Three ways in which a new accounting system can help your business
It is rare in the UK that we have to worry about disease, famine, natural disasters or other catastrophes, but as recent events have shown, we cannot avoid them completely. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically affected the economy, cost numerous lives worldwide and put a huge strain on the business world.
Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found high levels of stress in the British workforce. As a society, the level of stress that some employees endure is not healthy at all. To help alleviate stress in finance teams it is important for businesses to equip them with an efficient, up-to-date accounting system.
There are three primary ways in which having a modern accounting system will improve the day-to-day running of your business. Firstly, it will be a more efficient use of your time and money. Secondly, regularly upgraded and updated software helps you stay protected against hacking attacks and to maintain effective overall digital-security measures. Finally, these systems allow for more effective and efficient communication across sectors of your finance team and the rest of the business. All these factors will significantly improve the way that your company operates while simultaneously lowering the levels of day-to-day stress among your employees.
1. Automation and Efficiency
There are numerous ways in which using a new accounting system will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business’s processes. Whether you choose on-premise or cloud-based software, bringing it up to date will allow for much smoother integration with other office systems. You’ll save time by reducing the need to manually input data. Not only will this significantly reduce the amount of time spent maintaining your records, it will also eliminate the risk of any potential errors which could arise if your staff are still manually typing in data.
Employees will be able to file for expenses in a streamlined way that makes claims easy to check and approve, query or decline. Project finances can be managed by team leaders while being easily tracked by your finance department or CFO. Reporting is also simplified as data from different projects or different departments within your organisation is much easier to correlate and analyse.
Up-to-date software also makes it easier to interface with the systems used by your suppliers, buyers and banks, simplifying payments and purchasing, and enabling you to automate more of your routine financial transactions. Once again, automatic invoicing will save you time while making it easier to track all your payments.
2. Data Protection
Nothing a company possesses is more sensitive than its financial information. Ensuring the integrity and security of that information is vital. To achieve that, you’ll need two things: the best, most up-to-date security software you can afford and financial software that is new enough, or that is regularly updated, to ensure that any security weaknesses cannot be discovered by hackers. If you’re storing financial information in the cloud, your cloud provider should be investing heavily in security, to protect its reputation as well as your precious data.
There is, of course, a human element to security. The more people that have access to sensitive information, the more likely it is to leak, even if that’s purely as a result of carelessness. Having up-to-date software makes it easier to streamline data flow and to restrict access, and improved integration means that you will be able to automate more of the processes requiring that data. Both of these factors significantly limit the potential of human error which could result in data being misplaced or vulnerable to theft.
3. Relevance and communication
Over recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased focus on protecting the environment by reducing unnecessary travel, and rising demand for an improved balance between work and life have all contributed to an increase in telecommuting. The adoption of cloud-based technology has been an important contributor to this way of working, as it enables communication and remote access to business systems from anywhere at any time. Video chats and conference calls are increasingly common, and every business now needs to be capable of using them, making up-to-date software still more of a priority.
Improved internal communication helps every aspect of a business to run more smoothly. The latest generation of finance software makes it easier for employees to understand what they need to report and when, and incorporates messaging systems to make it easier for them to raise queries. It also makes it simple for them to spot urgent queries from your finance team without the risk that they might be lost among general messaging.