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 “Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)”

Ways to Manage Seasonality in Small and Medium Businesses (Sales and Inventory)

Filipinos are known to celebrate Christmas early. Once September kicks in, you’d hear Jose Mari Chan songs blasting on mall grounds, see Dapitan Arcade stalls abound Christmas decorations for sale, and of course, experience unimaginably worse standstill traffic.

We call it the “-ber months”. Filipino businesses rely on this four-month period for their entire year’s sales.  This may be true and established for some, but many are just following suit and don’t even know when the exact period of their business’ seasonality peaks. In fact, in its recent reader survey, Rappler found that -ber season is a myth – to quote: “Though many retailers begin their Christmas campaigns in September, consumers aren’t making the bulk of their purchases that early.”

Not knowing about this behavior as it relates to your business is dangerous and risky especially in inventory management and cash flow. Obviously, understocking leads to lost opportunities and unserved deliveries, resulting to reputation damage. However, another real danger is in overstocking, because cash is tied up to inventories that you may need to undervalue just to sell.

The only way to outlast seasonality woes is through data-driven planning and analysis. Off-peak seasons are a great time to start this deep-dive thinking process so you are equipped when the next peak season comes.

If you already think this is unnecessary time to spend, better be prepared for the worst because truly, it pays to pay attention.

Here’s how:

  • Historical information is good reference point, especially because you want to understand overall direction in a do-nothing scenario.
    • First things first – know your seasonality! Point-of-sale (POS) solutions are top sources for this key information because seasonality should be drilled down as far as days than just months.
    • Then, find out historical inventory balances (at least monthly). Just note that not all POS can provide this, except when it is integrated with a dynamic analytics tool.
  • Find out patterns and plan accordingly — the devil is in the details!
    • Inventory supply must anticipate the demand highs and lows. Understanding and establishing patterns in sales trends help minimize errors in buying inventory.
    • Thorough review of inventory balances highlights slow or non-moving inventory, allowing you to plan returns, exchanges, or proper markdown strategies to prevent inventory losses.
  • Ensure planning is an ongoing process. Monitor performance, see if plans work, and adjust as necessary.

Don’t succumb to being a bandwagoner especially with running your business. Know MORE so you can WIN in business.

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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. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. 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 “Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics”

Expand Your Business with the Trendy Midorexics

While Millennials are indeed a strong force in consumer market, did you know there is another rising consumer group called, Midorexics?

In its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017 report, Euromonitor International defines Midorexia consumers as follows:

Midorexia is a tongue-in-cheek label for the middle-aged and older consumer who acts younger than their years. However, this label highlights the shifting status and expectations of a demographic whose members are living and working for longer and prioritizing wellness while challenging the typical age-appropriate behaviour of older people. These consumers are transforming what it means to be older in terms of lifestyle and are more demanding in their consumption needs, creating what is increasingly referred to as the “Longevity economy”.

Because Midorexics defy ageing and live their days proving they can keep up with younger generations, they are also tech-savvy, active, and can be influential on social media. Look at the Instagram feeds of Gretchen Barretto, Alice Dixson, and Ina Raymundo (among others) — they all flaunt their youthful skin, fit bodies, healthy choices, and on-trend outfits. Heck, both 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds wish to be like them when they turn 40!

In fact, even retail pharmacies experience this demand shift – the usual maintenance prescriptions availed by this age group has changed to wellness and weight loss supplements like MX3, ATC Squalene, Yaki, etc. Likewise, food and beverage industries have responded as they increase healthier offerings for the conscious Midorexics.

Indeed, Midorexics are a force to reckon with, having the means and willingness to “invest” in youth and wellness. But make no mistake, their experience and wisdom give them confidence to demand the highest standards in delivery and customer service.

Small and medium businesses can expand their business by ensuring they respond quickly and successfully to Midorexics. By knowing who they are, where they are, and how they behave, selling point triggers can be identified and real opportunities are always maximized.

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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. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. 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 “Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience”

Building and Creating a Personalized Customer Experience

The market is becoming a forum for conversation and interactions between consumer and consumer communities.  This increased access, transparency, and understanding of risk-benefits are making customers more informed, empowered, and active.

Today, one-size-fits-all strategy is rapidly becoming old-fashioned as customers start to expect customized services and tailored recommendations.

There are many ways to personalize customer experiences, though you don’t have to try all of them.  In fact, you can start with the data you already have to see what works and what doesn’t.

Below are tips to get you started:

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Simply using a customer’s name can bring you places.  After all, a person’s name is the sweetest sound.

KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT.  Use existing data to know customer interests and needs and identify market gaps and opportunities.

TARGETED MARKETING.  Provide relevant content marketing to not risk annoying customers with ads (text blast or emails) they don’t want to see.

CUSTOMER PROFILING.  For instance, millennials are more open-minded with personalized products and services than older customers who may think their privacy is violated.

STREAMLINE PROCESSES.  From initial inquiry to after-sales support, eliminate unnecessary delays, confusing information, and pointless red tapes.

DON’T BE CREEPY.  When interacting with customers, don’t use specific or private customer information (age, address, or family members found in social media) that can make them feel uncomfortable.

BE TRANSPARENT.  When gathering customer data, make sure to be clear with customers what you are collecting, how you will use it, and whether you will share it with others.

CUSTOMER VOICE.  Allow your customers to interact with your organization.  Listening to customers is crucial to a company’s ability to compete on customer experience.  Information from customer feedback can be used to take action and monitor company performance over time.  If you don’t understand the perceptions of your customers or how they experience interactions with your company, it’s nearly impossible to regularly meet, much less exceed, customer expectations and personalize customer experience.

With all these available customer data at your fingertips, the next step is to extract valuable insights that can only be enabled by analytics.

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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. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements: point-of-sale and analytics. 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!

1 comment on “Maximizing a Millennial-Driven Retail Market”

Maximizing a Millennial-Driven Retail Market

Retail must move with the speed of market changes, or be out of business.  This speed is accelerated by new technologies and by users (consumers) who use it the most – millennials.

Millennials came of age during the time of disruptions triggered by new technology and globalization.  Hence, this young generation is more tech savvy and more knowledgeable.

Millennials grew up and matured with mobile technology and use it constantly in every aspect of their life.  They turn to their smartphones to do online research and learning, use social media, chat with friends and meet their personal needs — whether it be getting their ride via Uber, ordering their meal via Food Panda, buying their clothing and household items via Zalora and Lazada, and booking their budget trips online and accommodations via AirBnb.

Millennials are addicted to and hooked into their devices. Technology is how they get things done and how they make things happen.

The convenience of the mobile device is supreme to them.  But this young generation also values traditional experiences – great customer service!

Just like everyone else, millennials want a customer-centric experience in which they feel wanted and valued. Be it in-store or online, showing interest in them will certainly create ongoing loyalty.  They seek customer service professionals who understand their preferences and make recommendations tailored to their specific needs.

Mind you, millennials will share their experiences over the brand or product including their overall retail interaction.  They utilize social media in real time, posting photos of their whereabouts and purchases, affording retailers instant social media exposure – good or otherwise.

Millennials will continue to use technology, and expect all to adapt them quickly.

TRANSPARENCY.  A word of advice. Millennials love transparent organizations. Authentic voice is what all people, millennials especially, are looking for.

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How can we help? If you are scouting for systems that will help you achieve real benefits, don’t just assess and validate the systems operational features. Look for other e-enablement e.g., intelligent process automation and management controls. More importantly, seek the background and kinds of people behind the development and delivery of the systems. We offer PREMIUM but affordable retail management solutions and professional services suitable to your requirements. Contact us for assistance.