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An audit is simply a quality control measure to ensure the accuracy of your financial records.

Many businesses conduct internal self-audits annually to ensure the accuracy of their books. External audits might be required if you’re applying for business certifications, preparing for a merger or acquisition, or due to regulatory requirements.

In general audits are in place to provide assurance that your financial records and tax returns are accurate, complete, and in compliance with accounting standards and relevant regulations.

What exactly is an audit?

A financial audit is an objective examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organisation to make sure that the financial records are a fair and accurate representation of the transactions they represent. Using checklists and interviews, auditors determine whether a business has its affairs in order and under control, in accordance with relevant standards, requirements, and/or objectives. They then present their findings in an audit report.

But why conduct audits?

The main purpose of an external audit is to validate a company's financial statements and to provide independent assurance of the accuracy of financial reports.

These are the most common reasons for conducting an audit:

  • to reassure customers, or suppliers of the accuracy and viability of your financial records;
  • to check the effectiveness of financial safety measures;
  • to verify the reliability of accounting/reporting procedures.
  • to determine if there has been any wrongdoing within the company 

An external audit would be necessary in order to verify the reliability of your internal accounting procedures.

What are the 3 main types of audits?

There are three main types of audits: external audits, internal audits, and forensic audits.

  • External audit: This type of audit is done by external firms that are qualified to do an audit.
  • Internal audit: This is an audit done by the audit committee and boards of directors of the company itself,  who are authorised for auditing.
  • Forensic audit: This type of audit is done by a forensic accountant who has specific skills in the parameters of accounting and investigation.

What to look out for when choosing an external auditing firm.

Choosing the right external auditing firm is an important decision that can have a significant impact on your business’s financial health, reputation, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

  1. Reputation and Experience: Look for an auditing firm with a good reputation and a solid track record.
  2. Qualifications: Check the qualifications and credentials of the auditing firm's staff, including their professional certifications, experience, and education.
  3. Independence: Make sure the auditing firm is independent and objective, meaning that they do not have any conflicts of interest or relationships that could compromise their impartiality.
  4. Communication and Reporting: Look for an auditing firm that communicates well and provides clear, concise, and actionable reports.
  5. Technology and Data Security: Consider auditing firms that have invested in the most up-to-date accounting software to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their work. They should also have strong data security protocols in place to protect your organization's sensitive financial information.
  6. Cost: Consider the cost of the auditing services and ensure they align with your budget and financial outlook. However, you get what you pay for! A low-cost audit may not provide the same level of quality and expertise as a higher-priced one, which can result in costly errors and legal issues down the line.

Overall, take the time to carefully evaluate each potential external auditing firm, and select the one that best meets your organization's needs and expectations.

Outsourced CFO

Getting through an external audit is a big project. Access to flexible fractional CFO talent means that a team of other highly qualified finance professionals can help you meet deadlines and crush goals.  


We love helping groups compile sets of financials that will pass the standards of any top 10 audit firm.

Getting in extra hands that understand the audit process and can help your team with preparation of audit packs, answering the multitudes of audit queries, and everything else required to get the audit over the line. Plug in Outsourced CFO’s accounting experts with audit backgrounds to help you and your team get this year’s audit done on time. For more information, visit www.ocfo.com

What is a business budget?

Having an effective budget is like a secret weapon in your business arsenal, and the one thing that will help you stay the course and keep the doors open.

A business budget is a financial plan that outlines the expected income and expenses of a company over a specific period, usually a year. It can serve as a roadmap for the company's financial activities and helps the management team to make informed decisions. 

What makes a good budget?

A good business budget accurately reflects the current financial position as well as the future goals of your company.

A successful budget should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the business environment and allow for adjustments as necessary. It should also be as detailed and comprehensive as possible, including all anticipated expenses, revenue streams, and sources of funding.

Different types of budgets

Having a budget is essential for keeping your finances in check. However, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Operating budget: This focuses on the day-to-day expenses and income of a business.
  2. Capital budget: Capital budgets are used to plan for long-term investments in fixed assets such as property, equipment, and facilities.
  3. Cash flow budget: A cash flow budget is used to forecast future cash inflows and outflows. This is critical for managing your company's cash resources, ensuring that there is enough cash available to cover expenses or dry spells.
  4. Master budget: This is a comprehensive plan that includes all of the other budgets mentioned above.
  5. Sales budget: A sales budget is a forecast of the expected sales revenue for a specific period. A sales budget is critical for planning production and inventory levels, as well as estimating the resources required to meet your sales targets.

How do you prepare for a business budget?

