Digitise your Finance Function this year - how to leverage technology and streamline processes
The events of the last year have presented some unique challenges for many businesses. CFO’s, Financial Controllers and Accountants need to quickly embrace digitisation into the heart of their business which will be key to building the foundations to a survive-and-thrive strategy.
My advice is to keep things simple. You can be up and running with almost any small and mid-range cloud system in a matter of days or weeks. But choose carefully as you'll want a system that can scale as your business evolves and grows. Your cloud accounting system should be accessible from anywhere through a browser, fully hosted and backed-up with regular product upgrades based on user feedback.
The diagram below depicts your Accounting System re-framed as Cloud Finance Management Software [FMS] with an API at its core so you can connect to HMRC, Banking, Mobile Apps, Reporting tools, and other apps and systems that emerge in the future API economy.
Steps for digitising and future-proofing your finance function
Go Cloud – Get a real cloud accounting system that is right for your business as early as you can. This will be the most important decision the finance team makes in the next 6 to 12 months, so don’t delay.
API Economy – Get familiar with what API’s are and how they can help your business on day one and as it grows. An API is an Application Programming Interface that allows two systems to connect securely and exchange information. Examples that affect all businesses today are Making Tax Digital and Open Banking.
Automate Data Capture – Focus the team on automation. This can be done using simple OCR connectors for supplier invoices, payroll connectors, and Point of Sale, CRM, Power BI and many other third party systems.
Connect your Banks – Connect your bank accounts so that transactions can be matched and reconciled every day to give a true working capital position to management daily and weekly.
Adopt Productivity Features – Digital wins are small projects that are easy to test and bank small successes for the team. All will save you time every month, so the investment payback is really significant. It also gives Finance teams social currency as influencers and advocates of change across the business.
Real-time Reporting – Make sure you have the ability to report all the financial and business intelligence information to the management team and other team leads that need data to be effective. All these reports should be visible from your Cloud FMS in real time and not exported and re-worked in Excel by one of the team.
What should finance teams be doing right now?
People – Really look after your employees and your customers. These are the most important people to your business and the ones that will help it thrive as we come out of this crisis;
Data – Carry out scenario planning using good data across all aspects of the business so you have prepared actions as and when new information emerges;
Communication – Report key metrics daily and weekly and talk to all stakeholders in the business as often as required;
Technology – Look at where you can add and replace technology so you can emerge fitter than before the crisis;
Divest – Get rid of cost that you believe is neither necessary, nor will not add value in the future;
Invest – Play offensive in your thinking. Digitise all you can in your business model. The technology is there.
Webinar – How Automation can make your Everyday Finance Processes Easier and Less Repetitive
Learn how you can leverage technology to make the most of your core finance system. We’ll show all the key automation elements and features available out-of-the-box in our cloud accounting system that can make your life easier by driving significant time savings and efficiencies, making month-end seamless.
When: Tues 29th June, 11am BST
Learn More about AccountsIQ
AccountsIQ's award-winning cloud accounting software simplifies how finance functions capture, process and report the results of multiple location businesses. Today, over 4,000 companies in 85 countries enjoy 24-7 access to top level Financial Management functionality, providing smarter working practices, including integrated approval workflow app, expenses app and API integration with front end systems, while delivering simple and accurate consolidated results and a superior level of business insight.