How to Increase Efficiency for your Finance Team

As technology becomes even more efficient, so do the different apps and services that streamline your company’s financial processes. In this post, we help you to think about the many tasks your finance team performs manually and ask if there are better ways to do these tasks so they can focus on more exciting and useful work.



Did you know that according to Accenture, 80% of finances can be automated, freeing up 60-75% of staff time usually spent performing manual tasks? When operating in a competitive marketplace, it’s important to be resourceful in order for your business to thrive.

How financial elements are dealt with is constantly changing. Even today, many manual functions, such as transaction processing, payroll management, and accounting, are now handled automatically. Keeping on top of automation’s changing landscape will help you select the right accounting productivity tools to benefit your financial affairs and improve your finance team’s efficiency.

The Changing Role of Finance & Accounting
The general nature of finance and accounting teamwork is changing and will continue to do so as we progress into the future. In the past, the progress was based on the cost and profits made throughout your company's history. Now, it is used as a strategic value proposition – essentially financial forecasting based on data collation. 

For someone who deals with accounts and finances, it benefits you to stay ahead of the trends. The thing is, accounting software programs are being automated to improve finance department strategy. Automation has created a demand for business planning software services, such as ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning software), which has helped streamline the more tedious aspects of work. 

It also allows CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) to take on a strategic role on top of the analytical one. A CFO in 2023 will bring in-depth financial information to your company alongside data for an actionable, operational role. With so many benefits to implementing accounting and finance productivity tools, let’s look at six key ways to increase your finance team’s efficiency.

6 Ways to Increase Efficiency
Generally, there are many ways to increase efficiency in the workplace. While some companies will have different needs than others, here are six key examples that will work for any company with the proper solution application.

1. Leverage Modern Technology to Reduce Manual Processes
The overarching aim of new technology is to automate as many previously-manual processes as possible. Employees are reported to spend an average of 520 hours per year on repetitive tasks. Luckily, many of them can now be automated with modern tech, freeing you up to focus on more productive tasks. For instance, using a ledger and an accounting book could waste valuable time. 

It is a good idea to integrate a software system that is designed to work with your company. FISPAN is on a mission to reduce manual processes for accounting teams. Available to commercial banking clients using one of FISPAN’s ERP or accounting system integrations (NetSuite, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Acumatica, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central), FISPAN provides a plug-in solution to automate communications between banks and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems which eliminates manual entries and errors. Its plug-in benefits streamline finance and accounting processes and brings strategic value partner elements in line with enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration.

2. Improve Team Communication
Much can be gained through a refined, concise communication system that can quickly and effectively deal with opinions, constructive notes, and feedback. With the right software you can communicate your expectations, new policies, and processes effectively and regularly. A good communication portal is essential for reliable productivity. 

In general, CFOs are becoming increasingly integrated with the CEO, sales and marketing teams, and teams who translate financial data into actionable strategies. The role is now centered around solid foundational communication, allowing the financial team to work on the brand narrative alongside data collation and number crunching.

3. Use Batch Processing
Processing invoices as soon as they arrive is tempting, but this can distract from the main daily tasks. Instead, consider batch processing. Batch processing involves deferring invoices to the end of the work cycle and dealing with them in one batch. This helps to save time on other tasks and is useful for end-of-the-month reconciliation.

A good example of a tool that facilitates batch processing is an Automated Clearing House (ACH), which is worth looking into for this purpose.

4. Identify & Address Productivity Killers
One of the best practices you can integrate to improve your finance department strategy is to identify and address productivity killers. Many examples can be found in almost any workplace, including but not limited to the following: 
  • Slow processes
  • Miscommunication
  • Missing documents
  • Lack of visibility
  • Lack of clarity on the division of labor
Once you have identified which tasks negatively influence productivity, find a way to address them. Keep in mind that each issue will require a different solution. But if there is a particular process that takes a long time, try to figure out the reason and how the solution can best be implemented. This could be by alternating your practices or integrating additional software to improve speed.

5. Integrate Accounting with Other Departments
Finance teams often rely on data that is communicated to them from other departments to perform their duties. But what if you were to integrate the accounting department with other departments? That way, everybody can access the systems and processes, allowing data to be shared quickly and conveniently. This can be achieved with a little thing called Continuous Integration, a development practice that requires developers to integrate code into a shared repository throughout the day.

Merging the accounting department can save the finance team from requesting and waiting for information, moving the process along. It is even more efficient with the use of ERP integrations. By connecting your ERP software with other systems, information and data can flow efficiently through the team. It can also help the team identify key performance areas and develop them further.

6. Leverage Analytics & Reports
Every company should have an employee dedicated to keeping an eye on the analytics and reports. But what if that information was leveraged with the whole team? Integrating financial and accounting analytics team-wide will allow everybody to know where money (i.e., cash flow, assets, and profits) flows in your business. This will help the team as a whole to grow the business together.

It might also be worth visualizing your basic financial KPIs (key performance indicators) for your employees to use to your company’s advantage. Accounting platforms such as Xero and Quickbooks are excellent programs with built-in dashboards that can visualize financial KPIs.

Technology will streamline more processes as time passes on. It will be up to your CFO and CEO to use these improved processes to grow your business, increase productivity, and take your enterprise to the next level. 

Final Words

FISPAN is a leading provider of accounting and treasury management integration software that helps businesses do more with less. With FISPAN, teams can automate processes, manage cash flow, and make better decisions with real-time reporting and analysis. Contact us today or request a demo to see how we can help your business thrive.

 

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