Budgeting can be intimidating, but with good planning and some basic groundwork, getting an accurate and effective budget together shouldn't be too daunting.

We’ve outlined five key steps that will make the process easier:

  1. Set financial goals: Determine your revenue targets, cost reduction goals, and other key performance indicators that will help you measure your success.
  2. Track your income: This includes any money you earn from sales, investments, or other sources.
  3. Categorize expenses: Categorize your expenses into groups such as rent, utilities, payroll, marketing, and supplies. This will help you understand where you can cut costs.
  4. Create a budget template: This can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your income and expenses for each month of the year.
  5. Review and adjust: Finally, review your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed.


If you are creating a business budget to help you manage your cash more effectively, make sure that you hit these markers and include the following items.


  1. Sales revenue: This is the amount of money that the company expects to generate from the sale of products or services.
  2. Operating expenses: These are the expenses associated with running the day-to-day operations of the business, such as rent, utilities, salaries, and marketing expenses.
  3. Cost of goods sold (COGS): This is the cost of producing or acquiring the products or services that the company sells.
  4. Capital expenditures: These are long-term investments in fixed assets such as property, equipment, and facilities.
  5. Taxes: This includes any taxes that the company is required to pay, such as income tax or sales tax.
  6. Interest and debt repayments: This includes any interest payments on loans or other debt, as well as any repayments of principal.
  7. Cash reserves: This is the amount of cash that the company wants to hold in reserve to cover unexpected expenses or to take advantage of opportunities.
  8. Contingency funds: These are funds set aside for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

If you need assistance, contact OCFO and learn about our remote accounting services and available packages. We can assist with your initial cash flow planning and management, and make sure that your business is set up for profitability. Find out more at ocfo.com, or reach us at [email protected].

The financial year end is when shareholders, directors, and accounts departments draw up their annual financial statements. An audit can be helpful to plan and position your business for future growth.

What is a company audit and why is it required?

"Audit" refers to examining and evaluating your business’s financial statements.

An auditor checks that the business’s financial statements are complete, up-to-date, and correct. An auditor’s job is to ensure that your bookkeeping activities are above board and that your financial statements reflect the actual financial position of the business. This is a minimum requirement of potential funders who want to invest in your company.

Why you should seriously consider auditing your company:

1) It is a legal requirement for your company to be audited. Tax Compliance is taken seriously, no matter where you are in the world.

2) Auditing your company gives your annual financial statements credibility. This improves investor and shareholder confidence in the company.

3) Audited financial statements will be required when working with banks in applying for loans for capital expansion.

4) A key advantage to auditing your company is to make sure there’s no irregular expenditure, fraud, or embezzlement.

What happens if you fail your audit?

Unfortunately, many business owners only realise the true value of auditing after failing their audit.

If an auditor finds out that the company’s finances are not sound, your business could face legal consequences. This can lead to financial loss, reputational damage, and a loss of confidence from shareholders and investors. So it’s important to incorporate your audit into your yearly planning.

Consider outsourcing your financial statements to a specialist company such as OutsourcedCFO. This way, you have the necessary expertise on call to ensure a stress-free audit, without having to fork out for specialist staff on your payroll. 

How to prepare for your audit:

Note the required deadlines, and ensure that your accounting staff are aware of what needs to be ready for each submission date. If your staff don't have the expertise to prepare financial statements, line up the experts before these due dates.

Ensure your accounts are up to date and correct. This means using the latest accounting packages to streamline and automate as many processes as possible. Make sure that your staff realizes the importance of submitting paperwork accurately and on time. Software options like Dext allows you to scan and upload receipts digitally, as this will minimize human error.

What could go wrong?

Closing off your accounts and getting them ready for an audit can be challenging - watch out for the following sticking points:

  • Financial records not complete
  • Missing or misplaced documents
  • Incorrect entries
  • Ineffective communication between various departments leading to missing data
  • Untrained staff who do not have expert knowledge

Calling in the OCFO experts to assist with your legal audit requirements:

The outcome of an audit is crucial for your business. But it’s a process worth going through as it assures stakeholders that your business is true and fair. To nail any audit process, keep your business financials up to date.

If you don’t have the expertise to finish your audit without a hitch, outsource additional accounting expertise, to help get this year’s audit done on time. Call in OutsourcedCFO and get in expertise to help your team with the preparation of audit packs, answering the audit queries, and anything else required to get the audit over the line.

Financial Statements:

Compiling financial statements on global financial reporting standards is a specialist task. With expert drafting and consolidation expertise, we help you nail your audit requirements.

