Building Success on a Foundation of Finance
By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA
What is the secret of successful businesses? The answer is elusive, but you could argue that it’s a strong financial foundation. No business is immune to disruption or perfect at predicting what comes next. But as long as they have their finances in order they can survive the unexpected and keep growth trending upward.
The next question to answer is how do you build a financial foundation? It looks different at every company, but it should include these essential qualities and capabilities:
Fast and Efficient Financial Workflows
The amount of time it takes to close the books or produce reports has a huge impact on performance. When finance is slow and inefficient it forces decision makers to wait to act or to move forward without a clear financial perspective. When finance is fast, the situation is exactly opposite. These companies spend far less resources on the nuts and bolts of accounting. Instead, they work on utilizing accounting to drive revenue, cut costs, or sustain growth.
Rigorous and Transparent Internal Controls
Finance is both complicated and consequential. When companies lack internal controls to monitor and govern their financial processes, those processes inevitably produce issues. Internal controls let companies manage everything from data access to transaction approvals. Essentially, they give companies a way to standardize finance from the top down, ensuring it operates as effectively as possible.
Alert and Available Financial Staff
Modern accountants still spend huge amounts of time manually entering data and cross-checking figures. It’s a dull process that is prone to error. Worse, it wastes the time and talent of financial professionals who could be extremely valuable working on other projects. A strong financial foundation automates and innovates the heavy-lifting of accounting so that financial staff can focus on more productive things.
Intuitive and Integrated Accounting Software
Older accounting software offers limited capabilities and outdated interfaces. What little value it still has declines further every year. Modern accounting software, by contrast, makes it easy to organize and analyze data to produce in-depth financial insights. It’s also a lot easier to use thanks to the cloud, automation, and a series of user-friendly menus and tools. Technology and finance are now inextricably linked, and best-in-class accounting software is basically a prerequisite for a stable financial foundation.
Once these four pieces are in place finance is positioned to fire on all cylinders. At that point accounting is an asset and not just an administrative obligation.
Sage Intacct is a next-generation financial management solution that transforms accounting departments top to bottom. If you’re ready to upgrade and enhance finance for years to come, contact Altasphere Consulting for a consultation.