Any effective business strategy begins with strong financial management. Efficiency is the key to execution for lean organizations and entrepreneurs with ambitious goals. Fortunately, there are several ways to boost the productivity and profitability of your accountants and financial advisors.
Today's tech solutions make it possible to automate core finance team tasks with relative ease, reducing inaccuracies and delays and freeing your finance team to focus on more exciting and beneficial tasks.
We'll explore how to take advantage of everything today's high-tech world has to offer in this regard and teach you how to optimize your accounting process fully.
5 Tips for Streamlining Your Finance and Accounting Processes
The more efficiently a business can use its resources, the more likely it will thrive in today's competitive market. Find out how to do this using the five tips listed below!
1. Outsource Your Accounting
When done right, outsourcing certain aspects of your financial operations can improve them.
The market for managed services is expected to reach nearly $300 billion by 2023 due to the growing demand for cloud-based services and the multitude of applications cropping up to boost business productivity.
So, what can your company do to ensure it is paying for quality services that will actually meet your shifting priorities? Your primary goal should be to find a provider that will act more like a partner than a vendor.
You don't need to rush the process!
Check out the products they offer to determine how closely they align with your needs. Are they available 24/7? Does their provider accountability scheme make sense?
Don't only look for a provider who fits within your budget but also one who is responsive, proactive and upfront about what they can offer. By doing so, you can ensure that your on-premise staff can focus on tasks that will drive your business forward.
2. Make Use of Key Technology
That said, even though there are many industry-specific applications available, it's more beneficial to use a business management platform that can integrate with the type of software you already use.
In this way, you can scale effectively as you grow and make sure your strategy is tailored to your company's specific needs rather than the industry at large. Businesses increasingly measure their efficiency by the software they use.
As with choosing an accounting provider, it's essential to consider all the factors carefully.
By conducting a realistic cost-benefit analysis, you will be able to determine what type of accounting software will be most effective for your finance department based on where you are now and where you should be in the future.
3. Embrace a Collaborative Culture
Effective accounting, much like any form of project management, relies on collaboration. The ability to communicate effectively helps get tasks done faster within the financial department and in departments across the entire organization (five times faster, according to Forbes).
It is crucial to establish a sense of purpose in the beginning.
To support collaborative efforts, managers must provide context. What is the importance of Project X? What are the implications for Department A and Department B?
As soon as all parties in the project understand the stakes, consistent, open communication can begin. You should be open to the advice and opinions of experts, especially if they are genuinely knowledgeable about finance.
Avoid confusing jargon whenever possible. The financial terms that accountants and finance managers use may seem like foreign words to those outside the finance department. People are more likely to assist you if they understand what you're asking for.
4. Put Your People First
If you want to maximize the impact of all the factors outlined above, it is essential to hire and retain talented, motivated finance professionals.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. is at its lowest in decades, at only 3.6 percent. Comparatively, the costs associated with voluntary turnover have skyrocketed to around $1 trillion. The pool of available jobs is growing by the day, and employers must do more to keep their employees engaged and satisfied.
Replacing an employee who left involves significant training and hiring costs. Experience loss can negatively affect production and goal completion, resulting in slowed productivity. You have to put your people first in order to be successful.
The first step toward attracting qualified candidates is9 to develop a systematic onboarding and recruiting process.
Giving your employees a sense of purpose and accomplishment by creating a work environment that makes them want to come in every day is a great way to motivate them. It is also vital to give your top performers plenty of feedback and opportunities for advancement.
6. Formulate Procedures and Policies
Although putting a lot of trust in your people is essential, companies can't get far without structure. Even the best workers could cost you a lot of time and money because of a lack of discipline in the financial department.
Therefore, you must establish policies and procedures to ensure your company's financial operations conform to its standards and regulations.
Ensure that all payment requests, including salaries and contracts, are processed promptly. Make sure your account/trade receivables are in order. Before invoices become past due, ask your staff to send reminders.
By making sure that financial reports are accurate at all times, employees will be able to handle your client load and cash flow more efficiently.
Also, your teams will better understand your expectations if you communicate them from the outset. Defining policies and procedures in advance will ensure that they always abide by them, and accounting templates are also available for managing your books simple and affordable.
In today's era of convenience, everything moves at a faster pace than ever. You'll be prepared to compete globally if your business's financial operations are in good shape.
While some of these require more work to set up, they can go a long way towards improving your business. That said, please understand that these tips will get you nowhere if you simply "set and forget" them.
Make sure you check in with the processes throughout the year to see how things are going and make adjustments, so you don't have to start over every year.