0 comments on “Top 5 Reasons Why Your Retail Business Needs POS”

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Retail Business Needs POS

For years, large companies have leveraged on the many benefits of Point-Of-Sale systems, having the seemingly unlimited resources to invest and run such systems.

As we move into a thriving digital transformation age, many solutions today are now accessible (i.e. affordable and scalable) to small retail business owners and yet, many still deem the solution as additional cost rather than an investment to enable growth and remain competitive.

Here are top five reasons why a Point-Of-Sale system is no longer just “nice-to-have”:

1 INTELLIGENT SALES

When you know exactly what sells, where, and at what time or periods, you also know exactly what promo offerings to push. This increases opportunities to maximize sales volume and margins.

2 STAFF PRODUCTIVITY

One of the main purposes of POS solutions is to make retail operations (and your lives) easier. Hence, they are designed to be user-friendly at the front-end and easily maintained from the back-end. Besides making key processes more efficient (i.e. order-taking, inventory maintenance, purchasing), productive hours and processing volumes can also be tracked, enabling proper management of human resources.

3 INVENTORY VISIBILITY

Effective POS systems include inventory management as part of their solutions offering. Truly, managing inventory is one of the greatest challenges in retail operations as it affects brand reputation (understocking), cash flow (overstocking), and losses (shrinkage, theft).

4 CUSTOMER-CENTRIC MARKETING

These days, customers are more discerning with their choices and tend to choose the best option fit for their specific needs. With this reality, businesses must be responsive to customer needs or run the risk of losing them to competitors. POS solutions allow tracking of customer demographics and related sales so you can tailor-fit or personalize marketing approaches and customer rewards.

5 MINIMIZED FRAUD RISK

Do you know that many retail outlets lose money and eventually close due to employee fraud? This is an unfortunate scenario prevalent in stores using manual cash registers. Intelligent POS solutions deploy robust and automated controls, highlight red flags, and generate exception reports. When employees know they are being “watched”, they’d surely think twice about committing fraudulent acts.

Indeed, it is worth investing in a POS solution that would help you KNOW MORE about your business and how to best manage it.

The key is finding the right POS solution that can quickly pay for itself, and even many times over.

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How can we help? Accelerating your analytics journey is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. Our solutions and services (point-of-sale and analytics) will help you KNOW MORE, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. If you are scouting for systems that will help you achieve real benefits, don’t just assess and validate the features. Seek the background and kinds of people behind the development and delivery of the systems. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “Do You Perform REGULAR Bank Reconciliation for Your Business?”

Do You Perform REGULAR Bank Reconciliation for Your Business?

Being the most liquid of assets, we recognize the importance of ensuring the accuracy of our cash balance through regular bank reconciliation.  However, most companies put this important process aside and settle with annual reconciliation, usually just to meet year-end audit requirements.

As complicated as it may sound, there are actually basic steps towards accurate cash reporting.

KNOW WHAT YOU NEED. To perform a reconciliation, you will need your (a) cash transactions and balance per books and (2) bank statement as of a specified date.  It is also very important to ensure that the covered period in both records are the same.

CLOSE YOUR BOOKS. Going through the entire reconciliation process only to find out that there were additional cash transactions booked in the period you are covering is inefficient and frustrating.  Make sure that your records are complete and no more cash transactions are booked on or before your covered period.  If unavoidable, be at least informed so you can consider them in your reconciliation accordingly.

ESTABLISH BANK BALANCE FIRST. It is generally easier to get the correct bank balance first since there are only a few (and usually recurring) reconciling items involved.  These transactions do not require you to post adjusting entries.  The most common bank reconciling items are Outstanding Checks, Deposits in Transit, and Bank Errors.

  • Outstanding Checks – These are checks released but not yet cleared with the bank. In your books, these are already considered payments hence, should be deducted from your bank balance.
  • Deposits in Transit – These are collections that are yet to be deposited. In your books, these are correctly recorded as part of your cash hence, should be added to your bank balance.
  • Bank Errors – Although uncommon, banks can commit errors too. In this case, you should inform your bank right away for proper action.  Depending on the transaction, bank errors may be added to or deducted from your bank balance to get to your adjusted amount.

