Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of how to streamline your business (especially your finance and accounting function). Read on to discover why digital accounting processes doesn’t equate to efficiency, how to build an ironclad accounting workflow, top tips to boost business productivity, the new ways of increasing business efficiency, and how to spring clean your business operations this year.
Digital Accounting Processes Doesn’t Equate to Efficiency
It’s no secret that inefficient processes plague businesses small to large; they lead to inaccurate data input, oversights and bad decision making. But despite these obstacles, companies have found a better solution: automation. And in today’s market, digital accounting solutions are a game-changer for accounting professionals across the board. However, not all solutions are created equal. In fact, automating your workflow process doesn’t necessarily mean they will be more efficient.
But is automation all that it’s cracked up to be?
An Institute of Financial Operations & Leadership survey on automation trends found that while 25 percent of respondents say they’ve automated invoice management, 68 percent of AP teams say they manually type their invoices into their ERP systems. Moreover, many automation tools are rigid and leave no room for flexibility. Consider this: 41 percent of surveyed businesses were planning to change their AP automation solution in the previous year, “indicating a potential desire for solutions with more leading-edge features and capabilities.”
So now that organizations are recognizing that automation doesn’t always equal efficiency, what should they be looking for in a new tech stack?
Use of historical data
Digital audit trails
To explore why moving your accounting processes digitally doesn’t always equal efficiency along with new ways of increasing business efficiency, read the full article on forbes.com.
Building an Ironclad Accounting Workflow Checklist
If you’re like most accounting leaders, you know that creating workflow checklists makes it easier to delegate tasks and streamline your department. But are you stopping just there? Have you considered optimizing your workflow process? Which begs the question, “How?” As a business, you have a multitude of tasks that require your attention. And if any of these fall by the wayside, not only will your company and employees suffer but your clients as well. That’s where accounting workflow checklists come in. But you need to go beyond just listing the steps. Here are four key benefits to optimizing your accounting workflows:
Ability to effectively delegate work. An optimized checklists helps you make sure the delegated work is done correctly, easily accessible to your employees and cultivates a culture of autonomy.
Allows your firm to run without you. With effective delegation, you can focus on growing your business, take a vacation, spend more time with those that matter, take on more clients, etc.
Improves work quality. Sure, taking on new clients is great. But what about the ones you already have? According to Harvard Business Review, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”
Boosts productivity. The easiest way to eliminate unclear expectations is by fully optimizing your checklists. This ensures that your team is able to do their job in the most productive way possible.
So now that you know the benefits of optimizing, how do you get started?
Review and update your existing workflow checklists. It’s vital that you update your checklists because as your company changes, so do your processes.
Create walkthrough videos for each step in the process. A video is more detailed and thorough than a simple word document.
Add in additional information to help your team complete the steps. Anything your employees need to know to complete the task with ease should be readily available.
For more on how to create a bulletproof accounting workflow checklist, check out the full article on cpapracticeadvisor.com.
Tips to Boost Business Productivity With the New Ways of Increasing Business Efficiency
The easiest way for a company to thrive is by improving efficiency. And companies, small to large, know that boosting employee productivity is the key to increasing profits. Here are a few tips to help get you there:
Updated your status regularly. Do your employees know what you’re working on? By posting statuses, you’re keeping everyone accountable and ensuring that tasks are completed on time. An easy way to do this is by investing in a project management tool like Trello or Asana.
Streamline your processes. Look for ways to make things more efficient, like automating low-impact tasks. See where you can make improvements. And most importantly, review your processes regularly and make changes as you scale.
Set clear goals and deadlines. There’s nothing more frustrating than an employee who consistently misses deadlines (or a manager that overlooks them). Make sure everyone understands what they are working on (and how that impacts the company’s bottom line).
Delegate and assign tasks. Don’t try to micromanage everything. By delegating tasks, you’re giving your employees the freedom to work on their tasks in the way they see fit. This fosters a culture of trust.
Takes breaks and allow for downtime. Burnout is a real danger to companies. By taking breaks, you can take a moment to recharge and be a better version of yourself when your return to work.
Encourage communication and collaboration. The heart of most innovative businesses lies within its employees. Allowing people to share their ideas builds team morale and creates cutting-edge solutions.
To dive deeper into how the above tips can make a real difference in your business productivity, head over to onrec.com to view the full article.
Spring Cleaning Your Business Operations This Year While Increasing Business Efficiency
… and we don’t mean cleaning the office. Now that the first quarter is behind us and the middle of the year is upon us, it’s time to take note of what processes have worked well for your company, what goals have been accomplished and what you’re struggling to achieve. Here are a few steps on how to refresh your business moving into the next part of the year:
Test the efficacy of automated processes. Are your automated processes still working effectively? Every broken process could lead to lost time and money.
Set up your accounting categories. This allows you to better determine which cost and profit centers line up and drive the most value.
Conduct a review of your SOPs and training materials. The world’s work climate has changed and your company’s training policies should reflect that.
Reevaluate vendor relationships. Ask yourself, “does this vendor add value to my business?” Each year, determine which vendors to nix and which ones to keep.
Cancel your credit card. A difficult one to see through no doubt, but you may be overpaying for services you don’t need anymore. This allows you to really think about which services you utilize on an ongoing basis.
Ask yourself five key questions. Did I meet the goals set for the previous year? Am I on track to meet my intermediate and long-term goals? How valuable are these goals I set? How do I set them? How do I execute them?
Review and communicate KPIs. Many managers fail to set and track KPIs, which inevitably leads to contention and poor performance within a team. Make sure KPIs are clearly communicated, documented and tracked.
Organize your books to see where you can save. Every company wants to contain costs, but where do you begin? Take a look at your books and see where you overspend as well as areas where you can invest.
Get rid of unused subscriptions. Why pay for a service you don’t use? You’ll find that taking this step will save you not only money, but time as well.
Review your client list. Look at the profitability of each client. Also look at whether they match your values and align with your strategic goals. If they don’t hit the mark, consider moving on from them.
To discover how to spring clean your business this year, check out the article on forbes.com.
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