Are your accounting systems still up-to-date?

If you’re a business that has been through a period of growth, then you may find that you’re facing the same problem as many others in your situation – the accounting and back-office systems may no longer be fit for purpose to meet the demands of the expanded business.

So how would you know?

There are a number of common threads and challenges that businesses experience when they are operating with a inefficient accounting system, but they may not immediately recognise the root cause of the problem.

Ask yourself…

  • How confident are you that your credit control processes are robust?
  • Are you benefitting from all the available discounts from your suppliers? Are you sometimes paying them twice in error? Are you overpaying them when invoices come in that don’t reflect the original quote? Maybe you’re being charged for goods & services you haven’t received?
  • Do you pay the suppliers who shout the loudest rather than those key to your business?
  • Are your employees inefficient meaning higher wage costs? Are they finding it demotivating and time-consuming to complete what should be simple administrative tasks?
  • Are your recoveries on your contracts low? Are jobs being misquoted with no follow-up or action to put it right?
  • Could your management team improve their efficiency if they had access to better information to help them organise and manage their resources more effectively?

It’s a common misconception that spending time and investing cash into accounting systems and processes is a poor use of resources; how can the exercise generate any additional income, you may ask? Surely it’s an overhead that can be put  to better (and more cash-generative) use elsewhere in my business?

It may well be that there are many other demands on your internal resources, but experience tells us that taking the time to dig deep into your systems to identify any shortfalls will allow you to implement changes and improvements that will build a strong accounting platform that will work for, rather than against, your business operations, which can only lead to greater efficiencies – and profitability.

What are the options?

Gone are the days of the manual process or of keying financial information into an Excel spread sheet to feed your accounting systems; a fundamentally flawed way of working given the significant risk and reliance on the individual keying in the information correctly! And not to mention the total inefficiency of having to input the same information several times into numerous places on different systems (and making sure they’re all amended if there are any changes to the figures or core information).

The accounting software market has developed significantly over the last five years with cloud-based solutions now being the ‘norm’ rather than the exception for the technology-orientated amongst us, and these are all supported by innumerable ‘apps’ which dovetail with the mainstream accounts packages and mean the manual (and time-consuming) tasks have become automated.

How we can help you

We’d carry out a full review of your financial back-office systems that are currently used by your teams across the business, including looking at your data records, processes and procedures, management information and reporting, to identify the areas where improvements need to be made to drive efficiencies. Any new systems and processes that we introduce would focus on helping you and your team to manage the business more effectively and profitably. It’s an exercise we’ve worked on for an increasing number of businesses – and we’re getting great results.

Here’s a recent real-life example

The company had experienced significant growth over a three year period meaning an increase in its workforce with plans to as least double it during the following twelve months. It had a major problem with staff expenses which, with increasing staff numbers, was only going to get worse.

Claims were being submitted for approval to the already-busy director in numerous formats, with no consistency of information and event to different dates in the month, meaning he spent a significant amount of his time reviewing the expenses sheets and receipts, re-analysing and putting them into a format for processing before being manually entered on to the accounting system.

With our help, the company implemented a cloud-based solution which allowed it to standardise the expenses now submitted at the same point every month, they are all in an agreed format, with digital scanning of all receipts, producing a clear summary for the director’s approval, which once authorised, automatically updates on to the central accounts software.

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