Home » Bookkeeping articles » Plain English Accounting

Plain English Accounting

June 4, 2021
Bill Kimball

plain english accounting

Sharon started doing the accounts for a little medieval-style hotel, but it wasn’t long before she thought about starting her own business. Sharon and her husband Wayne stayed in Bath for four years until their first son, Dylan, was born. Unable to shake the travel bug, they decided they would move to Australia.

  • Sharon started doing the accounts for a little medieval-style hotel, but it wasn’t long before she thought about starting her own business.
  • If you follow five basic writing principles, your clients not only will have a better grasp of your services and responsibilities but they also may even look forward to reading your letters.
  • And, very often, they do not have access to a national office and have nowhere to turn for help or guidance.
  • After Sharon’s contract ended, Andy offered to train her in accountancy, so she stayed on.

Sharon was only supposed to be at the firm for six months, but seven and a half years later, she was still there. Andy even offered Sharon a partnership, but she had already made other plans. She had recently got married to Wayne, whom she had been friends with since high school. The couple craved a change of scenery and decided to move to Bath.

The CPEA is the AICPA’s national A&A resource center. The CPEA’s team of experts assist members with accounting, auditing, attest, review, and compilation needs by sharing technical advice and guidance. The Center for Plain English Accounting is the AICPA’s national A&A resource center, sponsored by the Private Companies Practice Section.

Aicpa Names New Technical Director For Center For Plain English Accounting

Lean tools such as value stream mapping or process mapping are extremely beneficial in identifying waste in these back-office processes – particularly in identifying “Wait” time – which is generally the largest contributor to waste in a process. We also find that companies implementing Lean accounting often find the need for more cross-functional process improvement events involving finance resources, even if the process is not “owned” by Finance. Examples of this include H/R processes such as onboarding and offboarding as well as in I/T and procurement, where finance is a key player in the removal of waste from the processes. Examples include reduction of the corporate monthly close process from 18 days to 1 day – a significant reduction that freed up financial resources to focus on value added work vs. “rear-window” work in closing the books.

plain english accounting

What they don’t see – and therefore continue to ignore – is the “non-value added” portion of the process – which generally contributes most of the time to any process. Figure 1 below identifies the time in a typical process. Most groups expend their efforts on the smaller piece of the pie that they are intimately familiar with instead of attacking the larger piece of the pie where all of the opportunity resides.

Firm Memberships

Her expertise in accounting and small business operations has allowed her to successfully service a plethora of diverse businesses. Her roster of clients range from church leaders to benchmarking CEOs and their annual earnings have ranged from 60k to 100m. But it was Tretta’s personal experience with crippling debt that started the next leg of her journey – helping you recover from financial setbacks.

He frequently speaks at continuing education events. Charles is the quality control partner for McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. where he provides daily audit and accounting assistance to over 65 CPAs. In addition, he consults with other CPA firms, assisting them with auditing and accounting issues. As implementers of Lean Beyond Manufacturing, Jean Cunningham Consulting continues to see more and more companies embracing Lean accounting, employing the principles of Lean across their finance enterprise by attacking waste in their key processes. These include accounts receivable/DSO, accounts payable, payroll, the financial close process, financial reporting, the audit process, and tax planning. Some major improvements have been made by companies that have taken this route, with significant reductions in waste across a multitude of processes. Tretta Bush is a sought Managerial Accountant specializing in small business operations.

More From Business Wire

Clearly separate the detailed analysis from the overview. Use white space, subheads and separate sheets or appendices for sorting through the fine details. You will save your clients the trouble of poring through pages of analyses to find the conclusions they really want. Highlight the major points of interest to your reader. Put yourself in your clients shoes and ask yourself which fact or implication would be most important to you. List those facts in your overview in the order of their importance.

plain english accounting

This book explains the “how” and “why” of tax accounting concepts and mechanics according to ASC 740 (U.S. GAAP) using clear, practical, and understandable language and methods. It also contains a series of tax provision examples that start with a trial balance, work through tax provision calculations, develop the accounting entries necessary to close the books. This book is the “missing guide” you have been looking for and contains the foundational knowledge necessary to learn, understand, and apply the complex rules of ASC 740 in the real world. Members of the PCPS Section have access to a host of tools and resources for practice management and business expansion. The CPEA is an extension of those benefits, although PCPS firms must join the center first to make use of its services. Accountants | Auditors | Advisors | Business & Organizational Consultants | CPAs – Barnes Dennig is a Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm serving businesses and organizations in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. We provide a variety of accounting, tax, assurance, consulting, and advisory services to help companies, not-for-profits, and high net-worth individuals optimize their financial outlook.

Sharon was named Xero UK’s Most Valued Professional for 2016. Discover how she started an online firm that focuses on modern technology and plain English accounting. While the report provides much-needed guidance on the accounting for the funds under the PPP program, the resulting treatment will not be consistent from entity to entity, and in some cases, will require management to select an appropriate accounting policy. Given the fact-specific considerations, we recommend reaching out to your Barnes Dennig Accounting Team Member for assistance.

For the last thirty years, he has primarily audited governments, nonprofits, and small businesses. He is the author of The Little Book of Local Government Fraud Prevention and Preparation of Financial Statements & Compilation Engagements.

And, very often, they do not have access to a national office and have nowhere to turn for help or guidance. Through CPEA membership, practitioners gain national office resources without a national office. Be the first to know when the JofA publishes breaking news about tax, financial reporting, auditing, or other topics. Select to receive all alerts or just ones for the topic that interest you most.

Center For Plain English Accounting Mission

Fortunately, you do not need to be a natural writer to produce correct, client-friendly documents. If you follow five basic writing principles, your clients not only will have a better grasp of your services and responsibilities but they also may even look forward to reading your letters. But I feel like my company receives its money’s worth. We pose several questions each year, and we receive timely written responses–every time. For firms that don’t have a national office (and most don’t), this is an excellent solution. Last week I was working with another partner to resolve a nonprofit accounting issue. Within twenty-four hours we had an answer–in writing.

She found it difficult to network and promote herself while looking after a two- year-old from home. Because of Wayne’s job as a support worker, he had irregular shifts. That made it even harder to balance work and family life. However, instead of moving to Australia, Sharon and Wayne ended up buying a house.

JCC is passionate about raising productivity throughout an organization and works directly with their clients to achieve high-impact, sustainable results. JCC offers custom tailored services to ensure optimization for each client, and has the expertise and experience to teach them the path to realize a fully productive and integrated Lean enterprise. Toyota has been successful with their Lean journey because Lean is a way of life at Toyota. In order to share that same level of success, it is imperative that the finance and accounting organization understand both the requirements and benefits of Lean and become part of the core team that makes the Lean implementation a success. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; fraud and forensics; business valuation; and information technology.