Once you have established your bank balance, you can already compare it with your book balance and assess the magnitude of your book reconciling items.  Book reconciling items should be recorded accordingly to get to your correct book balance.  Book reconciling items include bank charges, direct deposits made by customers, auto-debit transactions (usually for utilities), and book errors.

SAY NO TO MONTHLY MATCHING. The secret to fast month-end reconciliation is by not doing it monthly.  As much as possible, matching book and bank transactions should be performed at least weekly.  A few companies are actually doing it daily!  TIP: If you subscribe to online banking, you can easily download bank balances and transactions as of the day before.

AUTOMATE. Bank reconciliation is already (or can be) embedded in most ERPs today.  Inquire with your software provider.  However, if you’re still comfortable with excel spreadsheets, templates can be developed to simplify the reconciliation process and significantly reduce the time spent manually matching transactions and identifying red flags.

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How we can help? Developing and implementing a solid finance transformation agenda is the hallmark of our ACCOUNTING SERVICES model — we build, operate, and transform fundamental capabilities in people, processes, and technology. Contact us to know more about these services.

0 comments on “How to Minimize Tax Payments for your SME”

How to Minimize Tax Payments for your SME

Benjamin Franklin put it quite accurately:

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

Small business owners must face that there is really no way out of taxes as these are normal costs to doing business. On top of this, it is a general sentiment that even when businesses pay the right taxes, BIR examiners in the Philippines would still push for tedious audits and assessments, resulting to added costs in the form of penalties.

While unfortunate, business owners need to GO BEYOND this concern and instead, shift focus on growing the business, while preparing accounting books/records for possible examinations and audits.

Grow Your Business

Investing in technology and qualified analytics professionals enable fact-based decision making, resulting to benefits that far outweigh costs. When you manage the right way, you can maximize returns by preventing losses due to fraud or theft, damaged reputation due to lost opportunities or unserved commitments, and even undervaluation of products/services due to excessive stocks or lacking demand. By maximizing returns, tax liabilities appear insignificant and will no longer feel burdensome.

Be Audit-Ready

Start gathering your accounting records and ready them for possible examinations. Tax planning, while admittedly administrative, becomes critical and should consider the following important points:

  • Accounts must be reconciled with filed taxes during the year:
    • Revenue and Sales
      • Output VAT/Percentage Taxes
      • Creditable withholding taxes must tally with withholding taxes filed and paid by customers (BIR Form 2307)
    • Purchases, Contracted Expenses
      • Input VAT
      • Applicable withholding taxes (BIR Form 1604E)
    • Salaries and Employee Benefits
      • Applicable withholding taxes (BIR Form 1604CF)
      • Alphabetical listing
    • All declarations must be supported and substantiated by proper documentation or BIR accreditation (for sales invoicing or point-of-sale), and directly attributable to your line of business.
    • Withdrawals from your equity (for sole proprietors) must be properly reflected in your books, within reasonable limits, and aligned with your living standards.
    • Check deduction limitations:
      • Interest expense (only up to 33% of interest income subject to final tax)
      • Representation and entertainment (up to 0.5% of net sales for goods, and 1% of net revenue for services)

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How we can help? Accelerating your analytics journey and business growth is the core objective of RAPID INSIGHTS ZONE — premium analytics professional services, made available to all business types and sizes. We offer PREMIUM but affordable management solutions and professional services suitable to your evolving requirements. Our services will help you KNOW MORE through analytics, so you have MORE TIME and resources to focus on growth. When you are ready to accelerate your analytics journey and inevitable business transformation, contact us!

0 comments on “How to Effectively Manage Year-end External Audits”

How to Effectively Manage Year-end External Audits

Most companies actually dread year-end audits.  You will find that Finance organizations are usually off-limits during this period as they struggle to make last-minute adjustments, prepare supporting schedules, find source documents, and review a year’s worth of transactions.  Stressed, pressured, and burned-out, risk of errors increase.  Overall — an unpleasant experience.

But year-end audits should not be disruptive.  Nor preparations should be done, well, at year-end.  To ease the stress during this period, below are simple changes and process improvement that your Finance organization can adopt.

