Digital adoption: is now the time to switch your accounting software?
Whichever way the impact of Covid-19 has hit your revenue, one thing is certain, it has caused your business significant disruption. We have all had to adapt and react to the challenges and obstacles the unprecedented situation has thrown our way.
For finance teams, it’s been extremely tough. It’s made the difficult task of keeping up with the numbers, even harder, while demand from directors and the board for financial information to inform decisions, is almost a day-to-day occurrence - meaning the pressure is really on.
In the moments where finance professionals have been able to draw breath, it’s likely that the ongoing circumstances will have opened their eyes to their practices and made them question whether the tools at their disposal have enabled them to make accurate assessments - during a time when accuracy has probably never been as vital.
If outdated accounting software has restrained your finance team's ability to be able to respond to the challenges set by the impact of Covid-19, then it is likely that now is the time to think about upgrading and investing.
A finance management system with the right tools can help to navigate the complexity of a situation like the one we are facing now. Here’s some of the ways Access’s financial management software can support businesses, when difficult, but important decisions need to be made.
As the impact of the lockdown began to take shape, finance teams would have had to begin shock proofing the business to make sure that resources are distributed to the right departments. This is in order to strike the balance between still delivering the core services while saving on costs.
For example, you can’t run a business with nobody working in finance, it’s not possible. But how many people do you need to keep the business running at the capacity it needs to in the immediate future, with such a sharp fall in revenue?
Or how many team members do you need in customer service to maintain key relationships with customers to avoid risk of competitors snapping them up in the short-term?
These aren’t easy tasks for the finance team to undertake as it means effectively you are pinpointing where people need to be furloughed, but in the long run, that could have a positive impact on the speed of the business’s recovery, protecting jobs along the way.
Finance teams are able to measure people’s utilisation using Access finance management software. If timesheets are up-to-date and connected to your Access system, finance professionals can see a clear indication of where the business still needs resources to deliver and where you have to make difficult decisions to save. The tool helps to make fairer, more informed decisions, in what is an ultimately unfair situation.
Agile and adaptable
‘Becoming more agile’ is a phrase that quickly came into the world of accounting with the introduction of new technologies. With tools like automation, AI and cloud solutions, it means that finance teams can react quicker to situations by analysing a vast amount of data at their fingertips.
With everything flipped on its head right now, businesses are looking to adapt strategies and it’s been quite impressive just how many businesses have been able to completely transform to achieve results in extremely difficult trading conditions.
Finance teams have been required to churn out financial information much faster and more regularly to be able to twist and turn with the ever changing situation. Tools like Access’s project management bolt-on, enables finance professionals to isolate costs to specific areas of the business and run reports that can inform the overall balance sheet from every ongoing project.
Speed has always been a big issue with finances. Finance professionals usually find themselves a couple of weeks behind where the business really is. Which is why tools for managing ongoing project or product costs are so effective. In this situation, you can’t even afford to be two weeks behind.
For finance teams, when forecasting they will need to present models to the board on how they think the business is going to shape up financially. Whether that’s for the quarter, for the year, or even looking further ahead.
With the right tools, finance teams can have access to lots of data and with this, decision makers expect them to not only present one model but multiple, so you can test different strategies to show potential outcomes.
Because of the disruption Covid-19 has caused businesses, forecasts and models in the long-term will have been thrown out the window for revised short-term focus and finance teams will have been expected to present these, possibly at multiple stages since lockdown began.
Access finance management software has a handy tool which allows finance professionals to easily upload budgets via spreadsheets into the accounting system. Through this you can swap in and out different budgets to create multiple projections, giving your business a wider picture of what financial strategy would work best. This kind of forecasting again highlights the importance of being ‘agile’.
The impact Covid-19 has had on businesses will lead to a lot of discussions in the coming months and rethinking of practices and systems used. This situation was always going to be difficult for finance teams to navigate, but with the right accounting software, they can help the business to react and adapt as best they can.