-This article was last updated on 23 September 2021-
Finance teams are at the heart of every business. Their role is integral to maintaining a healthy and financially stable organisation. Without your trusty finance team there may not even be a business at all. So it is time to stop over looking them and give them the right tools to get the job done.
A neglected finance team is recognisable by its overly manual and paper reliant systems. While other areas of your business are making use out of innovative software to speed up tasks, your finance team may still be drowning in a sea of receipts, files, and spreadsheets. As with most things, the tools we use determine how efficiently we can get a job done. You would not dig up your garden with a teaspoon when you could use a spade. This is very much the case with giving your finance team the right resources they need to work well.
So what tools are available to give your finance team the help they need?
One particular area that can help to automate many tedious processes is expense management systems. Printing, filing, stapling, checking, organising, the list goes on. Each of these ‘small jobs’ adds up across a business to a substantial and labour intensive task. The automation of expenses from creation all the way through to reporting can save vast amounts of time. And it is not just time improvements; automated systems can quickly flag up policy breaches, keep your business in line with HMRC regulations and being cloud based improves accessibility for everyone.
These overly manual tasks do not just make finance teams miserable; they are also more likely to be the source of errors. Manual data entry is estimated to only be 99% accurate, but automated processes minimise these errors. In a department where errors can cause considerable financial losses or result in HMRC audits, this is not a place you can allow for unnecessary mistakes.
Fraudulent expense claims may be losing your business money. Rounding up mileage expenses, duplicating receipts, exaggerating claims, unfortunately these are all too common. Checking every expense for fraudulence manually is extremely time-consuming. Not only this, but as diligent as your team may be, from time to time fraudulent or incorrect expenses do fall in between the cracks. Automated systems can highlight fraudulent claims to your finance team, saving time and money.
When it comes to making decisions on expense policies, reporting on previous expenses can be invaluable. Reports usually come into being from the accumulation of data added into a spreadsheet and then trends and statistics can be determined. All of this requires a great amount of effort and time to produce when coming from your already over stretched finance team. Expense management systems are designed with reporting in mind. This means the results you need are already there and calculated for you, helping you to make the most informed decisions.