Outsourcing Accounting

5 Tips To Securing Payroll Data

Posted on 07/11/2017

Employees’ Payroll Data is highly sensitive and needs to be treated with the utmost care – but you already knew that. At Velan Bookkeeping we provide outsourced bookkeeping services to CPAs and a part of our service platter is outsourced payroll management. In this post, we’re going to cover 5 great ways Payroll can be secured.

It takes more effort than just classifying your Payroll as “Confidential”, to implement security and confidentiality in real! You got to take some strong steps and implement some robust practices if you are to avoid falling victim to cybercrime. In today’s berated cybercrime landscape, data breaches to hackers is what coffee is to us! Notwithstanding how perplexing that sounds, it pretty much real and our first line of defense against such breaches is proper training and careful oversight.

From human errors to outdated virus protections, we’re going to discuss 5 ways liabilities find a way inside our system. This post will outline how we can effectively tackle these common yet terrifying threats. As an outsourced payroll service provider, we stay up-to-date and consistently work with an upper hand on information security when dealing with clients’ data. It goes without saying that Velan Bookkeeping is your perennial partner when it comes to protecting your payroll data, thanks to years of experience in CPA bookkeeping services!

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 5 way to protect Payroll Data

  1. Most organization offer greater ease of access to employees when it comes to Payroll information. Does your organization offer mobile access to Payroll Data? If yes, then you need to thoroughly check and determine whether that’s secure enough. If you offer access using a mobile app, run it through testing to ensure security. Features like mobile passcode, fingerprint scan, OTP, encryption etc., are imperative.
  2. To ensure that payroll data is secure, you need to ensure that all the involved personnel are well-trained on the proper use of Payroll Software. When updates to the software happen, deploy trainings that will enable the users understand the changes and their impacts. New employees and old employees, both should receive induction and refresher trainings respectively.
  3. Review your company policy for sharing passwords and confidential information of all sorts. Consider automation of data entry whenever possible, to significantly reduce the chances of data entry errors.As an employer, you should know how service providers authenticate the identities of those who are allowed access. Appointed personnel(s) must ensure that multifactor authorization is in place.
  4. Keeping your software up-to-datewith the latest security patches and protections,is one way of steering clear of potential threats. Perform routine checks on your software for to determine glitches and identify available upgrades. New updates from your software vendors, more often than not, are responses to newly identified viruses and threats. Refraining from updates could leave your software, and payroll data, vulnerable.
  5. Even while outsourcing payroll to Velan, most of our clients do have certain stakeholders (such as HR) who continually access payroll data. We ensure they have secure processes and policies in place. Encryption is imperative in establishing secure and safe data transmission in these cases. A secure portal for uploading and downloading documents is a good safe practice and can be helpful where EDI is not in place. Regular accuracy checks in such cases are vital and prove greatly beneficial.

If you are looking to outsource Payroll, Velan Bookkeeping can help you! We provide outsourced bookkeeping services to CPAs and have reliable experience in handling, Payroll, Taxation, AR, AP, Bookkeeping, Financial Reporting etc., using established secure processes. We are ISO 27001 certified for Information Security and rest assured, we practice the highest standards of secure data transmission! Reach out to us @ 1-516-717-2049

Topics: CPA , Outsourcing Accounting , Payroll Services


Improve Accounts Payable Efficiency: 15 Best Practices

Posted on 30/06/2017

Every organization witnesses a skills gap; 75% CEOs feel their in-house team isn’t adept enough to keep up.Keeping that in mind, it is always helpful to define clear, precise and well-defined workflows and practices in every business process. Here are some tips and best practices to Improve Accounts Payable efficieny. A better Procure to Pay process will not only benefit your working capital, cash flow, and vendor relationships but go the extra mile help you to identify areas of savings and compliance. If you’re looking to strengthen your bottom line performance, what better way than to improve liquidity?

Services for Accounts Payable

So read on, as we enlist 15 best practices to improve accounts payable efficiency (in no particular order), keeping in mind the organizations where the AP function primarily relies on paperwork submissions. We know some companies have already adopted EDI and we’re going to keep this as generic as possible.

