What are the key features to look out for when reviewing your finance system?
13th Aug 2019
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If you’re responsible for finance in a company, then it’s important to be sure that the finance system in which you plan to invest offers the best possible set of options.
If not, then you may find yourself at a real disadvantage when it comes to gathering data, complying with your responsibilities under the law, and more.
How does it collect data?
Data collection is important for any organisation, especially when it comes to finance. As a result, you always need to be on the lookout for data features when overhauling your financial management system.
Ideally, what you need is a system that has a centralised data dashboard, and that can accurately capture what is happening across all strands and systems within the business and present it in a readable, precise manner. That way, you won’t have to contend with constant time-consuming requests from members of your organisation’s teams asking you to produce a specific piece of data.
Can it automate functions?
Finance is one long stream of repetitive tasks. From manually adding in the minutiae of payroll information to ensuring that regular supplier payments are made, there is a lot of room for error when it comes to your finance system.
And with one survey from AccountingWEB showing that strategy is only prioritised by 2.2% of finance leaders in favour of cost reduction, margin improvement and other tasks, this is more important than ever.
As a result, you should always choose a finance system that can automate as many functions as possible. Some finance systems can even automate monitoring tasks such as ensuring that you don’t go over budget on a specific project, or that you remain on target to meet your balance sheet goals – so it’s well worth investing in.
Is it compliant?
There are all kinds of regulations floating around the finance world at the moment, and it’s important to be sure that your finance software is going to help you ensure that you stay on the right side of the law – rather than hindering that aim.
Your finance system should, for example, be able to send your tax return information seamlessly and without error to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, or HMRC, especially under the new Making Tax Digital rules. It should also be able to comply with Open Banking regulations if you work in that sector.
If in doubt about which software package is the right one for your needs, then it’s worth speaking to an adviser before making your decision about what software package to invest in.
When it comes to sorting out your financial system, there are a lot of aspects to take into account. You need to be sure, for example, that the data is connected thanks to the integration capability of the system, while it’s also important to check that it has the capacity to automate certain functions.
Without investing in software that has this sort of advantage, it’s likely that you will end up at a competitive disadvantage compared to those competitors that have already done so.