How To Free Up The Time Of Your Finance Team: 5 Easy Winsadmin
In this week’s article, we discuss 5 aspects of your business which can be easily automated to free up your finance team and allow them to focus on more value-adding activities. This can ultimately lead to a boost in morale as the mundane and repetitive tasks are no longer the responsibility of individuals and the business will ultimately run more efficiently and in real-time.
1. Document scanning tools: purchase invoice processing
There are many applications in the marketplace which use OCR technology and algorithms to read documents and extract information for you. Tools such as Basecone and Receipt Bank assign each company a unique email address which can be used to easily upload purchase invoices into your company’s digital inbox without the need to print or scan paperwork. With a combination of the OCR technology allowing the system to read and extract data from your invoices, as well as the ability to set up specific posting rules – processing invoices doesn’t have to involve any manual data entry at all. Even better, some of these systems such as Basecone will populate the booking for you upon upload and you can post the invoices in bulk using a validation screen where you can check everything has been populated correctly before submitting.
2. Mobile apps: Employee expense processing
Within the app marketplace, there are plenty of options which allow your employees to simply snap photos on their phones and have invoices and expense reports automatically handled, with no need to keep receipts or manually enter information. Not only does this free-up time for your employees as they no longer will need to fill out Excel/manual expense claims; it will also automate the process for your finance team who will process these claims. Depending on what type of expenses you usually have as a business (private payments or business cards) there are certain cloud-based apps that will be available to optimise your expense management using automatic expense categorisation, receipt capture, as well as company cards and authorisation procedures.
3. Automatic Bank Links: daily uploads and reconciliations
The introduction of open banking has allowed a rich ecosystem of authorised apps and products to integrate with your bank account and extract bank data directly into your accounting system. This means that members of your finance team will no longer need direct access to your bank account to download statements manually as they will be delivered automatically into your accounting system ready to be posted. Accounting applications that provide this service include Xero, Twinfield and QuickBooks – depending on your bank account type. Advanced accounting applications can also save you a huge amount of time by helping with the reconciliation process by automatically matching bank lines to outstanding invoices as well as intuitively learning specific posting rules over time. The bank reconciliation process becomes more of a review exercise rather than a manual data entry task.
4. Bulk supplier payments
Paying your suppliers can prove to be a hugely admin heavy task, especially when you have many different suppliers. Creating batch payment files from within your accounting system can be a huge time saver and will also reduce human error when setting up payments. Modern accounting systems, such as Twinfield, will allow you to carry out a payment run that can include all outstanding invoices, invoices due within a certain number of days or even a certain group of suppliers depending on how it has been set up in the system. Once you are happy with the payments that have been selected in the payment run the system will allow you to create a BACs file that can be uploaded directly into your online banking and can even automatically send out remittance slips to all suppliers that are due to be paid.
5. Real-time Reporting tools: producing management accounts
Finance teams that still use Excel may worry that their management reporting is too unique to replicate within a reporting app, however, by investing in the right technology it will certainly pay off in the long run not only in time-saved by also the timeliness, accuracy and value of the reports produced. Producing a set of accounts within Excel can prove to be tedious and error-prone which can lead to inaccuracies and unreliable reporting. Many innovative reporting tools provide complete flexibility in the set-up and integrate seamlessly with your accounting package to provide real-time reporting as well as analytics that can help you make those important business decisions. By expecting your finance team to produce a set of management accounts on a monthly/quarterly basis manually within Excel, you are taking your valuable resources away from more value-adding activities such as strategising, budgeting and forecasting.
The app marketplace is constantly advancing and there are plenty of choices when it comes to automating processes within your business. At 4PointZero, we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the latest advances and help our clients select and implement systems that will streamline their business processes.
If you want to find out more, contact us www.4pointzero.co.uk