We love helping groups compile sets of financials, and set you up for a stress-free audit. We provide further support on adjustments, audit queries, and finalization of financial statements. This frees your team to stay focused on the current financial year’s mission, knowing the previous year's is covered.

If your business is facing a sticky audit, or you are not sure of your legal audit requirements, you’ll benefit from our expert accounting team. If you need to know more about how we can help, contact us today for a consultation. Click Here to Contact Outsourced CFO today

Why is cash flow management important?

We probably don't need to explain that money makes the entrepreneurial  world go ‘round. Without available cash to cover your running costs and overheads, your business is dead in the water. Money flowing in and out is  called your cash flow, and it is vitally important that you track and analyze this, in order to make smart financial decisions that make your money work for you.

A cash flow analysis allows you to analyze the liquidity position of the company and gives a snapshot of the amount of cash coming into the business (inflows) and amount flowing out (outflows). Smaller businesses  are often very dependent on their monthly inflow in order to cover running costs and overhead,  meaning that positive cash flow and proper cash flow management is vital. Let’s dive in.

 What are the 3 types of cash flows? 

There are three basic sources of revenue that can flow into your business.

  1. Operating cash flow: Simply put, this is money that you receive from selling your goods or services, versus  the money that you spend keeping your doors open. A company whose income exceeds its operating expenses is cash flow positive.

  2. Investing cash flow: Cash flow from investing activities refers to funds received from any  long-term investments, e.g. buying shares in another company or startup.  When those shares are later sold for a profit, this money contributes to your business inflow.

  3. Financing cash flow: Some companies sell ownership shares to investors to raise money for operating expenses.  For some startups, financing cash flow will play a more significant role than operating cash flow in the company’s overall cash flow management.

How Can You Increase Cash Flow?

There are a number of  short-term and effective strategies that you can implement in order to immediately improve your cash flow.  Consider the following:

  1. Negotiate better terms with your supplies, and see if it’s possible to get a bulk discount.

  2. Re-examine your costing and manufacturing process. Make sure that your costing is realistic and that your production process is lean.

  3. Incentivize early payment from clients, and make sure to chase those late payments. Your money should be in the bank working for you, not in somebody else's account.

  4. Cut down on ‘nice-to-haves’ in the office. Do you really need catered lunches?

  5. Rethink your big office space, especially now that remote and hybrid work models are becoming the norm.

  6. Know and understand your yearly cash-flow cycles, and prepare for quieter times. When a shortfall is on the way, you can identify it well in advance and take the necessary steps now to avoid it. Experts like OCFO utilize top tools and approaches to help you forecast money in and money out. In times of excess, cash can be invested smartly.                             

  7. Call in the financial experts to assist with cash flow projections  and effective cash management

Now that you've increased the cash flow and kept yourself liquid, it's just as important to manage that liquidity to your advantage. If you do not have the experience or the in-house expertise on tap, consider getting the experts on call, like OCFO, to advise you on yourcash flow management.

Getting in the OCFO Experts to help you manage your cash flow smartly

Growth sucks cash – that’s the number one law of entrepreneurial gravity. As you grow, there will be a bigger and bigger ask of your available resources, while managing everything becomes ever more complex. As an entrepreneur, your job is to focus on growing the company, while a dedicated Outsourced  CFO gives you the clarity to make the right calls as you power towards the next milestones. For instance, periods of high profitability and liquidity events (fundraises, exits) can lead to excess money in the bank. Make smart cash allocations  and manage your cash flow with ease, led by the insight and experience of a CFO who has handled large sums before.

All business owners will want to avoid cash flow problems. However, due to their size and ability to access financial resources, SMEs are often disproportionately affected by negative cash flow. Careful management of cash flows and attention to liquidity will see your business through any crisis. Contact OCFO, we have the experts and the tools tohelp you analyze your cash flow situation, and plan for future liquidity.

If you have a business with money flowing in and out you need some way of keeping track of everything. Accurate bookkeeping becomes crucial not only to track activity, but to gain a holistic view of your financial situation, and enable better planning and management in the long run.  Traditional bookkeeping services may offer a standardized approach; whereas personalized bookkeeping provides a more tailored, targeted service that can help you make business-specific decisions.  Here we will explore the ins and outs of personalized bookkeeping vs old-school methods, and help you decide if this is the route to take with your business venture.

What is personalized bookkeeping?

Personalized bookkeeping is a type of bookkeeping service that is tailored to the specific needs and requirements of an individual or business. Unlike traditional bookkeeping services, which may offer a one-size-fits-all approach, personalized bookkeeping considers the unique financial situation and goals of your specific situation.

