By Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director
Business will get tough
Your cash flow is under increasing pressure. The very soul of your organization is threatened. And you’re perpetually in the crosshairs because a lot of that is on your shoulders.
Sound familiar? If it’s not, it soon will be – because that’s what happens in a “recession”. You know it all too well because you’ve experienced it before, and it’s not pretty. Hard times are coming.
It will be the fast and nimble companies that will feel the least pain: those with adaptable accounting teams that can act quickly, identify new efficiencies and seize opportunities. Just like the mammals that replaced the dinosaurs.
At times like these, you don’t have time to struggle with outdated on-premises/entry-level software that lacks functionality and requires constant workarounds.
Why would you?
Now is the time to act. Now is the time to make sure you have reliable and controllable financial software that:
- ensures you get paid faster – preserving cash flow
- speeds up pursuit of debt – so you’re more likely to recover monies owed
- streamlines expense verification and payment – keeping staff tuned in the event of a recruitment crisis
- retains customers – when retention has never been more important.
It’s time to take control and embrace automation
“Automation” can be a scary word for the uninitiated, especially when it comes to payments. The idea of a faceless bot manipulating money isn’t always comfortable. Not when you’re a cautious soul with responsibility for a company’s financial health.
But big banks thrive on automated systems. These systems inevitably involve your business and they work quite well. And many of your customers and suppliers also use accounting software automation – and it also processes payments smoothly.
Automation is delegation, not abdication. With the right true cloud accounting software, you’re always in control. Still. You can run tests to make sure everything is correct before approving and activating an automated payment run. (“Trust but verify,” as the intelligence community would say.)
This testability is very reassuring. It wins over those who fear clicking the wrong button. Even the strongest advocates of manual payment systems can become automation evangelists when they can check ahead to make sure everything will work just fine.
And remember that you are delegating payment cycles to a machine. An automated system will do exactly what you tell it to do. Again and again (until you tell him to do something different). This removes the risk of errors caused by humans forced to perform mundane and repetitive processing tasks.
Get paid faster – chase your debts better and more efficiently
Everyone knows that the longer a debt lasts, the less likely you are to get paid. You must therefore settle your debts quickly. Before they go up.
As you can imagine, automated debt pursuit is much faster and much less labor intensive than traditional methods. Manually generated phone calls and emails all take up time – vital hours that could be better spent building customer loyalty and acquiring new business.
The automation is also nifty because you can set it up to send different follow-up emails based on customer type, so you don’t annoy your VIP customers.
Your royalist clients get the red carpet reminder email… while shameless deadbeats get a more direct missive. Meanwhile, new customers receive another type of email gently reminding them of your payment terms…and so on.
Unfortunately, not all accounting software platforms offer all of this directly. It’s unusual in the entry-level market, but there are a few vendors!
Some middle market systems offer debt pursuit automation, but usually only as an add-on. This means longer implementation times and higher integration costs. Not ideal for finance managers who want to act quickly and reduce overhead.
Reduce the cost of expense management
Sometimes it can take months to settle the expenses. Manual processing of expenses can lead to delays that waste time (and therefore money), inconvenience customers and alienate staff. The situation is so bad that 38% of employees no longer bother to claim reimbursement of expenses.
Automated tools help businesses and accounting departments move away from the stress of month-end reimbursement requests to a much more manageable day-to-day operation.
It improves the life of the staff. Not just those who want a quick refund rather than waiting for their next payday, but also those who do the verification and processing.
There’s less administration, a more manageable workload, and there are fewer errors due to haste. All that time previously wasted on the expense audit merry-go-round can now be diverted to more important work that actually translates into real business growth.
What are you waiting for?
It’s a well-used adage, but to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail. Many of us can see the writing on the wall – despite what leadership candidates are promising as part of their plans for the economy.
A cost of living crisis spurred by rising interest rates and spiraling inflation are clear signs of an impending recession. If your finance department isn’t equipped with the right software to help you manage cash flow, deal with debt, and keep customers and employees happy during tough times, you’re going to be hurt.
In an industry renowned for its risk aversion, why risk your organization’s financial stability on outdated financial software?