When most people think about an Accounting Department, they think about numbers and bills. They may even think about budgets and being told what they can and can’t do. I’ve done a number of different things in my life, but in the last three years as an accountant, I’ve learned that accounting is as much about organization and planning as it is about math.
Every business starts with a plan. From there, goals and structures are developed, followed by policies, procedures and budgets. As a business grows there becomes a need to organize what has happened within the business and report it in useful ways. This is where the accounting department generally comes in. Most people are familiar with the traditional financial statements provided by businesses everywhere. Profit and loss, income statements, balance sheets; even if you haven’t spent much time with them, I’m sure you’ve seen them. These statements are merely one product of a process, however, not the goal of the process.
As I mentioned before, the goal of an accounting department is to organize; but let’s take that thought one step further. Every day within a business, hundreds, if not thousands of things happen across multiple departments and product lines. Most of the things will affect the business’ bottom line and business leaders need to be able to interpret these things quickly and efficiently. To do this, a business needs to categorize them; not just in terms of money in and money out, but also in terms of products and service, or temporary or long-term activities. The further that these every day happenings can be broken down and organized, the more effectively leaders can make decisions based on them.
This is what accountants do for a business. We spend our days ensuring data is accurate and has been put in the right place in accordance with the plan set out at the start. We present that data as useful information so that others may easily see what is happening. These are our goals and passions, and we are always looking for ways to improve the breadth of information we can provide and the speed at which we can provide it.
Accounting employees often appear to only stare at numbers all day, which can seem, well, weird. But I encourage employees to engage their accounting departments to help solve problems that may arise or even just gain a new perspective. We tell stories about the numbers.
Standard financial reports are not the only thing that accountants can provide. We also have the data, an understanding of what you need and can provide it in a myriad of ways. We also have an analytical way of thinking that can provide insights for other departments.
Now that we’ve moved into the information age, simply having the data is only one small piece. Organizing efficiently and providing useful and timely information is key, and you’ll likely find people within your accounting department that can help.
Questions? For more information on TS Banking Group’s Accounting Department contact Brian Sealock, Senior Accountant at (712) 487-0407.
Brian grew up on a family farm outside of Underwood, Iowa. After earning a degree in Fitness Management from Northern State, he moved home to run a small health club where he developed a fondness for the financial aspects of the business. Brian decided to go back to school online and graduated from Peru State with a BS in Accounting in 2015. He began working in the Accounting department at TS Bank that same year. In his off time Brian still has a passion for fitness, and enjoys working out and volunteering as a youth soccer and football coach. He also became the treasurer for the Westfair Livestock Committee in 2018.