As a firm that manages multiple bookkeeping client accounts, we need comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), especially when just starting out with a new client. We have our staff draft the SOP in a standardized format with attachments of sample documents and control processes as needed.
This helps make sure that our staff have a deeper understanding of what is required and when. The draft is reviewed by a Manager with the staff member and edits are made only when both agree.
As our staff gains experience in the processing with a client’s books and methods, we no longer need to consult the SOP as frequently. But in the beginning, it helps us to make important edits to our process and ensure we’re doing exactly what we need to do, when and how we’re supposed to do it. It’s particularly helpful for the tasks we do just once a month or once per quarter because sometimes we need a little reminder on how we did them the last time.
Creating an SOP can include a wide range of money management tasks, from categorizing transactions to reconciling accounts, or for remembering when to pay vendors, credit card bills and a quarterly distribution!
The more detail you include in your plan the better.
We keep the SOP current and make sure that we date all revisions. We also provide our client with a copy of the SOP. This provides the client with the both:
- The comfort that the bookkeeping and control processes are being conducted in a standardized, complete and timely manner, and
- A template that can be used in the event they want to return the outsourced activities in-house either in part or in whole.
I’m going to give you a general outline of the recurring tasks you may want to include in your bookkeeping SOP. Use these as a starting point to build your SOP, but also customize it to include:
How your bank accounts are set up in your accounting program – which ones automatically feed into your system and which ones do you need to import transactions for?
If any of your accounts are not automatically imported and you need to manually import the transactions, write out the process for this!
Which order is ideal for categorizing and reconciling your accounts for example start with your merchant accounts first, then credit cards, then savings accounts, and last, your checking accounts.
Keep a note about any special accounts and/or transactions you want to track.
For additional help in preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) please contact John L Mottram at STENSON Bookkeeping Simplified through firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-543-1855 or go directly to our website at www.stensonfs.com.