Remember that classic 1983 movie Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd where they step into each other’s shoes as part of an elaborate scheme? Well, we thought it would be fun to step into the lives of our employees and give you a glimpse into what they DO all day. This month, we’re featuring our Accounting Team.
Emails, emails and more emails. Often we’re eating breakfast at the office, while opening emails. When you come in, you may think you have a plan for a productive day, but you can forget all that, because the issues change from day-to-day and you never know what’s going to spring up next.
That’s how the days start for the Accounting Team at DCR. There’s always a puzzle to solve, an issue to handle and a last-minute request to figure out. And if you think that this department is full of bean counters and number crunchers, well…you’d only be partially right.
What is surprising to most people is that my team does a lot of problem-solving, not just on the numbers side, but on the technical side too. We work with the data that comes through the system, so sometimes we’re on the front line when the system has little bugs that need fixing. Things happen and we’re the ones that need to find, report and help test the fixes before anything is billed or paid incorrectly. Some issues require more research than others but we’re the last line for perfection before things are sent to the client, and we take that seriously! We also have our own questions to challenge the status quo.
Watch this video to get some insights into the Accounting Department:
For the most part, the Accounting Department’s processes are broken down more by day of the week, than time of day, so it’s more like what do we do all week?
Manic Mondays – Of course, Mondays are crazy for everyone. We’re getting emails and Skypes from all of our clients, suppliers and team members in many departments with issues to deal with related to the prior week’s invoicing/payments. And right off the bat, we start working on the invoicing process for our clients. Unlike most companies, all our invoices need to go through an intensive validation process so we have to start this process early in the week to ensure completion by the submission deadlines.
Teammate Tuesdays – One thing that management and I encourage that you don’t see at many companies is a true team atmosphere. My team works together to solve tough issues. We will all huddle around one person’s monitor to tackle a problem or have a group meeting. That doesn’t mean we handle everything that way. I have very intelligent people on my team who take care of matters and are empowered to do so. But each person has specific resources and backgrounds they bring to the table with unique ideas to help bring a fresh perspective to a problem. Of course, team time doesn’t just happen on Tuesdays! But accounting is definitely a team environment involving constant communication.
Wacky Wednesdays – By mid-week, we’re posting and paying bills. We’re also working on cleaning up and resolving some old issues. So we may have questions of why things were done a certain way or ideas of how to make improvements. At many companies, everything in accounting is done the same way, but here everything is different because we’re not only working with our own accounting processes and systems but we have to take our clients’ accounting processes and systems into consideration as well. So the issues become more than just accounting queries, it gets into the technical side. Your mind is constantly being challenged to figure out what data is corrupt or what could be missing. You learn to think outside the box to even figure out where to look. So at DCR, it’s not just number crunching. We look for people with a diverse background, who are analytical and can draw conclusions that may seem a little wacky, but in the end they make sense.
Transaction Thursdays – Thursdays are the days we finish up any bill payments and process the checks to the suppliers, so it’s an important day. We also work on reconciling reports, so it’s never a dull moment. Although there is a sense of repetition to what we do, it’s not boring, because we rarely run into the same issues. There is always something new, there are always new clients coming on board and so there are new systems to learn and suppliers to deal with. Every client has their own way of doing things, so we’re not just doing things “one” way, which makes it both interesting and challenging.
Frantic Fridays – On Fridays, we often double-check, double-verify and close up any gaps. If the client doesn’t pay us, we can’t pay the suppliers. If we don’t get the money, it’s sometimes a system issue. In those cases, we often turn to our Smart Desk or IT departments to resolve the matter and keep things running smoothly. We send bi-weekly receivable reports to Management to report our current status. We make sure all the data from Smart Track has been integrated into our accounting system and reconcile between the two. We’re usually trying to get one last thing done before we run out the door to enjoy the weekend. Whew…that was a hectic week!!!
Of course, that’s the AR/AP side of accounting. We also have an entire team that handles the G/L Accounting side of the business. On the G/L side, they analyze, reconcile and report, and their day is also far from routine. Anything that has, could or would go wrong, they are responsible to find, fix or prevent it from happening. They do all the nitty-gritty work to ensure that everything the company does is compliant and on track. If it happens at DCR, it has a financial impact and my team knows about it. They are the true number-crunchers of DCR.
My team is really amazing. We’ve worked really hard to create an Accounting team that works well together and helps each other out. Mentoring among myself, my supervisor and even other teammates is really what has built and strengthened this team. We all really enjoy working at DCR. It’s a new situation every day and you tend to become, as one teammate put it, addicted to the problem-solving because it’s very rewarding when you finally figure it out.
Maybe I’m biased, but I think I have the best team in all of DCR.
And, of course, we do handle the money, so if we didn’t have the Accounting Department there wouldn’t be DCR…because everyone knows that’s what keeps things running.
Happy clients and suppliers makes a happy workplace…and we’re part of a total organization that keeps our clients very happy.
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