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Know your roles.

Operational Efficiency

Internal Controls

Sales Coordination

Accounting Accuracy

Data Integrity

Action Item Followups

On Time Delivery

What do all these items have in common? They all hinge on clearly defined roles and responsibilities within your organization.

If roles go undefined, some tasks are unnecessarily repeated while others go undone altogether. Often there are no checks and balances within accounting software and businesses are therefore depending on the honor system to keep accounting numbers accurate and free of employee errors and fraud. Yea, those are some scary words, but it's true.

Even a single independent contractor needs to know what roles he plays and it would help to have it documented. It's much easier to document the roles necessary within an organization while the organization is just two or three employees rather than when it's 50 or 100. Are you convinced yet? 

At this point you hopefully feel like you've approached the subject and have a good grasp of how clearly defined roles work within an organization. But if not, then I'd suggest starting by writing down what your organization needs. Most organizations need three things (at least): someone who handles sales, someone who handles operations, and someone who handles administration. Gino Wickman dives into this in his book Traction. I'd strongly recommend this read to solve a number of business problems you're experiencing and some you've not even identified yet.

Of particular interest to us, as CPAs and consultants, is how clearly defined roles are important within an accounting structure. You've probably noticed elsewhere in our site where we've published accounting structures. It's a good start to make sure you have those roles filled, but it's also important to make sure those roles have clearly defined responsibilities. Things like vendor information maintenance, customer information maintenance, and product/service maintenance are among many responsibilities that can go undone for long enough to create some pretty serious problems within your organization just to name a few.

So how do you get your roles and responsibilities hammered out? Again, read Traction. Other than that, I'd suggest having a list somewhere of all the tasks, both recurring and periodical that occur within your organization. Once you have that list then you can start working through the exorcise of assigning employees to those roles.

As consultants, we often walk organizations through the exorcise of understanding what tasks need to be completed in order to have a fully functioning business. If you'd like a free assessment to explore these opportunities use this link or give us a call at (304) 697-7083 and ask to speak to one of our consulting partners today!