Published on: September 08, 2020
With more than half of 2020 behind us, now is the time to rethink your company’s financial management system. All businesses experienced significant disruption over the past several months. Whether your business benefits from this time or not depends on your approach. Smart companies are looking at the past several months and considering what they could have done differently to prepare for such a catastrophic change as the global shutdown brought about. One such change is the financial management system.
A New Approach to Traditional Financial Management
Accounting and finance departments are looking not just at changing what they do but how to fix an existing system. Many wonder if their current technology can meet the ever-changing demands of the supply chain in the age of constant disruption.
Traditional activities such as planning, financial management, compliance, reporting, and analysis are all on the table to be discussed and improved. Systems that fail to adapt will fail, period.
In this time of rapid change, financial managers are looking for information now, not tomorrow or next week. Dealing with unexpected obstacles in a productive way means having accurate and timely information. Real-time insights are essential to make fast decisions in this environment.
Companies know that now, more than ever, a flexible approach to their business is essential to survival. If customers want something, they must be willing to adapt and provide it. Look at all the small businesses who’ve adapted to the pandemic era. Restaurants learned how to prepare and sell tasty take-home meals, veterinary clinics figured out how to set up reception areas in the parking lot, and stores offered shopping services to serve their customers and keep them healthy.
Businesses must learn to adapt in their way to the changing needs of their customers. Financial management systems with real-time insights can help you pinpoint needs as they emerge and address them quickly to maximize profit potential.
Four Tips for a Flexible Approach to Finance
To enact a flexible approach to your business, it helps to upgrade the financial management system to provide real-time information. Four tips to help you remain flexible, especially in the area of financial management, include:
- Automate as many systems as possible. Many systems benefit from automation. This includes transaction processing, compliance, controls, and reporting. Automating these activities frees up employees to assist in critical areas. During times of unexpected demand or shifts back and forth between in-person and work-from-home setups, automation may help businesses continue with as minimal disruption as possible. (Read more about AP Automation Trends.)
- Go digital. As teams roll out reopening and continuity plans, ensuring that all information is digitalized will help companies respond rapidly and flexibly to situations. Digital information in the financial management system makes it easy to access, review, share, and collaborate with information.
- Monitor cash flow. You probably monitor your company’s cash flow carefully. But now, more than ever, it’s vital to watch aging receivables and take steps to ensure they are paid. That may mean more outreach to customers, creating payment terms, or finding creative ways to accept partial payments to ensure adequate cash flow.
- Accept change. Although you may wish for the days when you could plan next month’s cash flow or next quarter’s earnings with ease, those days may be gone. Until business settles back into some kind of routine, accept that your company’s finances may be anything but routine. You may need to adjust, adapt, and change just to survive.
Although no one could have predicted how 2020 would change, we can all say with assurance that it’s turning out far differently than we thought it would. Businesses who wait to “return to normal” may find things never go back to the way they were. And that’s okay. We can all adapt and learn to thrive in this new time of uncertainty. Having the right financial management system helps.
Mindover Software is a software reseller with a broad range of accounting, ERP, finance, customer relationship management, and other software products. For more information, please contact us or call 512-990-3994.