While companies are increasingly choosing ERP software and finance systems based in the cloud, many are still operating from legacy systems that aren’t connected to the internet and using processes that create accounting silos.
For example, employee expenses and customer sales that run on different systems make it difficult for employers to gain a “live” picture of how the business is performing. Mistakes can also be made as colleagues manually share documents and data with each other.
Whether you’re a start-up or a large corporation, integrating your financial processes has many advantages, from cutting costs to helping you plan for the future. We highlight 5 benefits below.
Accurate, real-time reporting
Integrating your financial processes means it becomes automated, reducing the opportunity for errors. So you can be confident the data is accurate, plus you can view it in real-time. This is especially useful if you have a mix of colleagues working from home and in the office, and/or teams in different locations around the world. Everyone can look at and work from the same set of numbers.
Any faulty information will be displayed during the financial due diligence process as part of the integrated solution. Automation also means reporting occurs like clockwork, even if a key person is off sick or on annual leave.
Outdated financial processes cost you money. Integrating and automating them speeds things up, and lowers your accounting cost. Manual, repetitive work – such as keying data into a payroll system or entering individual expense forms into an accounts payable system – becomes a thing of the past. Using a central storage also eradicates the need for multiple data stores, potentially lowering costs further.
Cutting out repetitive tasks could enhance your employees’ wellbeing and boost their productivity. These efficiency gains may also enable you to re-train certain employees to work in other areas.
Streamlines the workforce
Once you’ve fully integrated the financial processes, you can streamline your workforce. As noted already, automation may allow you to shrink the size of the team. It will also move you away from being too dependent on a single person who is responsible for several systems. For example, if that person quits, the entire billing and payments processes could come to a halt, potentially harming the business – while you scramble around trying to recruit a new person.
A fully integrated system allows you to accelerate your finance team’s performance, and scale up the team for future growth. You’ll need to consider any new roles required, such as finance systems director, administrator, analysts, as well as developers and project managers.
As a specialist finance systems recruiter, SystemsAccountants can help. From filling permanent vacancies to contract roles, we bridge the talent gap between finance and technology, helping companies achieve their goals by building smart integrated processes.
Find out how SystemsAccountants provided a team of business analysts to support infrastructure investor John Laing integrate its finance, procurement and project systems.
Reduces fraud and improves security
Automation comes with a built-in audit trail, greatly reducing the risk of fraud. Being less reliant on one person to pay the bills and reconcile the bank account will also lower the risk. An integrated solution provides transparency, which can help safeguard a business against a large loss due to fraud. For example, if employees have to attach scanned receipts to their expenses, with several people involved in the approval process, it’s far less likely someone will slip in a personal expense too.
It’s vital employers think about cybersecurity when integrating their processes. Every piece of business data would be equally vulnerable under just one attack. However, making a centralised system secure is arguably easier than securing several different systems, plus it will be easier to manage. Use a powerful cybersecurity tool to protect your data from the outset.
Makes planning easier
Integrating your processes gives you an instant, holistic view of the whole business. You can also drill down to the transaction level, or look at departments separately to see how they are performing.
Automation allows profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements to be filled in automatically, making it easier for finance teams to forecast and plan for the future. ERP and EPM software can unlock a world of analytical tools, potentially revealing new performance insights. This can assist employers in making big strategic decisions How business intelligence & business analytics give finance leaders a seat at the top table.