Five ways to improve your finance department

Brought to you by SAP Concur

We’ve compiled the five main areas your finance department should focus on improving this year.

1. Become more efficient

The focus of many finance leaders this year is to improve efficiency and automation. According to a recent PwC report, automation and process improvement in key finance processes can reduce costs by 35-46%.

Travel booking processes, employee expense processes and accounts payable (AP) invoice processes are some of the areas that can benefit the most from automation and make your finance department more efficient.

2. Engage your team

Keeping all employees engaged is essential to the success of your team. You will need to follow different strategies to engage with employees of different generations. For instance, technology is essential to engage millennial employees and allow them to do more fulfilling work.

Paul Jackson, Head of Finance at Thames Reach, explains SAP Concur has made to his team: “It’s a difficult, draining job to keystroke enter 450 invoices a month – it doesn’t exercise your mind. Now [we’ve got SAP Concur] my team are spending their time in a more intellectual way, chasing, training, meeting with people one-on-one and having to be creative and come up with solutions. I see people who are more challenged and more fulfilled and for me that’s an important thing.”

3. Get up to speed on legislation

Duty to report and GDPR are two pieces of legislation that affect the finance function hugely, but people aren’t getting to grips with them. By learning what you need to know about the new legislation you will have an advantage over your competitors.

4. Get more visibility on spend

Last year we found that over 80% of finance leaders don’t have complete visibility on spend even though the information is available in many cases.

The difficulty to access this information causes a lack of visibility that leads to problems such as paying suppliers late and paying more than you need to on travel and expenses. Using technology that provides you with the visibility you need will create a much more robust and productive business.

5. Lead rather than follow

Embracing technology offers practical and wider strategic benefits, however, “accountants generally have a reputation for being backward-looking”, explains Jackson.

Taking the leap and implementing SAP Concur has made a great difference to the reputation of his team: “Having a system that works, takes advantage of technology and can be run on a mobile phone makes a big difference. It puts us on the front foot and gives us self-confidence and a standing in the organisation we didn’t have before.”

Did you find these tips useful? Find more advice for your finance department here.