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The late Steve Jobs once said, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Is excellence a word used to describe the environment at your print shop?

It’s important to recognize that business excellence isn’t merely one thing. It’s a combination of several things done well over time. Up to this point in this email series, you’ve learned a few of the things printers need to do well (or excellent), including:

Today, we’ll look at one that might surprise you: accounting.

Now, before you groan and bail-out, hold on a second. Accounting may be one of those necessary, “have-to” things, but the benefit of doing it well actually has very little to do with money. Here’s what accounting done well really says about your print business.

Why Does Good Accounting Matter?

As a print owner, it’s essential that you have a good handle on where your business is headed. But, as you’ve probably heard more than once in your lifetime: money isn’t everything. 

The real reasons you should be focused on ensuring you do accounting well include the following.

1. Accounting Done Well Builds Credibility

Imagine what it would be like if you went to borrow money from a bank and you noticed a significant discrepancy in the loan paperwork. You made sure to point out the error to the banker, but he only replied, “Oh, sorry. I’m just not that good with numbers.”

Um… say what?! Dollars to donuts, you hightailed it out of that bank and went looking for another bank you could _____.

What word did you mentally put in that blank you just read? For 99% of people, the word that fits best there is TRUST.

Accounting that’s done well builds credibility and conveys and establishes trust with your print buyers. Out of all of the things you will buy for your print business in its lifetime, it’s trust that will cost you nothing and bring you the greatest return on investment. It’s also the one thing your business can’t afford to take lightly.

2. Accounting Done Well Enhances Your Company’s Reputation

When you think of the word “accounting,” it’s not uncommon to have things come to mind like stiff, boring, or death by details.

The perceived excitement of accounting can be summed up pretty well by tuning in to some popular accounting jokes like this one:

Q. What’s an extroverted accountant?
A. One that looks at your shoes while he’s talking instead of his own.

But, don’t let a focus on details fool you. Getting those “boring” details right does wonders for your print business. And, again, think bigger than money here. Accounting done well boosts your business reputation because it helps to ensure that your business is seen as reliable.

Reliability is a core value that will be treasured by your prospects and customers, so don’t underestimate the impact those “minute” accounting details will have on your business.

3. Accounting Done Well Eliminates Unnecessary Mental Burden

As a printer, your days are packed with everything from taking care of the day-to-day to setting the vision for your company’s future.

There’s no room left for you to waste your time worrying or guessing about how things will turn out. When you have a reliable accounting process that’s executed well, it provides you with the safety and security that allows you to make informed decisions with confidence.

Not only does that accounting done well provide measurable data, earnings for forecasting, and predictability, it also saves you time and keeps you from worrying about making costly mistakes. Without the weight of that unnecessary mental burden, you can focus on what you do best (and what you truly want to spend your day doing) – selling more printing.

The Logistics: 9 Things Accounting Done Well Looks Like

While accounting done well is about more than just money, let’s face it, there will always be those practical, logistical elements that need to be taken care of as well. Here are 9 things you should be on the lookout for. Your superior accounting solution should include the ability to:

  1. View even the most basic accounting tasks through a print shop owner’s lens to support your business as efficiently as possible.
  2. Spread your business wings by selecting your units of currency to do business anywhere in North America.
  3. Get the precision and accuracy you’ve been looking for with consistent financial reporting and analysis.
  4. Rest easy with increased security by allowing you to set permissions and access only to those designated.
  5. Get paid faster by accepting and receiving payments at any stage of the sales cycle, including deposits for work not yet started.
  6. Integrate with other accounting greats, such as QuickBooks, for accounting that’s right on the money!
  7. Provide the correct sales tax every time for every customer.
  8. Make it easy for tax-exempt organizations to do business with you by quickly indicating and documenting tax-exempt status per customer, invoice, process, or service.
  9. Track your sales tax liability, so all the information you need for governmental filing is at your fingertips!

Accounting done well means your cash management is not only effective, but it’s also worry-free.

Check Yourself

  • Has your business suffered from a damaged reputation from accounting errors in the past?
  • How many of your last five jobs were profitable? And by how much? Do you know?
  • Do you find yourself worrying whether your accounting records are accurate or that you’re billing enough to sustain current and future growth in your print business?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, your print business could benefit from a superior accounting solution.

Go Beyond Boring

While every print business needs accounting to succeed, accounting done well doesn’t have to be as elusive or boring as might think. Build credibility, boost your business reputation, and say goodbye to those unnecessary mental burdens when you make the smart choice for your business: doing accounting well!

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