How does personalized bookkeeping work?

Personalized bookkeeping typically involves an initial consultation to determine the client's specific financial needs and goals. From there, the bookkeeper or firm will create a customized plan that outlines the specific services they will provide, based on your individual needs as discussed. These services may include financial statement preparation, accounts payable and receivables, bank reconciliations, payroll processing, tax preparation and more. Your bookkeeper or accounting firm will work closely with you to ensure that goals and expectations are met.

Personalized bookkeeping vs traditional methods

Personalized bookkeeping, also known as cloud-based or digital bookkeeping is an advanced method of bookkeeping that has become increasingly popular, especially since the lockdown imposed a move to online or hybrid work. Unlike traditional bookkeeping methods, which rely on paper records and manual data entry, personalized bookkeeping utilizes digital tools and software to automate and streamline the bookkeeping process.

Here are some of the benefits of using personalized or cloud-based bookkeeping over traditional bookkeeping methods:

  1. Time Savings: Personalized bookkeeping saves time by automating repetitive tasks.
  2. Improved Accuracy: Personalized bookkeeping automates data entry, reconciling bank statements, and generating financial reports.
  3. Better Financial Control: Personalized bookkeeping provides better financial control by giving management real-time access to their financial information.
  4. Scalability: Personalized bookkeeping is scalable, which means that it adapts to the changing needs of a business.
  5. Cost Savings: This form of bookkeeping can save on overheads by reducing the need for manual data entry, paper records, and physical storage space.
  6. Improved Accessibility: Personalized bookkeeping allows businesses to access their financial information from anywhere, at any time.

Personalized bookkeeping offers a more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective solution for managing a growing business's finances than older desk-bound methods.

What should I look for in a personalized bookkeeping service?

Getting a bookkeeper or part-time bookkeeping service on board is a big decision, one that can impact your business for years. Look for a bookkeeper or company with experience in your industry - especially if you work in a niche environment. Also, remember the importance of communication and availability. You want a bookkeeper who will be accessible and responsive to your needs and questions, and who will keep you updated and informed on any possible sticking points.

Outsourced CFO Services

At the base of every company’s finance function sits a bookkeeping and reporting process that needs to be rock solid. The team at Outsourced CFO can assist with streamlining your bookkeeping functions through cloud-based, personalized services and software automation.        

A streamlined flow of financial information gained through cloud-based accounting enables higher-value financial activities that support your company’s growth, while the lack thereof hinders the ability to make quality financial decisions. Look no further than Outsourced CFO for.

  • Income and expense allocations that are accurate and make sense;  
  • A clean balance sheet that reflects your company’s financial position;
  • Cash flow reports that help you clearly see what comes in and what goes out;
  • Debtors and creditors' information that support your cash flow cycle;
  • A bookkeeping and accounting team that cares about you and your company.                                    

Deploy the best cloud accounting tools with Outsourced CFO and support your finance team’s capacity with a dedicated team of accountants who can help get your books in order. For more information visit www.ocfo.com and contact one of our expert consultants.

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In recent years, there has been a significant surge in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. AI is transforming the way we live, work, and interact with machines. It is one of the fastest-growing fields of computer science, with a wide range of applications in various industries. AI, together with machine learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), deep learning, neural networks, Computer Vision, robotics, expert systems, reinforcement learning, Data Mining, big data, internet of things (IoT), cognitive computing, and chatbots, has paved the way for the creation of intelligent machines that can mimic human-like behavior.

Machine Learning (ML)

ML is a subset of AI that enables machines to learn and improve their performance based on experience. It is a type of algorithm that uses statistical techniques to enable machines to identify patterns in data and make decisions based on that data. ML has various applications, including image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP is a subfield of AI that focuses on the interaction between humans and computers using natural language. NLP allows machines to understand human language, including its nuances and complexities. It is used in various applications, including chatbots, virtual assistants, and speech recognition.

Deep Learning

Deep learning is a subset of ML that uses artificial neural networks to enable machines to learn from data. It is used in various applications, including image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Deep learning is based on the idea of simulating the behavior of the human brain, allowing machines to learn from data and improve their performance over time.

Neural Networks

Neural networks are a type of deep learning algorithm that is modeled after the human brain. They consist of layers of interconnected nodes that process and transmit information. Neural networks are used in various applications, including image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

Computer Vision

Computer vision is a subfield of AI that focuses on enabling machines to understand and interpret visual information from the world around them. It is used in various applications, including facial recognition, object detection, and autonomous vehicles.


