Jeff completed the data analysis, presentation, and consulting for the transaction between EC Infosystems, Inc. and VertexOne.
Accounting Staff and Senior Staff Support Positions
Accountants in mid-level staff support positions must continue to reinvent themselves in order to provide meaningful data analysis to the management they support. As software systems have evolved, many companies found themselves investing in software over a decade ago with the advent of Y2K. As a result of competitive cost pressures, organizations may not have the opportunity to keep pace with the investing cycle. Consequently, these companies are unable to take advantage of new economies of scale from the latest software features.
However mid-level staff must play an important role to enable the organizations to keep pace with competition. Mid-level staff can do this by utilizing data mining tools such as Excel, Access, Domo, Crystal Reports and other report writing and data mining tools. By utilizing data mining tools staff can come up with advanced ways to look at complex data outside of the accounting system when these accounting systems do not provide the data in the format required by management. Staff can set up queries, pivots, VLOOKUP’s, If then, and sumif equation’s in order to accommodate analysis for decision making that moves beyond the confinements of the organizations accounting software system. This becomes especially true if nomenclature of master file level data changes and cannot accommodate analysis by your traditional accounting system. There may also be industry, customer and vendor changes in requirements that cause companies to work outside their accounting software systems. For these reasons it is very wise for staff accounting personnel to keep pace with the innovative data mining tools and methodologies available in the market place, in order to provide meaningful data analysis to top level and mid-level management.
This process of educating mid-level staff is also very important to Management. Management must make sure its workforce is well trained, aware of these issues, and how to deal with them. Solutions for such outcomes are simple education, mentoring and collaboration. Knowledge workers must share and be encouraged to share capabilities with each other in order to raise the knowledge level of all staff. Corporate Human Resources and Executive level staff must engage in this process in order to achieve their desired results to remain competitive in today’s ever changing business environment.
By Jeffrey Waks, Accountant and Financial Analyst
March 2, 2016
Technology Trends in Accounting and Financial Analysis
Current trends in the Accounting and Finance profession are affecting organizations and professionals alike. With the evolution of technology in software, artificial intelligence, storage and cloud computing a skills gap is possible to experience.
Organizations must be progressive in pursuit of technology that helps experience economies of scale there by reducing costs in order to remain competitive. Accounting and Finance professionals must adapt to developing data mining, analysis and reporting techniques. Software tools such as Alteryx, Access, Excel, Report Writers and SQL applications are used extensively in organizations today. Accounting and Finance professionals who can utilize these tools will continue to add the value to organizations that will give them career opportunity and increasing wages. Data storage has enabled organizations to harness data banks with more and more detail. This data must be synthesized and analyzed in order to be utilized effectively. As a result, Accounting and Finance professionals are called upon to work with large data sets. Skills in analyzing large data sets are very valuable, allowing companies to make more informed decisions at a faster pace. Artificial Intelligence applications are allowing organizations to reduce head count. Accounting and Finance professionals can take advantage of this opportunity by understanding artificial intelligence applications and figuring out how to utilize and help implement these applications.
With the advent of software as a service, data storage; cloud computing has become the norm. Accounting and Finance professionals must educate themselves in cloud computing and analytics applications such as accounting ERP systems, Microsoft Office 365, and Google Applications in order to remain competitive and increase earnings potential. Many Accounting and Finance professionals are obtaining certifications in Financial Analysis, in order to take advantage of big data, software, storage and cloud computing technological advances.
By: Jeffrey Waks, Accountant and Financial Analyst
October 16, 2019
As society matures through the technological and globalization phase we are currently experiencing, specialization and research assimilation will be key to an accountant’s success. As tax laws and collaboration become more complex and prominent it will be important to specialize and research.
Tax law research at the transactional and point in time (Balance Sheet) capacity are tantamount to company’s profitability (Income Statement) and cash flow. Transactions will continue to be made more complex by flattening of business with other countries. As a result, sales tax, property tax, franchise tax and gross receipts tax laws must be clearly understood in order to properly price products and services to comply with law and maintain increasing profitability. Consequently research will be more intensive, so gaining a quick understanding of these laws are what will empower a company to lean forward quickly, while aiding in the ability to make decisions to access markets, services and products sooner to keep pace with competition.
Due to the nature of globalization and research, accountants can specialize in areas such as tax, payroll, foreign currency, international business law, and patent and trade law in order to find employment. Knowledge based specialization is the key as knowledge workers will continue to add value at increasing rates to companies. Knowledge workers are also less likely to become unemployed as a result of globalization and competition.
A well designed sales tax system must function off of one inventory item database, with a multi-jurisdictional state tax matrix in order to provide the proper audit trial to satisfy department of revenue compliance; which will minimize audit liability risk. Item taxability should lie in an algorithm that combines the item master, with the customer master for location, and the jurisdictional matrix for taxability. This type of design will allow a state auditor to obtain an item sales history by location. This process will minimize the risk of an auditor using alternative measures of averaging your data in order to compute liability during a sales tax audit; otherwise the auditor will use averaging methodologies if they determine they cannot rely on your system data. This may result in over payment of taxes in an audit due to the inability of a company to prove to the auditor otherwise; due to poor system design. In accounting we call this a robust point of sale system that provides sales item history by location. These types of systems apply best for retail, wholesale and manufacturing companies that sell tangible personal property.
However, the same logic will apply to a service organization that has revenue streams from software, service, implementation and maintenance type sales and contracts. In order to accommodate service type organizations, systems need to be augmented to accommodate different types of contract structures. Contract structures usually dictate how a jurisdiction will tax different type of sales of service organizations.