Your clients don’t do just one thing.
You might handle an actor who models and owns a production company. A sports star who acts and owns a restaurant. A CEO of a lifestyle brand who runs a magazine, clothing line, and charitable organization.
Even when your clients are focused on one field, they might have several distinct entities for which they need your management and accounting services. For example, your musician client probably wants to separate touring and merchandise revenues from publishing and recording revenues.
And it’s even more complex than that, isn’t it? Some of your clients have partners. That musician client is part of a band. The band members—along with other business partners—each have a piece of various entities.
As a business manager or accountant, it’s your job to control the financial intricacies created with multi-entity clients. But as you know, it’s not easy.
Enabling inter-entity classifications
Sorting through credit card statements is a perfect example of a task that is much more complicated when your client has multiple entities. Let’s say a musician client is on the road for 10 months every year. When that “phone book” of a credit card statement arrives in your office every month with hundreds of transactions, you need to figure out which ones are personal and which should be attributed to the band’s touring entity.
At the same time, you need to make sure you’re carefully tracking total spending. Your musician client might have only one primary credit card. When he uses it at a Tokyo hotel next week, he doesn’t want to discover he’s reached his spending limit. You might need to make multiple payments per month to ensure your client doesn’t run into any unexpected roadblocks.
What if you could classify credit card transactions on a screen with just a click or two? Being able to quickly and easily assign transactions to any number of distinct entities could save your team a tremendous amount of administrative time every month.
In addition, it could help you improve accounting accuracy and enable you to keep ledgers well organized, which in turn allows you to streamline reporting and tax preparation. And of course, a more accurate, up-to-the-minute picture of credit card expenditures could help ensure you make timely payments and avoid surprises for your client.
Gaining flexible internal controls
Multi-entity clients can also make it more challenging to enforce controls over which of your staff members can access particular ledgers. Maybe there is a former athlete who has been your client for 15 years and who is comfortable allowing only a small subset of your staff to manage particular entities. You need to protect this client’s privacy without sacrificing efficiency in your office.
What if you could easily group particular entities into a “family” and enable only certain users to access it? You could group your client’s broadcasting and advertising work as a single family, and assign senior staff to manage the ledgers for that family. Then you could let other team members manage your client’s restaurant chain, charitable organization, and other entities. These multi-entity capabilities help you meet your client’s privacy needs and segregate duties, so you can minimize opportunities for fraud.
Scaling your multi-entity business
Inter-entity classifications and flexible internal controls can help you support your multi-entity clients while reducing administrative complexity—and that’s critical for your firm’s growth. With an efficient approach, you can scale your services to take on more multi-entity clients while keeping personnel costs under control.