Megan Weis — VP & General Manager, FAO Services at Personiv was invited as a guest to speak on the MarketScale Software & Technology Podcast with Geoffrey Short where she discussed just some of the ways that leaders can streamline their businesses' finance and accounting processes and win back their valuable time in the process.
The topic at issue during Weis' stint on the show is one that financial leaders are becoming increasingly aware of: the lack of resources left over for financial strategizing after the transactional work of running a business is done.
Our recent survey of financial professionals found, for instance, that a full 79 percent of accounting leadership wishes they had more time to devote to strategy instead of the menial and often manual value-neutral tasks they are often overwhelmed with instead.
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Listen to the full podcast below:
Why Companies Fail to Find the Time for Financial Strategy
Weis began by explaining to Short the two major hurdles companies tend to come up against when they find themselves facing the closing crunch month after month, realizing that another bookkeeping cycle has come and gone without strategic planning.
The first, she says, is a lack of talent. Sometimes it's a matter of sourcing the necessary skilled accounting professionals to do the work, and other times businesses simply have trouble effectively distributing and deploying the talent they already have access to.
If half of the issue is scarcity, the other is surplus, according to Weis. While companies struggle to get the right people in the right roles, they're also up against a workload that consists in large part of the day-to-day mundane, transactional and back-office tasks that eat up the time leaders need to analyze and strategize for future initiatives.
How Companies can Streamline Their Finance and Accounting Processes Instead
Not that it's all doom-and-gloom, according to Weis. Finding more time isn't a problem without a solution. Companies just need to know where to start. Here's what Weis suggests:
- Consolidate Disparate Accounting Systems - As companies grow and change, especially through mergers and acquisitions, they sometimes end up operating on disparate systems. Reconciling each of them at the end of one month and re-establishing financial bearing at the beginning of the next is often manual, and manual processes are time-consuming.
- Understand Your Accounting Workflow - Weis has observed that companies may not "have a real clear vision of how their processes are flowing and where bottlenecks are occurring. Some may not have desktop procedures. Processes kind of exist in their employees' heads." Getting a firm grasp on how reporting happens and getting everyone on the same page can be illuminating and do double-duty by eliminating some of those same bottlenecks once you map out accounting processes.
- Outsource to Invest Time Wisely - Weis emphasizes that outsourcing can help with both the time-consuming work of mundane transactional tasks and handle the higher-end processes as well. It's an agile solution. With a skilled offshore team, in-house departments can be efficiently deployed on data-driven decision making: profit research; identifying data variances; strategizing investment opportunities and adopting a forward-looking approach.
Outsourcing can help companies like yours shift the focus from managing general and administrative tasks to planning for growth and executing strategic initiatives that drive profit. But you need the right partner. Personiv has been putting quality teams together in order to create custom solutions for leaders across all industries for over 30 years. Find out how we can help you do more with less by contacting us for a free consultation today.