Business Systems Architecture: Future Proofing Your Chart of Accounts

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Using Chart of Accounts + other managerial tools to measure and manage the effects of freight and other expenses on margin & profitability

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One Step Closer Lunch & Learn...

Business Systems Architecture: Future Proofing Your Chart of Accounts

Navigating On-going Volatility in the Wake of COVID-19

Featuring accounting and tax experts Baker Tilly

Join us on Tuesday, Nov 16 from 10:000am - Noon pacific for an Ops/Finance/Accounting follow up to our Freight and Logistics themed Lunch & Learn from earlier this fall.

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Short Description: Set up your Chart of Accounts to achieve the level of granularity you need now and in the future. Join us for an interactive session that will help you evaluate your chart of accounts and create actionable steps to strike a balance between form and functionality.

Intended Audience: Finance, Accounting and Operations Team members that deal directly with cost accounting. Note: the hosts politely request at least one senior accounting manager attend for each company.

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In our last Ops Lunch & Learn session, we had some guests from MIT and Brussels who discussed the current logistics and freight scenario from a systemic and macro perspective. We have all lived with recently skyrocketing freight costs. To build on this and address the challenge from a managerial perspective, this session will focus on using the Chart of Accounts, as well as other managerial tools, to measure and therefore manage the effects of freight and other expenses on margin and profitability.

Session Summary

While financial statements per GAAP share the same basic retinue of schedules and structures, the minutiae of which expense types are abstracted and which deserve callouts on a given company’s financial schedule reflect both the company history and what management currently thinks is actionable information. We’ll use this session to help build both a conceptual and practical framework for how the Chart of Accounts (COA) can be used for managerial purposes beyond the monthly financials.

As an example, given that input and output freight varies by sku and sales channel, it’s vital that we capture these expenses in as granular a form as possible so as to avoid subsidizing unprofitable skus and/or sales channels by profitable examples (at least without our blessing!). Thinking through what will be important to know for long-term margin analysis is needed for allocating limited AP resources upfront. Granularity in data is simply a matter of staff time and therefore money -- how much do you want or can afford to know? Each company must find that balance but should err on the side of future-proofing their accounting acumen.

Join us for an interactive session that will help you evaluate your chart of accounts and create actionable steps to improve near term functionality while building for the future.

During this session we will discuss:

  • Accounting System Setup for Business Scaling
  • The COA as a managerial tool is not just for CFOs!
  • What is the relationship between the COA and managerial intel?
  • How should we think about company scaling when setting up or retooling your COA?
  • Accounting System Design Best Practices for Natural Products Companies
  • Determine the 4-5 basic decisions you need to make to get the best return
  • Given those, what information are you going to need to make those decisions
  • How best to automate your effort with the fewest data touches.

Intended Session Outcomes

  • Get to know your finance team better!
  • Determine to develop a management-wide plan for using the COA and/or other tools for vital cost and expense tracking!
  • Each of us will help nudge our companies in the direction of full cost analysis per sku and channel!

Special thanks to our partners:


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Baker Tilly US, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a leading advisory, tax and assurance firm whose specialized professionals guide clients through an ever-changing business world, helping them win now and anticipate tomorrow. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly, and its affiliated entities, have operations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 146 territories, with 36,000 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.9 billion.

OSC would also like to Michael Milam of Dr. Bronner’s, and Jordan Moncharmont of Kuli Kuli for their assistance in developing the program.

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Organizer One Step Closer (OSC)

Organizer of Business Systems Architecture: Future Proofing Your Chart of Accounts

About One Step Closer (OSC)

OSC  is a Northern California and national community of sustainably-minded natural products industry CEO’s and business leaders.

We strive to leave earth and humanity in better condition than we found it by inspiring natural products leaders to work in innovative and collaborative ways toward positive change.

OSC Mission: Address the toughest sustainability problems facing our industry and our planet by building new regenerative business models and agricultural systems

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