  1. Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Assign access rights, or assign specific employees the capacity to add/delete/modify vendors in the vendor master files. Especially in systems that lack the ability to print changes made to the files, this practice can be pivotal in avoiding theft.
  2. Use default settings to your advantage: It is recommended that you default the AP master file configuration to a Vendor Type used most frequently. If your system allows for multiple vendor categories, set access rights in a way that users only above a certain security level are allowed to change the GL code.
  3. Avoid batch entries: Entering each invoice individually, allows for a separate audit trail and that would greatly help in keeping track.
  4. Check the Invoice Dates: Do not let your AP clerks use older invoice dates. Try and understand how your system assigns GL month/year as well. When you generate reports on financial reports for a time period, correct dates will alleviate unexpected results.
  5. Review and reconcile: Compare charges to purchase orders while paying out and perform a monthly reconciliation.
  6. Automation is better: Manual processes such as expense reporting, data entry should be automated for better utilization of your accounting resources. This will also minimize risks and errors.
  7. Try an ERP system: Most of the auditor’s time is consumed in reviewing manual postings owing to an elevated risk factor. This can be eased with the help of an ERP system.
  8. Always compare with original: It is advisable to try and pay against the original invoice but if paying from a copy, compare the invoice number and charges indicated.
  9. Verify W-9: In the year’s end when you organize 1099s, you don’t want to be stuck in a rut. Before initiating payment, verify the vendor has a W-9 file for them.
  10. Invoice number rules: If all your clerks starting entering invoice numbers in the format they please, you’ll be lost for eons; especially if you don’t have an invoice number in hand. Instead, have a policy and educate your clerks on how to enter invoice numbers.
  11. Accountability: Assign and authorize separate people for entering the invoice, approving the invoice and signing the check.
  12. Logging is key: All invoices should compulsorily be addressed to the Accounts Department – this way they can be logged.
  13. Define Budget: It is safer to know your AP team know what the declared budget is, if you are among those who run a lot of cash transactions.
  14. Audit trail is imperative: Even if you don’t plan on paying the entire invoice amount, it would help the audit trail to mark it as billed. At these instances, use credit memos.
  15. Free is good: Discounts and free goods being offered by your vendors is something that could greatly help your accounts. Watch out for these festive promotions and make the best use of them.

Go the extra mile with these best practices, and watch your AP process go above and beyond maintaining operating margins. Velan is a trusted and seasoned Accounts Payable services providers. Velan AP process takes extra care on available free credits, payable days, purchase order mandates, and Accounts Payable cycle efficiency. Accurate Accounts Payable reconciliation plays a vital role in clearing unpaid bills within the stipulated time. Outsourcing your Accounts Payable management to Velan will help you effectively mitigate fines for late bill payments and ensure that you have a streamlined Accounts Payable process flow leading to optimized of profit for your business. Call Joyce @ +1-516-717-2049 to know more.

Topics: Accounting , Accounting firms , Accounts Payables , Financial Reporting , Outsourcing Accounting


Simple Techniques To Enhance Your Order-To-Cash Process Efficiency

Posted on 13/04/2017

The order-to-cash/Accounts Receivables cycle in businesses is full of complexities. There are too many interactions that take place in the OTC/Accounts Rceeivables cycle and there is always room for Cash Process Efficiency enhancements in the process. True setback comes from the reliance on the hackneyed manual processes and the absence of a smooth transactional information flow. These are the major impediments that contribute to the inefficiencies and the increased operational costs.

Accounts Receivables

It is established that there are quite a lot of interactions involved in the OTC/Accounts Receivables cycle. It is significant to note that papers are an inevitable part of the information flow between the company and the third party vendors, thus being responsible for the inefficiencies and challenges in the performance. Computerized receivables have been in use for over 5 decades now yet there is an incorrigible reliance on the paper and manual based processes. This is due to the fact that there is no connectivity between the internal functionalities besides the flow of accounting information and sales, inventory, shipping, and receivables. Things get exacerbated when there is an input is required from the customers or other third party vendors during the intermediate processes.

Manual tasks are still being used in bridging the gap between the Receivables processes and the external parties and this imposes the biggest challenge. Though there are software like ERP (enterprise resource planning) are widely used now to provide the integration that is lacking in the manual processes, manual processes are still being used. So, what is the result? A lot of time and labor are being invested in the OTC process, increasing the costs and operational inefficiencies.

How do we go about increasing the Order to cash/ Accounts Receivables efficiency?

You need to build strong connections between all the internal processes and wire them in an automatic process. The only hitch you might be facing is the expenses. Plus, it would also require some rewriting of the interfaces when you upgrade the systems. Luckily, cloud-based solutions increasingly seem to address the issue at hand. Cloud-based solutions also provide much stronger connectivity links between all the participants, be it internal or external. Now, this is more affordable than any other hosted or licensed solutions out there.

Advantages of Automated processing:

  • Customer payments can be accelerated due to instant accessibility of bills and other data
  • Invoice chasing can be streamlined
  • Customer disputes can be prevented
  • The need to re-key order information can be removed
  • Scanning and filing of invoices can be eradicated
  • Storage costs can be reduced
  • Office space will be freed

Should you require help with enhancing your OTC efficiency, do contact Joyce at +1-516-717-2049.

