Use the words "Madoff," "economic meltdown," and "new Administration" in one sentence, then try to convince somebody that increased accounting regulation isn't coming.
Of course there will be abundant new initiatives to keep tabs on, and control of, company finances. What we don't know is precisely how increased regulation will impact our corporate books-or how soon.
Such entities as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will be front and center in the effort to ramp up regulation. Expected outcomes tied to the incoming Obama Administration include increased scrutiny of financial institutions coupled with more strict accounting procedures.
Recently-heard political rhetoric offers more than hints at what's coming. Such comments as "outdated and weak regulatory system," and "failure of regulators to adequately police the markets" no doubt will set the tone of efforts that ultimately will ramp up reporting and tracking requirements of companies throughout the country.
This scenario makes an extremely strong case for preventive medicine-in the form of accounting software with the power and resources to stay on top of expected regulations. In turn, this will help prevent SMBs nationwide from being crushed beneath the weight of new measures as they are enacted.
Users of Microsoft Dynamics® products--in particular, Dynamics GP and SL--should be prepared to meet challenges posed by increasing accounting regulation. Among the ways this robust accounting software will help in the coming days are:
1. Putting into place stronger processes and procedures that will make compliance with new regulations more of a natural outgrowth of existing systems, versus having to rework and refine accounting systems to place them into compliance.
Think of this in terms of the taxpayer informed of a pending audit. A company that has kept its books up to date and accurate can, in essence, hand over complete records. Otherwise, work hours-and costs-pile up trying to put together the necessary after-the-fact information for the audit. Besides the direct cost of these hours, there's the consequent disruption of normal work routines, which also can prove very costly. By using such Microsoft Dynamics components as SmartView in Audit Trails, a company can keep compliance reviews efficient and cost-effective.
2. Instilling confidence by virtue of its reputation for accuracy and reliability. Who do you think an auditor or regulator will have the most confidence in: a company providing hand-scrawled financials, an enterprise using entry-level software, or a company that has made a serious, substantial commitment to accounting excellence? Obviously, this confidence translates into less confrontation when facing an audit or regulatory review.
3. Providing comprehensive documentation and security. Microsoft Dynamics enables companies to implement highly-complex security protection, develop complete audit trails, track changes and approvals, and safeguard against errors with sophisticated control processes.
4. Ensuring seamless connection with other Microsoft applications to create consistent, smooth communication of information and data. This heightens ability to share information with those possessing adequate security clearance, and lessens chances of data losses that sometimes occur in transit from one application to another.
5. Providing automated compliance processes and procedures. Such programs as Analytical Accounting for Microsoft Dynamics help keep companies in the know about compliance issues.
6. Offering a regular stream of information and alert updates. Role-tailored alerts, SmartList, and Key Performance Indicators all help propagate up-to-date information to everyone authorized to see it, and dependent upon it for compliance excellence.
Re-regulation is coming big time. Get your ducks in a row now, so you don't have to duck when regulators and auditors take aim down the road.