Using the Right Tools in Your Job

Posted by Bernard Schoeman on 08 February 2018.

Bernard Schoeman

CA(SA), Post Graduate Diploma Accounting, BCom

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Bernard Schoeman

Bernard studied BCom majoring in information systems and accounting at the University of Cape Town and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) in 1997 after completing of his articles with Deloitte & Touche. Bernard has extensive international and local experience having worked for nearly three years with financial institutions in the UK (London) and having audited numerous companies listed on the JSE in South Africa. He is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

It’s often surprising to see how little business owners and employees invest in the tools available to them.  Perhaps they have devoted a great deal to their education/qualification, yet they fail to invest in available technology that can take them to a higher level.  Many factors are probably to blame…lack of a clear vision, a frantic pace of life or even the importance of other priorities.  Nevertheless, without people to manage and operate, businesses would not function, so why not spend a little more time in upgrading the arsenal of tools available to them?

In my view, one of the biggest factors prohibiting growth in an organisation is the mindset of the people responsible for managing and operating it. For example, general surveys have shown us that many business owners easily accept paying huge cell phone bills each month, yet they are not comfortable with paying a small monthly subscription for premium accounting software.  This, in turns, shows us that the accounting function is not regarded with importance, placing the business at risk in the following areas:

  • Proper budgeting
  • Effectice cashflow management
  • Strategic planning
  • Tax issues

A similar issue arises with other software applications regularly used within organisations.  For example, how many people lack a decent understanding of Microsoft Excel, yet work with it every day?  It’s not to say that Microsoft Excel is the best spreadsheeting package available, but, given the pervasive use of this application in most organisations, it makes sense to upskill in this area.  Simple courses ranging from a few hours to a few days are available in person and online at relatively little cost.  In relation to the amount of work performed in using this tool, it should be clear that a small investment in improving an understanding of the software will translate into far greater productivity and effective use thereof.

It is always worth taking stock of the processes that are involved in a business and looking at ways to improve each process.  One of the quickest ways of achieving this is upgrading the tools (or the knowledge of the tools) employed within the process itself.  There is never a better time than NOW to do this.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a need for better monthly reports?
  • Do you wish to analyse data in your organisation more effectively?
  • Would you like to receive information a lot quicker than you currently do?
  • Do any of the systems you work with frustrate you?
  • Are any of the processes used very labour intensive e.g. following up payments from customers?

Whether you require the implementation of a new accounting system offering real-time reporting or wish to train employees in producing more meaningful output, a Tax Shop specalist will gladly assist you.