All posts in Business Processes


What is the Accounting Cycle? How to Manage Workflows in Accounting

accounting cycleHere at Process Street, we’re always talking about the importance of workflows.

Workflows help you define what work you do and the order in which you do it.

According to the Powering Productivity report from Planview, poor processes and workflows are the number 1 cause of inefficiencies in organizations. Plus, the Chaos Theory report from Projectplace revealed project managers lost 2 hours 45 minutes each week due to poor workflows.

When you document your workflows and improve them, you optimize your work. This results in better work done more quickly.

It’s one of the simplest ways to improve the performance of your own work, or that of an organization. From basic workflows with only a couple of steps to company wide workflows with multiple stakeholders and variables.

This principle remains true in countless use cases and industries but is most powerful in areas where work benefits from standardized practices.

This brings us to an area of business where standardization is a true sign of quality: accounting.

Effective accounting practices require a strong understanding of how information flows throughout your business.

In this article, we’re going to look at:

  • What is the accounting cycle?
  • What is a workflow?
  • How to construct processes for your accounting activities
  • 11 accounting processes you can try today

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11 Checklists to Optimize Your Accounting Processes

Accounting processes from invoicing to reporting

Businesses of all sizes have to deal with accounting and it can be a bit difficult if you’re new to it.

Without an effective accounts receivable process, you risk losing out on valuable revenue.

If you don’t put a process in place for your accounts payable then you could be facing late payment charges or even opening up space for fraud.

Accounting is vital to the health of a business and too many companies overlook it. In the UK, the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that SMEs were “leaking” £2.9bn every year through poor accounting practices.

This is why we’ve created 11 checklists to guide you through your accounting processes.

Using the checklists

You don’t need to be a CPA to create a balance sheet or an invoice. Our checklists enable anyone to perform accounting activities, and as you go through you’ll see the different steps explained where necessary. This way, you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

With these Process Street checklists, you’ll see how you can integrate Process Street with Zapier and Quickbooks to automate accounting processes, saving you time and money.

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Kaizen: How to Deploy Continuous Improvement to Rocket Your Success

kaizenWe always seem to be caught up in a never-ending mission to make our businesses better.

You have to ride out crises, fight through external problems, and still improve your performance week on week, quarter on quarter, year on year.

So how do we approach this improvement to get the most from it?

The key is about making improvement part of the daily process.

This approach falls under the umbrella of continuous improvement; what Toyota call Kaizen.

This is the art of taking a million steps forward. Compounding every success and safeguarding against every failure.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at:

  • Why Kaizen is important
  • What are the other Toyota Production System concepts?
  • Things to consider when implementing Kaizen.
  • How Samsung use Kaizen selectively to optimize production

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An Introduction to Blockchain: The Potential for Process Management and Beyond

introduction to blockchainBitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain.

Together, these various buzzwords form a distributed ledger of hype!

The potential for a new decentralized world has led investors, writers, bankers, entrepreneurs and more to herald various versions and aspects of this new technology as representing the future of humanity.

A World Economic Forum survey even suggested that 10% of global GDP would be stored on the blockchain by 2027.

There is a lot of excitement about the direction the technology is heading, but the tech behind Bitcoin has existed for a while now and we’re yet to see much mainstream integration of it.

Which begs the question: what can the blockchain be used for?

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at:

  • What is the blockchain?
  • 5 use cases where the blockchain could thrive
  • How the blockchain could be utilized in business process management

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8 Nintex Alternatives to Systemize Your Workflows Better This Year

nintex alternatives

Those of us in the workflow game know Nintex is one of the big tools available on the market.

Their advanced software is great for plotting out complex workflows, running intricate automations, and integrating tightly and natively with other large corporate tools.

But that’s what it is: corporate.

It’s heavy and less agile than many of its competitors, with a restrictive price tag which puts it squarely into the enterprise market.

The Nintex light-version, which comes in at a more reasonable price point, simply doesn’t compete with the other tools that target the small-to-medium business space. It has less features and less functionality than many of the newer and more innovative up-and-comers.

In this Process Street article, we’re going to tackle that niche. What are better examples of workflow software for a small to medium sized enterprise, without missing out on complex functionality?

Let’s take a look.

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Best Marketing Automation Software: 10 Tools to Autopilot Marketing Emails

Marketing automation software

Marketing your product to a wide audience is a real challenge for many businesses. Acquisition costs can be high and effective optimization of approach requires bucketloads of data.

According to research from Aberdeen Group, users of marketing automation software are 17 times more likely to track all their data than those who don’t employ these platforms. This drives improvement and is one of the primary reasons that users of marketing automation decrease customer acquisition costs year on year at over twice the rate of their competition.

