One of your top priorities when it comes to business recovery must be forecasting for the future. If there is one thing that the last couple of years has taught us, it is that we should ‘prepare for anything’ and having the ability to accurately project your financial performance is key.
But whilst financial projections are probably standard practice in most organisations, there are many that take a rather labour-intensive approach to the process. Nowadays though, some of the most effective business forecasts are automated and there are a whole host of apps and software choices that can help.
Closely related to forecasting is reporting; another primary activity for business recovery - and another area where tech can assist.
Manual record-keeping is time consuming, and with a range of digital reporting tools now available, companies who don’t investigate how they could be used in their environment could be losing out. Computerised reporting is no longer for large corporates only and businesses of any size and turnover are benefitting from the information gleaned from technology.
Admin relating to invoicing is something that every company must deal with. From preparing and generating invoices to managing reconciliation, the processes are unavoidable. But these are further activities that can take up an unnecessary amount of valuable time when done by hand, and all elements of invoicing can now be improved with automated systems that save time and energy.
Additionally, software that can help with the reconciliation of invoices will omit human error from more manual processes for matching documents with payments.
One of the most common barriers to lots of business processes is awaiting sign-off, whether it be for a payment, invoice, timesheet, or contract. Add into the equation the extra complication of an increase in remote working and literally hours of time can be lost in anticipation of approval.
While it may seem a simple solution, finance departments who are still manually seeking sign off for things like purchase orders, timesheets or expenses could greatly benefit from automation. There has been a distinct surge in the availability of online approval systems and apps over the past year or so, with options for all sizes of organisations and all budgets.
Travel and expenses is one area where lots of finance departments are turning to automation. Firms are placing greater trust in staff to submit their own expense claims, the argument being that savings made through digitisation far outweigh the cost of any occasional falsified claims.
Other financial processes that can be improved with technology include purchase ledger and sales ledger - these are not always the simplest areas to automate but are worth the investment for some businesses. In fact, in today’s digital world, there is now barely a financial process that cannot be automated in some way. The key is to uncover a solution that will add value to your specific business and processes and yield efficiencies that will support your business recovery and instil durable time and cost savings.