What are ways to improve an accounting department?
- Automate repetitive work
- Align and streamline accounting processes
- Use cloud-based technology
- Implement strong data governance
- Invest in training and development
Accounting is an essential part of any business. After all, keeping track of your finances and safeguarding it can sometimes slow down business-critical decisions. Poorly managed accounting departments have even been the cause of failure in some businesses.
Luckily, there are many ways to improve your accounting department and its functions. Here’s our list of tips to make your teams more efficient and contribute more to your business’ success:
Automate repetitive work
Technology, as we all know, can improve any facet or process of your business — and that includes your accounting department.
Technology such as ERP and accounting software allows your teams to go paperless, process more data efficiently, and even enhance data access and security. But one of the most important advantages that this business solution provides is the capability to automate repetitive work.
Automating these tasks will help your accounting department complete their time-consuming — but necessary — work much quicker than ever before. This is especially true for accounting departments that are still using traditional programs and applications for their work, such as Microsoft Excel.
Automation saves your company hundreds upon hundreds of hours per year in labor. This, in turn, helps your team focus on more revenue-generating activities.
Align and streamline accounting processes
However, while automation is important for your accounting department, it can’t be achieved without first understanding, standardizing, and streamlining your accounting processes. This is key to maximizing the benefits of your automation efforts.
So, you must align and streamline your accounting processes. This might be difficult, as chances are your accounting teams have to produce reports and documents not only for others within their department but for other departments and executives as well.
Standardizing their workflows, reporting guidelines and formats, and data management is the first step you need to take. This is crucial in ensuring that their work is automatable, and won’t be at risk of reformatting requests or software problems.
Use cloud-based technology
Cloud technology is another important upgrade to make for your accounting department. Using this solution not only improves the accessibility of your financial documents but also helps improve collaboration between teams and departments.
Through this centralized hub of information, your accounting department will no longer need to duplicate files or rely on manual document sharing, either. They can also ensure that relevant files are safe and secure, and unlikely to be misplaced or lost.
Luckily, cloud-based accounting tools are becoming more and more affordable (and accessible) for companies of all sizes. Even small- and medium-sized companies can use this technology to provide a more seamless and efficient experience for their accounting teams.
Implement strong data governance
While using the right tools and solutions to boost the performance of your accounting department is a must, you also have to consider the data that these tools and solutions are processing.
Make it a point to implement strong data governance for your accounting department. That means making sure that all data entries are correct, accurate, and secure. This also means that your team has to be proactive in reconciling your accounts payable and accounts receivable entries to your company’s balance sheet. Putting them off until the fiscal year's end will raise the chances of error more likely.
Likewise, your accounting team needs to be firm when dealing with payments from clients. While a high number in the receivables column looks nice, you can’t grow your business with a promise. They must stand firm and refuse future service unless prior payments on their accounts are cleared.
Invest in training and development
Training is necessary for any department, especially if you want your people to stay on top of the newest business solutions and practices.
Investing in training and development allows your accounting department to work smarter, as well as build their knowledge and confidence in their field of work. Doing this will also help them adopt new technology solutions with ease, which reduces the amount of time it takes for your department to gain advantages from said solutions.
Furthermore, investing in training and development helps them learn about any updates on industry laws and regulations, which should help in reducing compliance issues within your company.
Whether you run a small startup or a large firm, an accounting department plays a very vital role in your business’ success. However, accounting departments can only play this role well when equipped with the right tools, practices, and knowledge. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your accounting department, keep the above suggestions in mind!
To ensure that you’re giving your accounting team the right software solutions, contact DynamIQ today. We are a Philippine-based professional IT consultancy service, and we offer a fully-integrated, cloud-based accounting system in the Philippines for SMEs - the SAP Business One!