Over the past decade, business technological advancements have been profound. New technology means finance operations can be automated with relative ease, reducing inaccuracies and delays and freeing up your team to focus on more value-added, business critical tasks. To thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, businesses must make concerted efforts to use resources as efficiently as possible.
To help guide you, here are our top seven ways to streamline your finance operations.
1. Create a finance-first culture
The world’s leading CFOs know digital transformations deliver long-term, meaningful benefits. One of the most significant is enabling collaboration and communication across departments.
Ensuring the wider business understands the finance team’s contribution to the business is critical. Making this happen requires increased cross-functional working and improved communication and understanding.
We suggest educating all teams on each department’s contribution to the business, and how the finance team impacts all of them. Understanding how individual actions can impact the bottom line, whether negatively or positively is crucial. If done correctly, it’s the first step in creating a finance-first culture and a culture of accountability.
2. Set the tone for accountability
Your organization has a specific set of standards and expectations for a reason. It’s not enough for a CFO to lead by example. You must confidently articulate the importance of accountability to all staff regularly to be effective.
Staff must understand how their actions affect other parts of the business and why staying accountable for operational metrics is meaningful. For example, offer information about how changes to the bottom line impact:
- Investment into new initiatives
- Updates to technology and tools
- Annual bonuses
- Training schemes
3. Focus on operational excellence
How does your business define operational excellence? Identifying the standards for this and communicating them to your staff is crucial to meet those expectations. As the CFO, it’s vital for you to maintain standards of excellence – going above and beyond simply reporting metrics.
- Identify what operational excellence looks like
- Communicating standards with staff regularly
- Articulate behaviors that contribute to operational excellence
- Set operational KPIs
- Track, analyze and optimise operational KPIs
4. Remove redundant processes
Redundant processes can bog down finance operations. Getting rid of unnecessary processes or tasks that won’t affect the output when removed can significantly improve productivity and efficiency. In most cases, redundancies are huge time-wasters and can slow down your team’s efforts.
Redundancies aren’t just found in your processes. They can be found in the movement of your team as well. You want to limit movements (both physical and otherwise) in workflows and processes to streamline projects, helping to complete them on time and within budget.
5. Upskill your staff
Ensuring your finance operations are proficient in every way possible is a vital key to business success. They have to keep up with both internal procedures and any implemented software. Conducting training to optimize your team’s performance is highly recommended. Here are a few ways to ensure your teams stay up-to-date on emerging technology and optimized processes:
- In-house seminars
- External conferences
- One-on-one courses
Upskilling your staff does more than keep them productive. Cross-training your staff enables team members to temporarily handle tasks when other members are out of office or on annual leave.
6. Outsourcing finance roles
Outsourcing some finance roles can be more cost-effective than local recruitment. When you outsource, you don’t have any attributed overhead costs that hiring an employee would generate, such as recruitment, vacation, health and dental insurance, pension, Workers’ Comp and sick days.
In addition, outsourcing enables you to take advantage of a team of highly-skilled people rather than relying on one or two internal employeesOverworked employees can increase the risk of non-compliance and unreliable financials – especially for smaller businesses or startups.
Outsourcing is one way to reduce those potential risks. And with overarching supervision, you can ensure that all accounts are correctly managed, allowing for quicker and more robust progression.
7. Stay aware of what’s happening in the field
CFOs are at the forefront of business challenges – and subsequently, solutions. As the CFO of a growing business, it’s vital to stay on top of changes within the industry and to be aware of any potential issues from internal teams.
We suggest having open, honest conversations with your sales team to understand the wants and needs of your customers. Understanding these requirements will facilitate sales success stories and will ensure your business is operating proactively – instead of reactively. Additionally, operational knowledge will help you meet future business needs without delay.
Streamline finance operations with Cloudstaff outsourcing
Want to drive efficiency and productivity in your finance team without increasing your bottom line? Start by reviewing where your strengths and weaknesses lie and identify opportunities to streamline processes – once you’ve outlined these, it’s all about creating a strategy for success.
Outsourcing can help cost-effectively streamline your business processes. With a talent pool featuring thousands of qualified finance professionals, we have the people you need to achieve success. Contact our team today to find out more.