Still relying on manual books and ledgers to keep track of your financial transactions, or using an on-premise accounting solution? This is the first area that every finance department needs to review. True Cloud-based accounting solutions offer not only the flexibility of accessing your accounting system from any location, on any device but they are also renowned for having the best up-times, ensuring that your processes can run smoothly and efficiently. For example, since 2008, Aqilla has boasted 99.99968% availability! It’s also important to note that despite what many on-premise software suppliers may tell you, Cloud-based solutions do not have to be expensive ways to upgrade your process efficiency. In fact, platforms like Aqilla are designed to save organisations money, with pay-as-you-go monthly subscriptions that mean you only ever pay for active users in any given period!
As well as harnessing a digital, true-Cloud accounting solution, it’s also important to identify other technologies that could help speed up and automate some of your processes. For example, open banking plug-ins could remove the need for your department to manually upload financial statements to your accounting system! True Cloud solutions like Aqilla will allow your accounting system to integrate seamlessly with any application that utilises an API (Application Programming Interface), meaning less time spent on manually entering data and information into your system from other applications. Learn more about APIs and plug-ins here.
Batch processing means dealing with all your invoices in one go, rather than wasting time organising them as soon as they come through. As a result, although batch processing can be done anytime that suits your department, it works best at the end of a cycle, such as a month or period end. Check out our webinar on achieving an efficient month-end. Having digital solutions to help manage all of your financial data is important here too, as batch processing involves handling large amounts of information at once. At Aqilla, our Excel plug-in allows you to access Aqilla through Excel itself, meaning you can batch process your transactions and upload them straight to your accounting system whilst negating the risk of working with data that isn’t live.
“Aqilla’s Excel integration is much better than that of FinancialForce or NetSuite. We use Microsoft Excel for everything across the business; posting journals, the balance sheet, reporting and everything which supports month end. It makes it so much easier when the process with Excel is straightforward.”Read more
Finally, not only is it important to communicate process expectations and new or updated processes but it is equally important to ask for and listen to feedback from your finance team – after all, most of the time it is these individuals who are doing the processes themselves! Collaboration in this sense, will allow your team to evaluate and devise improvements for any processes that are time consuming and inefficient. Regular evaluations and meetings regarding your department’s processes are a must, whether in person or virtually via video calls – you will probably find that someone in your team has a solution that you had never considered!
When it comes to improving the efficiency of your finance and accounting processes, it’s important to start with an open mind and not to be afraid of exploring a wide array of solutions. If there is one tip to take away from this article however, it should be that communication with your team and those executing the accounting processes is vital. Asking what they need to be more effective at performing these tasks could not only provide you with some solutions to upgrade your processes but it is likely to empower your team to take ownership of improving processes themselves and increase the overall productivity of your department.