COVID 19: How finance directors can prepare for the future

20th Nov 2020
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With a tough start to the year due to COVID-19, there will be plenty of challenges for companies to overcome in the coming months. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the strategies a finance director could adopt in order to embrace both the opportunities and obstacles that the rest of 2020 may have in store. 

Reassess contingency plans

The threats posed by Covid-19 can be felt internationally, and the full impact is still uncertain. This unexpected disruption is proof that contingency plans are vital and CFOs should make it a priority to address the ‘what ifs’ to ensure that they are prepared for a worst-case scenario. In the face of uncertainty, it makes good sense to have a Plan B, so finance directors should take the time to make sure that their companies’ contingency plans are in good shape.

Review your reporting 

To ensure optimal business performance, it’s fundamental to have access to real-time, in-depth reporting. If your current analytics package is not up to the job, now is the time to make a change: in a year of change, it will be more important than ever to be able to rely on concrete statistics on which to base business decisions.

Getech, an AccountsIQ customer, moved away from using four legacy accounting systems across the group business as a result of growth. Moving onto AccountsIQ brought a time saving of one week per month in reporting alone, not to mention improvements in other core processes.

Simon Brown, Financial Controller explains why AccountsIQ was the right choice for Getech, “We had previously been using four different packages including two versions of Sage as well as the UK and US version of Quickbooks.  Consolidation was a logistical nightmare. Neither provider could meet our core requirements, in the way AccountsIQ could, for multicurrency trading and consolidation across the group. AccountsIQ saves me a week’s worth of work every month end.” Read Getech Case Study

We’ve taken the opportunity to redesign and rebuild our reports because of the flexibility within AccountsIQ. We are no longer restricted to what, when and how we report; it is a big step change. AccountsIQ saves me a week’s worth of work every month end." Simon Brown, Financial Controller, Getech

Review your consolidation, multinational and multicurrency accounting processes

Does your company have international presence or are you a group with multiple subsidiaries? If so, you’ll know the value of consolidating your accounts accurately and efficiently. With turbulent exchange rates currently that are likely to continue fluctuating for a long time yet, it could be time to update your accounting package in order to easily handle multicurrency consolidation.

When Wayne Copeland joined AES as Head of Finance in 2017, he knew immediately that there were big efficiencies to be made in the company’s accounting practices. At the time, the company had been using Quickbooks, a starter accounting package that couldn’t handle AES’s rapid growth and multi-national accounting requirements. It was clear that the company had outgrown this system and required an alternative solution that could handle their reporting and consolidation requirements more easily.

AES selected AccountsIQ as it could easily consolidate their multiple entities, multiple bank accounts and myriad of currency transactions, and because it is easy to produce bespoke management reporting packs.

Consolidation was crucial for AES International, which has multiple entities and currencies to manage. Quickbooks only allowed consolidation in sterling, requiring the cumbersome use of spreadsheets and manual effort to consolidate the accounts. AccountsIQ does this automatically. Wayne’s team can easily run a consolidation of six companies and convert the data to any currency they need. Read AES Case Study

I don’t know of any other system that can do consolidation the way AccountsIQ can. It takes a lot of complexity out of everything and that saves us a lot of time. It used to take two weeks to do our accounts; with AccountsIQ and other improvements, we now get our accounts out in five working days,” Wayne Copeland, Head of Finance, AES International

Improve efficiency 

Becoming more efficient is an evergreen goal that will ultimately help businesses to focus on their key goals, streamline their processes and reduce waste. Conduct a review of the processes within your organisation and introduce automation where possible, to free up staff time, improve accuracy and eliminate clumsy workarounds.

When we started work with Tindle Newspaper Group their Group Finance Director, Alastair Manson had just joined the company and his immediate mission was to streamline the group, centralise processes and move the finance function away from Sage Line 50 and onto the Cloud. He quickly set about merging some 36 trading entities to become 7, and moved from locally-hosted database infrastructure, choosing AccountsIQ’s Cloud-based accounting and consolidation platform. 

The new platform was implemented and operational prior to COVID-19 lockdown in the UK meaning that the system could facilitate remote-working and the business could continue to operate. Read about Tindle's move to Cloud accounting in our Case Study.

We were lucky to have completed our move to AccountsIQ before COVID-19 and it has meant we can continue operating with minimal disruption. With AccountsIQ and with the expert support from flinder, our controls are better, the information is far richer, the system is more robust and reporting is timely. It gives us better information on which to make decisions. By reconfiguring our operation and moving platform, we will likely save between three and four hundred thousand pounds per year.”

Eliminate manual processes

The uncertainty of the next few months has made remote working a definite for a huge number of employees. The need for the provision of an infrastructure that enables remote working has dramatically increased, and the elimination of paper-based processes is vital to allow staff to carry out all the key aspects of their role away from the office.  

IT system integration

Integrating key IT systems together, rather than systems working in isolation, could make a huge difference to your business. Systems such as AccountsIQ's Cloud accounting software are easy to integrate with a number of other functions, such as data entry software and electronic banking systems.

Now more than ever more efficient ways of working are key. To help transform your finance function, take a look at AccountsIQ. With superlative reporting, consolidation and integration features, AccountsIQ's award-winning financial management software will help make your business more efficient. We can also get you up and running with the core financials in 3 weeks or less.

Enterprise Accounting Software of the Year 2019 & 2018

AccountsIQ's award-winning financial management software simplifies the way finance functions capture, process and report their financial information across multiple locations: 

  • Ideal for dynamic businesses that are growing locally or internationally
  • Anytime-anywhere processing and access, easy central control
  • Automated consolidated reporting 
  • Integrates easily with other applications, making it easy to scale.

Clients: Over 4,000 companies use our platform, read some of their testimonials.

To see how we can help you, please get in touch for a chat about your requirements or request a demo.

AccountsIQ are finalists of Enterprise Accounting Software of the Year 2020AccountsIQ wins Enterprise Accounting Software of the Year badgeAccountsIQ Wins Enterprise Accounting Software of the Year 2018 badge