Modern marketing methods mean that multiple in-depth campaigns can be run without all the unnecessary administration and time-consuming efforts of the past.

There are many automation tools to choose from on the market and in this article we’ll run through 10 of the best, giving you a breakdown of what each offers.

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8 Office Management Checklists for Astounding Operational Efficiency

Make office management processes fun, fast, and faultless

Every office manager has 47 responsibilities, according to TopResume.

That is a pretty insane number (I challenge you to find another job description with as many).

Simply put, office managers have a lot on their plate. From the management of sensitive company records to reviewing employee performance and preparing annual budgets, their scope of work is very broad.

When there is so much going on, it can be incredibly challenging to keep track of everything, let alone ensure that the execution of specific tasks is on point every time and employees are consistently in good spirits.

“The number one thing that makes a rockstar office manager is a high degree of emotional intelligence. You deal with everyone in the company, and experience a lot of different emotions and attitudes” – Sean Kelly, The 9 Undeniable Characteristics of a Rockstar Office Manager

The fast-paced world of 21st-century business does not leave much room for error, meaning office managers must continuously improve the way they manage critical processes, to retain good employees and help the business achieve their goals.

That’s why we’ve created this set of checklists; to make the process of completing recurring office management tasks fun, fast and faultless.

In this post, I’m going to provide you with a brief outline of each along with some guidance on how they can help you improve the way you get stuff done!

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The 7 Core Six Sigma Principles to Build Your Business Around

six sigma principles headerFinding ways to improve processes within your organization can be tough.

There always seems to be so many things to measure and so many variables to consider.

Where do you start? How do you determine what’s good? Who takes responsibility for improvement?

Fortunately, you don’t have to go in blind.

There are loads of approaches you can take to process improvement, but one of the key techniques used by some of the world’s top companies is Six Sigma.

The Six Sigma school of thought is all about finding the right focus and tightening up processes around that goal. The end result should be the reduction of defects from a process. This saves resources, time, effort, and most of all money!

In this Process Street article, we’re going to give you an intro into Six Sigma while linking off to resources for you to explore deeper.

We’ll investigate the key Six Sigma principles which can shape and direct process improvement in your business.

The core Six Sigma principles

The 7 key Six Sigma principles we’ll cover are:

  • Always focus on the customer
  • Understand how work really happens
  • Make your processes flow smoothly
  • Reduce waste and concentrate on value
  • Stop defects through removing variation
  • Get buy-in from the team through collaboration
  • Make your efforts systematic and scientific

You could categorize these as lean Six Sigma if you want to as well.

Given the evolving nature of the different schools of business process improvement, there will always likely be some disagreement over what the specific principles are.

For this reason, I feel it’s important to include the various competing principles even if some other lists might look at only 5 or 6 principles.

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The Secrets to Making a Bureaucratic Organization Run Like a Startup

bureaucratic organization header

As you’ll have noticed when you phone call centers, visit the bank, or deal with the government in any capacity, bureaucracy can make organizations slow and frustrating to deal with.

Endless forms and complex layers of approval impact a company’s services along with the morale of its employees. It can leave organizations unable to adapt to new market pressures or external threats.

The UK Home Office, during the Windrush Scandal, ended up wrongly deporting many people who came to Britain after the Second World War from the Caribbean. It was exposed that these people were being wrongly deported yet deportations and other negative effects continued, as illustrated by The Guardian. The organization failed to respond adequately, and a scandal was born.

Despite all this, large organizations in our society – whether they’re governments or big business – aren’t just going to go away. Instead they need to find ways to adapt and improve while retaining the benefits which pushed them to develop complex bureaucratic structures in the first place.

The big question is: how do you manage operations within a bureaucratic organization so that it can run with the agility of a startup?

bureaucratic organization hbr
Source

In this Process Street article, we’ll explore:

  • When, how, and why bureaucratic organizations experience slow movement
  • The failures of large organizations to achieve efficiency
  • 4 key examples of big bodies trying to break free from the problem
  • Our important takeaways for how you can maintain agility and efficiency in a large organization

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What is Process Mining? 9 Tools to Optimize Your Process Management

process mining what is process miningAt Process Street, we’re always asked about the best ways to construct, track, and analyze processes.

There are loads of techniques in the school of business process management to help you with these three concerns but in this article, we’re going to give you an introduction to process mining; a data driven way to create, understand, and optimize your processes.

We’ll cover:

  • What is process mining?
  • 9 process mining tools to automate your analysis
  • How to act on your mined results to optimize your processes

We cover solutions for enterprises all the way down to basic approaches for startups. Jump in!

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