Topics: Accounts Receivables , Outsourcing Accounting


What Happens When You Track Cash Flow From Business Operations

Posted on 23/03/2017

Adequate cash-flow is significant to running a healthy business and anybody running their own business will know it. It is a taboo that healthy cash flows in any business come from equity funding or income from other investment and not their original business operations. The OCF or Operating Cash Flow unfolds what revenue is generated by ongoing business operations like sale of goods or services.

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Importance Of Tracking Cash Flow

There are quite a lot of advantages tracking your cash flow. Tracking cash flow helps in:

  • Improving your current performance
  • Enabling your investors to know of your status and in positive case bring in more investment
  • Foreseeing your long-term business value based on the current cash flow metrics
  • Enabling potential buyers to judge your business, if you are looking to sell your business
  • Enabling you to know the cash at hand to make any short-term finances, if need be
  • Enabling you to manage your cash flow better

How Can You Track The Cash Flow Metrics

Tracking your cash flow metrics is fairly simple. There are two ways to do it:

  1. Direct method

Direct method to finding OCF basically involves finding the Earnings Before Interest and Taxes or EBIT. Next, you need to find the depreciation or the declining value of the company’s assets due to wear and tear.

Now, OCF= EBIT + Depreciation – Taxes.

  1. Indirect method

If you use the indirect method to calculate your cash flow, you must ensure that you abide by the GAAP or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, established US Accounting standards. That said indirect method is the most preferred method by most business men. This is because of the fact that it provides reconciliations from net income to the cash rendered by operations.

Steps to finding OCF:

  1. Find your net income
  2. Add the non-cash expenses back in – like amortization & depreciation
  3. Adjust the profits and losses on the sales of assets
    • Subtract the profits
    • Add the losses back in
  4. Account the variations in current assets and liabilities
  5. Account the variations in non-cash current assets

Generally, business with positive OCF means that the business has net incomes that are reliable and can stand the test of time like any economic downturns or undesired situations. Negative OCF means the business has to work strategically to cover the shortfalls and get back on track to withstand any seasonal business shortages and also thrive in the long run.

Call Joyce at +1-516-717-2049 for outsourcing or any queries on cash flow management.

Topics: Bookkeeping Services , Cash Flow Management , Financial Reporting , Outsourcing Accounting


In-house Payroll Processing or Outsourced?

Posted on 14/03/2017

Is outsourcing the right solution to get your payroll sorted?

Payroll is one of the major costs for most of the businesses plus there is no assurance of ROI. Outsourcing is increasingly available for all parts of the business.

There are umpteen off-the-shelf payroll software packages available. Many businesses take the bait and often find that one-size-doesn’t-fit all.  Therefore, it is imperative to look at what values do the outsourcing company deliver.

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Typically, all in-house software is written and maintained by the in-house IT team.  Statutory calls for annual updates and this can be expensive for the company. This is because the systems employed would be often older ones and upgrading they cannot stay within the budget.

Outsourcing is the best choice for a business, if the business has to propel towards achieving the vision and mission rather fritter away time with payroll activities.

Some other reasons why outsourcing has become the go-to place for many businesses are:

  • Increased complexity
  • Ever-changing compliance requirements
  • Accuracy in payroll
  • Reduced risks
  • Latest technology employment

Nowadays, payroll providers also streamline a business’ processes and constantly deliver industry best practices.

As tempting as outsourcing may sound, there are due pros and cons associated with it. Taking this into consideration, we bring to you some important points to ponder on to conclude what’s the best fit for your business

  1. Flexibility- Change is a constant in payroll processing. Do you have enough resources available in your organization to make the eleventh hour amendments?
  1. Confidentiality– payroll is one of the most sensitive areas of the business. So discretion at all times is advised. Indiscretion can cost a fortune for the company.
  1. Time- does your business possess the time and knowledge to shift their focus anything but away from the business? Payroll requires constant updates. Do you have the time and resources to handle payroll in-house?
  1. Cost- cost is one of the major considerations any business may have when they consider payroll outsourcing. On one hand it is thoroughly beneficial to have staff in-house to handle your payroll. On the other hand, the cost involved in employing staff may not be as great. Besides costs will also include the cost of the software, maintenance, and the yearly mandatory updates.
  1. Reliability- needless to say, your employees would like to get paid on time every time. Your payroll has to be accurate and processed on the due date irrespective of the holiday or any other contingent situation.

 

What now?

If you have seen anything that might be advantageous for your business, contact Joyce at

+1-516-717-2049 for more details. We’ll be glad to help you out.

Topics: Bookkeeping Services , Outsourcing Accounting