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.
In this service module, DFX experts shall define and develop the process manuals for the entire range of accounting activities in your enterprise. The SOPs shall be developed for accounts receivable, accounts payable, tax compliance, banking and investment activities, cash flow management, bank reconciliation, etc. The SOPs will reflect a detailed and comprehensive definition of the objectives of each process, the procedures to be followed, the process/activity owners, MIS Reporting, the KRAs and KPIs, timelines and SLAs, and the standards of input and output, internal audit guidelines, etc.
The SOPs and the process manuals serve as the functional inputs wherein the digital touch points and physical touch points within each process are clearly mapped. Objective is to ensure the digital touch points are integrated via business software/ applications. DFX team shall guide the software vendor/ team on these integration points and UAT Testing shall be done to ensure its mapped as per the expectations defined within the process.
30 - 45 days.
Step 01 - Request for Quote
Step 02 - Service Quote Finalization along with SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Step 03 - DFX Experts start working on your business
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