PEOPLE

Plan your audit activities & deliverables and discuss with those who will be involved so they know what are expected of them.  A checklist of audit requirements and due dates that everyone, including your external auditors, can refer to is most helpful as it will keep people focused.  Schedule regular update meetings and use the checklist to track progress.

TECHNOLOGY

Leverage on available (and affordable) technology.  Reduce reliance on excel spreadsheets by investing in an accounting system that best fits your organization.  Most systems now come with subsidiary ledgers and customizable reports that will not only reduce time spent on data preparation but will also increase the accuracy of your information.  Documents-scanning technology (within your accounting system or as a separate software altogether) is also helpful when retrieving supporting documents requested by your auditors.

PROCESS

As mentioned, preparations for the year-end audit does not have to be done at year-end.  Embed automation, control, and period-end tasks within your day-to-day activities.  By adopting continuous accounting, you will be “audit-ready” any time of the year.

BONUS TIPS:

Year-end audit process will include review of your quarter one results right after the period under audit.  Make sure you don’t neglect your usual closing activities while attending to the requests of your external auditors.

Most of all, immediately after the conclusion of every year-end audit, take a moment to review, evaluate, and list down learnings and areas for improvement — both within your organization and with your external auditors — for an even more hassle-free year-end audit next time.

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How we can help? Developing and implementing a solid finance transformation agenda is the hallmark of our ACCOUNTING SERVICES model — we build, operate, and transform fundamental capabilities in people, processes, and technology. Contact us to know more about these services.

 

0 comments on “Management Insight: Status Quo is Riskier than Change”

Management Insight: Status Quo is Riskier than Change

Experiences certainly present lots of old and new challenges, and adds more valuable learnings to become better in future dealings.

As can be expected, change will always certainly happen – whether planned or unplanned.  Either because it is internally initiated or externally triggered by events. Impact of changes can either be isolated or widespread, short-lived, or longer-lasting. But when is change good or bad?  When is it too soon or too late? When is it too little, too big, or just right?

People can either welcome or resist change.  People can either choose to be the catalyst and be in the forefront or choose the status quo and risk being left behind.

Whether we like it or not, change will undoubtedly happen – so might as well be open to liking it rather than resisting or fearing!

And in case we fail, we fail early.  And when we fail early, we learn earlier than the many. Remember, we can always stand up… and change again!  Just continue moving forward but not without the learnings!

Here’s an inside story of real happenings in a company who pioneered an industry segment years ago: Visibly a lucrative, profitable business, it quickly attracted other businessmen to enter the market like mushrooms, growing exponentially.  The multitude of entrants grew faster than the pioneer’s own business and consequently reduced its share to merely 35% of the market it dominated during its earlier years.
Although the enterprise was quick enough to implement the growing technology-enabled products, the head office administration, support services, finance and management organization remained traditional.  Instead of propelling the front businesses, these head office services and practices slowed down business expansion thus allowing the rest of the market to grow faster.
Realizing the need to change, they hired executives, managers, and professionals to enable transformation of its central operation and management.
New people in the organization expectedly introduced surgical transformational changes. Expectedly as well, the natural resistance to change of the homegrown people prevented the faster realization of the advantages and benefits. Just as when the initiatives were about to peak further and reach new highs, significant external events triggered tsunami-like waves of challenges risking all the great business creativities.
Suddenly, the entire organization scampered for further and quicker changes.  Many of the postponed actions in consideration of homegrown people’s sensitivities became absolutely urgent and thereby executed swiftly. Only this time, rightly or wrongly, there was no longer regard to human sensitivities as crisis situations require desperate (not necessarily deliberate) counter measures.  What were intended to make the business thrive are now being made to merely survive.

In this story, change initiatives introduced but sidelined in the past turned out to be the most sought life-saving medicines when needed desperately. See, protecting the status quo is riskier because the rest of the world will continue to change anyway. Don’t forget: LIFE HAPPENS!

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How we can help?

Developing and implementing a solid finance transformation agenda is the hallmark of our ACCOUNTING SERVICES model — we build, operate, and transform fundamental capabilities in people, processes, and technology. We go beyond change management! Contact us to know more about these services.