by Katina Peters & Megan Spicer
As a small or midsized business owner, you likely know how important sustainability is, both for your own business and for the network in which you operate. Chances are you have already taken steps to reduce waste, water and energy in your workplace, but perhaps there are more ways in which you can incorporate sustainability in your business.
As a virtual CPA firm ourselves, we follow multiple sustainable practices that you may integrate into your own operations. Here are the top 5 processes we utilize and recommend:
- Work with virtual companies: Virtual companies are often very focused on sustainability, simply by working in a digital environment. Many hold values that focus on sustainability for their own company and carry that forward to their clients. They will likely share their best practices with you to help save time and money, while decreasing your carbon footprint. We have shared many of the resources and programs we utilize on a daily basis with our clients, providing them with simple solutions they may not have considered in the past. In working with other virtual companies, we have also benefitted from being a member of a supportive virtual community and learning about programs as they evolve, like video conferencing program Zoom.
- Invoice electronically: If your business is in the habit of mailing out multiple invoices per month, there is not only a large cost savings opportunity but also another way to become more environmentally friendly. Emailing invoices to your customers will likely be more effective and will definitely be more cost efficient. Quickbooks and Xero offer easy to use, free solutions to send out invoices to your customers, as well as memorized transactions to assist in the automation of your processes. By utilizing these electronic solutions, you have the ability to ensure your clients have received the invoice, track who has opened it and send reminders to those who haven’t paid.
Pay online: By utilizing apps like Bill.com, we have found that it is a great way to cut down the amount of physical checks we are cutting every month. It’s also a huge time saver, because these programs can sync with Quickbooks and other accounting software, cutting down the time spent on data entry. Bill.com has cut costs for our clients because of its ability to reduce the amount of time spent on bill payments, receive payments faster, and cut down on the cost of physically printing checks. With plans starting at $29 per month, it is an affordable solution worth investigating.
- Store your files electronically: There are a multitude of programs available that offer free storage including Google Drive and Dropbox. Google Drive offers up to 15GB storage for free and you may purchase additional space for a minimal monthly fee. GoFileRoom is another program that offers more functionality and granularity in storage, but there are fees associated. By storing your files on a cloud system, your files are more safe and it enhances a sustainable culture within your company. As an accounting firm, we take security very seriously. GoFileRoom offers a higher level of encryption for firms with high-profile information that is imperative to be kept secure.
- Allow Employees to telecommute: This has a clear impact on the environment as it cuts down on the amount of cars on the road, but also helps your employees to remain sustainable. Allowing a work from home option can help employees feel that they have a better work/life balance, improving their efficiency and overall workplace satisfaction. This may also be an avenue to gain a more diverse workforce than you would otherwise be able to access. There are many individuals who are highly qualified but must work from home for various reasons and this is a great way to capture that talent. We are excited to have an established community of CPAs and bookkeepers who are primarily mothers seeking to spend more time with their families. Our goals as a business are to always provide the best service and value but our driving force is the amazing team of dedicated professionals. We have some of the most determined and intelligent individuals on our team who were simply tired of spending 40+ hours per week at the office. If you open up your recruitment efforts, you will be amazed by the number of highly qualified candidates available.
By taking these simple steps, you have the opportunity to see improvements in all areas of your triple bottom line. When in doubt, revisit the Three Ps and ask yourself if you can improve your procedures to be more sustainable. For a full list of our sustainable tools, please visit our Resource page.
About PJS & Co. CPAs
PJS & Co. CPAs is a virtual CPA firm aspiring to help entrepreneurs with business ideals founded on passion, commitment and purpose. Our mission is to align superior service completed by highly qualified CPAs with a revolution in the way modern business is done. We support this vision by attracting the best CPAs in the industry with an alternative, flexible work environment that empowers our team to think strategically and act as valued members of your organization while living a balanced life. Our philosophy is to add value, excellence and financial empowerment to both our clients and team members.
Katina Peters, Owner, CPA, CGMA, is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant with 20 years accounting expertise. Katina has specialized skills in international taxation, tax planning for complex entity structures including real estate investors, job costing/grant reporting, cash flow management, accounting services and financial analysis at all levels including CFO services. Katina’s experience in working with successful privately held businesses and nonprofits provided an array of skills she uses to assist her clients in starting, maintaining, managing and thriving in their businesses. Katina takes a holistic approach to advising her clients including corporate structuring, accounting system design and implementation, business advisory and growth strategies, accounting oversight and analysis, and tax preparation and planning services.
Megan Spicer is a bookkeeper and marketing professional with over 7 years experience in both industries. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University in Integrated Marketing Communications in 2011 and has gained specialized knowledge in digital advertising throughout her career.