New finance directors: essential action points
Make your mark and transform your company’s finance function with these essential action points for new Finance Directors and CFOs.
1. CONDUCT AN EFFICIENCY REVIEW
Many businesses waste hours of employees time due to inefficient practices.
Does your finance department spend too much time on manual processes that are prone to human error?
Is further manipulation in Excel usually required to analyse data or produce management reports because the system doesn’t do what it should? Are your staff constantly having to import and export data?
Are there other functions managed via Excel that could be automated – such as Expense Claim processing or the Fixed Asset Register?
Your accounting system could well be no longer fit for purpose; think about introducing smarter cloud accounting software capable of completing financial tasks without the need for manual workarounds.
2. INTEGRATE OTHER BUSINESS SYSTEMS
Another common efficiency drain is the existence of multiple, separate IT systems for different business departments.
Does data from other systems need regular importing, meaning reports are therefore based on out-of-date information?
Could other business systems be integrated? Could efficiency be improved here, and also remove the need for double entry?
Switching to new software can provide long-term benefits of better integration of data, improved accuracy, vastly more efficient business systems, and better insight into what’s going on within the business.
3. TRANSFORM YOUR CONSOLIDATION PROCESS
If your company is a group with multiple subsidiaries, keeping track of what’s happening between entities can be complicated – but it can be simplified and even automated.
Does managing inter-company transactions and recharging costs across multiple entities or subsidiaries involve huge effort? With the right software, consolidation of transactions between different divisions – even involving multiple currencies – can be handled with ease.
4. IMPROVE YOUR EXPENSES SYSTEM
In many companies, managing expenses takes a long time because it involves multiple departments.
Do your colleagues spend too long recording and submitting their expenses?
Can you easily allocate revenue and costs across multiple periods?
Does the approval process around expenditure result in unnecessary overspend or delays in processing invoices and payments?
With efficient expense management, it’s possible to digitise the entire expense management process, submitting receipts electronically for the attention of a line manager and tagging them to the relevant project or department.
5. DIGITISE YOUR DOCUMENTS AND ENABLE REMOTE ACCESS
Electronic systems enable businesses to get things done more easily, but many companies have a backlog of paperwork and processes that aren’t yet ‘on the system’.
Are essential documents easily stored and accessed or do they need to be manually retrieved from filing cabinets whenever required?
Does the finance team only have access to systems and financial data when in the office? Would they benefit from easy remote access that would allow for more flexible working?
One of the many advantages is that it enables remote working, allowing staff to access documents from the Cloud, wherever they happen to be.
6. IMPROVE FINANCIAL REPORTING
Accurate, up-to-the-minute financial reporting and analysis is vital. It’s important to be able to generate reports that drill down to the finer details, at short notice, whenever required.
Does it take too long to produce meaningful report packs for the board?
If your business has multiple entities or is in a group structure, does consolidating the results for the group involve too much effort?
Does your finance function struggle to provide the insight, analysis and strategic advice your CEO and board requires?
In these cases, you will need to reform the reporting process, with the support of financial management software that can give you the answers you need.
7. CHECK CONTINGENCY PLANS
If the worst were to happen, would the company still be able to function? However unlikely the scenario, it’s important to have contingency plans in place to allow the business to survive in the event of a disaster.
Does your system provide proper backups and disaster recovery capability to allow your team to continue working in the event of a disaster?
If you’re looking for accounting software that can meet your company’s changing needs, discover how AccountsIQ cloud accounting software can make your business more efficient.
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