How 4PointZero Can Support Your Business Through COVID-19Jamie Allen
We are all too aware these are difficult times for many, at the top of this list will be those that lose loved ones to this terrible virus, quickly followed by those who have lost their jobs, businesses and well-being leading to much hardship. We at 4PointZero wish to do all we can to help those in distress as a result of this malignant disease.
We have no desire to appear disparaging or inconsiderate to those who face these difficulties and indeed it is extremely difficult to find positives under the current situation. But for the mental well-being of us all, I/we think it is important to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and getting back to some semblance of normality as quickly as possible.
Whilst empathetic, our main goal is to provide businesses with the right tools and advice to ensure they are best placed to inject a much-needed boost to the economy and employment market once we return to a state of ‘business as usual’. As a business owner, there is no limit to how much I/we would love to be one of those businesses that will be able to help those in need when this is all over.
So, to the matter at hand, away from the “why” and looking more into the “how” we at 4PointZero wish to help businesses and better prepare them for the future. During this time, 4PointZero has managed to continue to grow, despite our expectations that the current market conditions would be more challenging due to COVID-19. The reason for this is fairly simple. Our existing customers, despite experiencing many operational challenges, have still managed to keep their finances moving with very little impact on their teams and workflows in that department. Through the implementation of sophisticated technological solutions that continue to simply “work” as normal, staff levels are kept lean, the data is still collected, posted to the accounts automatically and available in the cloud in real-time, enabling businesses to run completely remotely from a finance perspective. Other areas of the business may have felt the strain, but the finance function can continue as normal.
In business, you get rare moments where a customer will verbally express their gratitude and thus to hear “I genuinely don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t moved over to you” from one of our large customers was extremely gratifying. Personally, I do feel this time will convince many SME businesses that there is a need to improve the way their finance functions operate, especially as we are facing the possibility of having to work from home for extended periods of time over the coming months, and we are well placed to help as soon as they are ready to take that step – working with established businesses to solve real automation and reporting issues, in the cloud.
So, “what” is it that a business should expect from a sophisticated solution to help their business negate difficulties and ensure that as long as the sun shines on their business, they make as much hay as possible whilst protecting them in the darker days? As our solutions are bespoke, they are designed to solve specific issues experienced by each business, whether it be e-billing, rota forecasting or unique integrations.
There are, however, some common themes and ‘must-haves’ across all the businesses we work with:
- We don’t implement half solutions – if we are working with a business, we are working to resolve existing issues fully using automated and efficient solutions. This might consist of automatically collecting operational data from operational systems and automatically posting it as an accounting transaction in financial records if this data is required. A working example of this is with a chain of local supermarkets we have been working with over the last few months. We have now integrated their ePOS, Stock Management and Procurement systems in addition to providing a tool to reconcile delivery notes. All this data is posted to the accounting system automatically on a daily basis where relevant
- Real-time analytics in the form of operational and financial dashboards/reports are prepared using operational data and information that has been prepared in the accounting system. Things such as bank transactions and corporate costs (rent/professional/software fees) tend to be entered directly into the accounting system via bank feeds and OCR scanning solutions. We also collect this data alongside the detailed operational data so that all your reports are in one place. Operational staff can then see the cause and effect of KPI performance and solve issues immediately without waiting for data to be collected, processed and reported in Excel. Senior Business Management staff can also have a near live perspective of their cash and operating capital to ensure they have adequate cash reserves whilst driving business performance and cash collection.
- Budgets are entered into the reports and forecasts can be calculated based on accurate real-time data that has been collected from source systems. It is also important if you budget and forecast to understand the accuracy of this exercise, otherwise, there is little value in performing it. Not only will we forecast and budget for financial reports (Balance Sheets and P&L’s) but also for operational data, such as rota based on operational demand. We can then provide a percentage accuracy of the forecasts against actual results so you can understand if the assumptions you have made have been correct and identify any specific areas that might need further thought.
If your business is looking to make this step now or after we return to work as normal. Please let us know, you can always get in touch with us at www.4pointzero.co.uk.