly and strategically
  • Plan and prepare for the future – including the unexpected
  • Provide specialized expertise, resources, and technology
  • Support the organization’s long-term goals

Raise the Level of What Your Organization Can Do

Taking a strategic approach to your accounting functions can provide valuable insights into your organization's financial operations. By utilizing the latest technology, specialized accounting knowledge, and data-driven decision-making, you can focus on achieving your mission with confidence and success.

We understand your financial needs may be ever-changing that’s why our experienced advisors come at all levels: chief financial officer, controller, bookkeeper, accountant, payroll, and other more. Our team is here help you prioritize strategic accounting and make data-driven decisions that will improve your operations and enhance organizational value.

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About the Author(s)

Jenni Huotari

Jenni M. Huotari, CPA

Partner/Business Outsourcing Practice Leader
Jenni is a numbers nerd who helps small and mid-sized businesses grow. She leads a team of dedicated professionals who work with business clients to better understand their financial picture and make educated and strategic decisions for their companies.