Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual
SOPs for Accounts Department
The accounts department of a company performs a crucial role within the organization. It helps in assessing and monitoring the financial health of a company. The accounts department mainly manages cash inflows and outflows emanating out of supplier and rental payments, staff salaries, interest payments to banks, and so on.
An exercise as complex as accounting can be streamlined with the help of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It will ensure transactional governance, adherence to legal stipulations, consistency in customer experience, and reduction in time required for employee training. Successful implementation of SOPs can lead to profitability, growth, and increased goodwill within the company.
Here we look at necessary areas in accounting where SOPs can play an integral role in making the associated processes seamless:
- Accounts Receivable SOP:
This is the money to be received by the company for selling its products or services. An SOP manual will help in the streamlining and optimization of collection cycle time, sales invoicing, and the billing process with added focus on accuracy. An account receivable SOP will handle the following:
- Procedures for invoicing, billing, and sales
- Procedures for handling defaulters and payment delays
- Tracking receivable data and reconciling it with balance sheet numbers
- Tracking shipping documents
- Accounts Payable SOP:
Account payable is money owed by the company to its suppliers and vendors who provide the raw materials and other services. It can also include debt owed to creditors, which are shown as a liability on the company’s balance sheet.
Accounts payable is integral to the procurement-to-pay workflow where the process chain would consist of procurement, purchase, invoice processing, and final vendor payments. This entire chain comes under the ambit of accounts payable SOP. Other critical processes that are part of accounts payable SOP are:
- Accurate invoice data capturing
- Cost center allocation
- Invoice Approvals
- Matching of invoice with purchase orders
- Posting of payments
- Tax Compliance SOP:
This would cover the legal obligations of the company concerning the payment of taxes as per the law of the land. With the change of tax reporting standards brought about after liberalization, the entire exercise has become immensely complex. This calls for the setting up and implementation of Tax SOPs to make the process relatively simpler. An effective Tax SOP will allow a company to drive the tax compliance management system (Tax CMS) in a streamlined manner.
- Banking & Investment Management SOP:
This would seek to establish a system for – the sourcing of long-term financing, budgeting, portfolio holdings of financial assets and investments are managed efficiently. This would include long-term and short-term strategies for the acquisition and disposal of funds and assets. SOPs are likely to include:
- Portfolio Allocation (a mix of bonds and stocks)
- Long-term financing through banks & other lenders
- Financial Planning and advisory
- Equity research with buy and sell recommendations
- SOPs for Accounts Team:
The accounts team has a back-office role that is instrumental in the smooth functioning of the company. Accordingly, there can be SOPs specifically for the accounts team, governing these processes:
- Billing: Creating invoices for the company’s customers
- Budgeting: Planning for future annual expenditure
- Collections: Tracking overdue invoices and following up on them
- Internal Reporting: Calculating profitability of various products and product lines and different aspects of the business to improve financial results.
- Payables: Collection of suppliers’ invoices, verification of billed amounts, and issue of payments.
- Payroll: Payment of salaries as per the information collected from the HR department
- Taxes: Computing taxable income and remitting income tax payments to the government.
- Cash Flow Management SOP:
Cash Flow management SOP tracks the inflow and outflow of money. It is put in place to identify the amount of money needed to cover debt which can include staff salaries and payment to suppliers.
- Petty Cash Management SOP:
This is an SOP designed to have a system to track the usage of petty cash. Normally, such cash is kept on the company premises with controlled access. Most often, the cash is used to make small one-time purchases. This SOP will cover the following areas:
- Monitoring, recording, and reporting of petty cash
- Accounting and disbursement
- Reconciliation and replenishment
- Voucher Management
- Bank Reconciliation SOP:
Bank reconciliation SOP lays down a system for the tallying of cash balances in the records with corresponding information on bank statements. This process helps ascertain differences between the two and make relevant changes to the accounting records. The SOP will have the following steps:
- Get Bank & Business Records: Make available both the records for scrutiny
- Find the starting Point: Start from the point where both the records matched previously
- Run through Bank Deposits: Mark each deposit marked as income in accounts
- Checkbook Income: Entries in the book must match bank statement deposit
- Run through Withdrawals: All bank withdrawals should have a record in the books
- Check Book Expenses: Each entry should match bank account withdrawal
- End Balance: After taking stock of all deposits and withdrawals, the bank balance must match the business account total.
Why is DFX ideal for Designing Accounts SOP?
We come with experience, knowledge, and expertise for designing paperless SOPS or digital instruction manuals which allow process automation. This in turn improves productivity and reduces error rates by a considerable margin. Our SOPs can be easily integrated into existing IT systems and automated BPM tools.
DFX process experts have worked closely with 500+ companies of all scale (i.e. Funded Startups, Small, Mid-size, Large, Conglomerate) across 25+ verticals in streamlining their accounting operations. SOPs defined by DFX are objective driven i.e. improvise productivity, save time, cost, and resources, etc.
Need analysis is the step where our expert accounting and finance recruiters establish the details of the manpower requirements using a wide range of factors. The first and foremost one among these is job analysis. Job analysis includes job description (job details) and job specification (skill and competency requirements). Job description is a detailed definition of a job in terms of the duties and responsibilities involved. Job specification highlights the skill sets and competencies required to effectively and efficiently carry out the duties and responsibilities associated with each job. Furthermore, we define the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for all positions. The KPIs are the pre-established benchmarks for checking whether an employee is able to perform as per the requirements of the job or the position s/he is holding. Our experts shall also determine the right salary and benefits to be offered for each position in consideration of the internal budgets, organisational parity, individual resourcefulness, industry standards, and regulatory requirements. Other details covered are job location, working schedules, reporting authorities, requirement for interdepartmental coordination, etc. Need analysis is the foundation based on which the rest of the recruitment process is carried out.
Before beginning the search for the right candidates, businesses need to know first where to look for them. This is where our expertise comes in. Based on our rich and extensive experience and exposure in the job industry, our experts already carry proven roadmaps for identifying the right talent pools for different positions of accounts and finance. After this, our team will carry out the talent search activities following established protocols. Depending on the job and position, following certain standards and strategies is important to attract the right candidates. For example, in executive search, we engage senior HR consultants to speak to the candidates. This is primarily because for executive positions the candidates involved are senior and experienced professionals.
Resume screening is a tedious process. It is the most time-consuming stage in a recruitment process. By carrying out this activity, we aim to save time and human effort on the part of our clients. Resume screening is important because not all candidates who show interest in the vacant positions qualify for the subsequent rounds of the selection process. There is no point in spending resources on screening applications that fail to fulfil the minimum requirements. In resume screening, our processes filter in only the most suitable candidates. Only these selected candidates are lined up for the technical screening or the interview round. We establish formal communication with these candidates and brief them about the rest of the recruitment process. Sometimes the formal communication begins simultaneously with the talent search operation if it is not a case of mass recruitment.
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