Good financial management is the backbone of a successful business strategy and begins with the accounting and finance departments. Efficiency is key to execution, especially for lean entrepreneurs and organizations gearing up to tackle ambitious goals. The good news is there are plenty of ways for accountants and financial advisors to boost productivity and ultimately profits.
Outsource IT Tasks
Outsourcing certain aspects of your business can actually help increase the efficiency of your financial operations when done correctly. Hiring an off-premises managed IT service in particular, helps eliminate costly staffing overhead associated with implementing and maintaining the technology and security solutions that keep your operation running smoothly. The need for increased specialization in cloud-based services, as well as the myriad applications cropping up aimed at boosting business productivity, has led to the managed services market being forecast to reach nearly $300 billion by 2023.
So how can your business make sure you’re paying for quality services that will actually satisfy your shifting priorities? Ultimately, you need to focus on finding a service provider that will act as a partner rather than a vendor. It’s okay if it takes a little time! Take a look at their product offering to see how aligned they are with your needs. Do they offer 24/7 support? Do they clearly identify provider accountability? It’s important to make sure that not only does a provider fit within your budget, but also are proactive, responsive, and upfront about what they can deliver. That way, you can keep your on-premises staff focused on higher-order tasks that drive the business forward.
Create a Culture of Collaboration
Collaboration is integral to effective project management. Whether it’s within the financial department or cross-departmental across your whole organization, being able to effectively communicate helps get tasks done faster (five times faster, if you ask Forbes).
The first step is establishing a sense of purpose. Project managers have to provide context to support collaborative efforts: why is Project X important? How does it affect both Department A and Department B? Once all parties understand the stakes, you can begin to foster open, consistent lines of communication throughout the duration of a project. Reducing confusing jargon also helps. What may seem like common accounting and finance management terms may sound like a foreign language outside of the finance department. It’s easier to get help when people know what you’re asking for.
Leverage Key Technologies
A multitude of software solutions are being developed right now geared towards reducing manual processes, encouraging agile workflow, and increasing accountability in project management. It’s important to note that although there are many industry-specific applications out there, it’s actually more helpful to utilize business management platforms that encourage integrations with the types of software you’re already running on. This enables you to scale effectively as you grow and be tailored to the needs of your specific organization, as opposed to the industry at large.
The software suites that businesses implement are becoming markers of how efficient their operation is. It’s important to consider all the factors carefully, as with selecting a managed services provider. A realistic cost-benefit analysis will help you consider where you are now, and where you should be in the future to determine what type of software will be best for your finance department.
Invest in Training and Development Resources for Strategic Retention
Hiring and retaining talented, motivated finance professionals is the key to unlocking the full potential of all the factors listed above. Unemployment in the United States has reached its lowest percentage in decades. By comparison, costs incurred by companies as a result of voluntary turnover has skyrocketed to $600 billion in 2018. When employers aren’t doing enough to positively engage their employees or satisfy their compensation and benefits needs, their workers are freer than ever to choose from a growing job pool.
Although the cost of hiring and training a new worker to replace the one that left shouldn’t be taken lightly. The loss of experiential knowledge can be very detrimental, leading to slower production and a halt of goal completions. Therefore, in order to make sure that your business is moving steadily forward, it’s important to put your people first. Deploying a structured recruiting and onboarding process is the first step towards getting qualified talent in the door.
Cultivating a workplace culture that makes your workers want to come in every day gives them a sense of purpose and achievement. Having plenty of opportunities for feedback and career advancement will ultimately make your top performers stick around.
Today’s era of convenience means that the world is moving at a quicker pace than ever before. Keeping your financial operations in good working order means that your business is prepared to compete on a global stage.
Sara Carter is the Co-Founder of Enlightened-Digital, an online magazine reporting on trending tech and business news.