Robotics is the field of engineering and science that deals with the design, construction, and operation of robots. AI and robotics are closely linked, as AI enables robots to learn and improve their performance based on experience.

Expert Systems

Expert systems are AI programs that are designed to solve problems in a specific domain. They are based on a set of rules and knowledge about a particular subject matter. Expert systems are used in various applications, including medical diagnosis and financial analysis.

Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement learning is a type of ML algorithm that uses trial and error to enable machines to learn and improve their performance. It involves the use of rewards and punishments to incentivize machines to make the right decisions. Reinforcement learning is used in various applications, including robotics and gaming.

Data Mining

Data mining is the process of discovering patterns and insights from large datasets. It is used in various applications, including marketing, healthcare, and finance. Data mining is often used in conjunction with ML and AI to enable machines to learn from data.

Big Data

Big data refers to the large volumes of structured and unstructured data that are generated by various sources. Big data is used in various applications, including predictive analytics, machine learning, and AI. The use of big data has enabled machines to learn and improve their performance based on large amounts of data.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT refers to the interconnected network of physical devices that are embedded with sensors and software. IoT is used in various applications, including smart homes, smart cities, and industrial automation.

We’ve all read the headlines - automation is the future of business. But what exactly does that mean, and how do we go about automating our business processes, specifically accounting? In the world of business, accounting plays a crucial role in ensuring financial stability and success. However, traditional accounting methods can be time-consuming, error-prone, and often require a significant amount of manual labour. This is where automated accounting comes in as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes.

Finance process automation is the use of specialized software or virtual accounting services in order to automate a number of finance-related tasks. This would normally fall under a junior administrator or accountant and include rote tasks such as reconciling accounts, journal entries and preparing financial statements, to name a few. By automating these routines and recurring tasks, you free up valuable time that is better spent on strategic financial decisions, ensuring better outcomes in the long run.

Why is automation in accounting important, and how exactly can it benefit your operation? 

There are a number of ways in which financial process automation can benefit your growing company.

Increased efficiency: Automated processes can complete repetitive accounting tasks faster and with greater accuracy than manual processes, freeing up time for your accounting professionals to focus on higher-level tasks with more impact.

Cost savings: Automation can reduce the costs associated with manual processes, such as labour costs and the need for paper-based documents.

Improved accuracy: Automation can minimize human error and ensure that financial data is consistently and accurately recorded, reducing the risk of financial inaccuracies and even fraud.

Enhanced compliance: Automation can help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of penalties and fines.

Easy access to real-time data: Automated systems can provide real-time data and analytics, enabling accounting professionals to make better-informed decisions. Cloud-based access to your financial function also allows your finance team to access vital information on the go.

Lower IT Costs: Automated accounting systems can be hosted in the cloud, which eliminates the need for expensive IT infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Enhanced Security: Automated accounting systems can provide enhanced security features such as encryption and access controls, reducing the risk of data breaches and irregularities.

Big and small enterprises are making the leap and migrating their once paper-based systems to streamlined digital processes stored safely in the cloud. This allows them the benefits of using cloud-based accounting software to access financial data from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling remote and hybrid work for teams that are now expecting this type of flexibility in their work environment.

Furthermore, cloud computing allows for easy collaboration between accounting professionals and team members alike, as multiple people can access and edit financial data simultaneously. This can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors, as well as allow managers real-time oversight and control. Cloud computing and accounting software allow for easy scalability, as your system can grow to accommodate your scaling business with ease. Updates are painless and much cheaper than with older desk-bound systems.

With so many benefits, it's no wonder that businesses are moving to automated accounting systems hosted on the cloud. If you are thinking of automating your financial function, but are unsure of how to take the next step, consider calling in a team of financial professionals like Outsourced CFO on a part-time basis to assist. 

Outsourced CFO

Business automation and cloud technology have changed the way in which we conduct business forever. Gone are the days of disjointed and disconnected technology platforms that are unable to talk to each other and lack real-time reporting capabilities. Ensuring organizations utilize the latest cloud technology in an integrated environment results in automated systems, faster client delivery and improved data transparency and accuracy. Using leading cloud accounting software, our expert cloud accountants help business owners to automate their bookkeeping and finance function, taking the pain out of reporting.

As technology evolves, OCFO will provide continuous support in order to ensure that your automation services remain up to date, in line with best practices and updated with changes in technology protocols. This ensures that your business remains relevant in an ever-evolving marketplace and can better adapt to new solutions brought to market by competitors. Learn more about Automated Accounting and Outsourced CFO by clicking here.