It’s 2021… Do You Know Where Your Budgets Are?
Finalizing numbers and gathering information from the prior year is a huge goal for the first month of a new fiscal year. For many companies, deadlines are getting closer and the pressure for fast, accurate reporting is increasing. Having immediate access to up-to-date information allows executives to make informed strategic decisions, increase their transparency to investors, and find holistic ways to improve internal processes—which experts agree is the best strategy.
Unfortunately, there are many occasions where businesses fall short of their reporting goals. When reporting is neither fast nor accurate, it often has negative long-term results for your company. Without timely reports, your company will experience issues that range from not being able to expand effectively to struggling to pay taxes on time.
Knowing how important financial metrics are should make it easier to keep track of them. At the very least, reporting should be such a high priority that companies find ways to make it happen. And yet time and again, businesses struggle with accurate, timely reporting. What is it that makes missing these important metrics so easy? And, perhaps more importantly, how can your company solve and prevent these problems?
Challenges to Your Budgeting Goals
The reasons for missing important financial metrics are as varied as companies themselves. One common culprit is that it’s challenging to find the time to monitor the budget throughout the year and complete necessary reviews. It’s easy to keep pushing these tasks back to make room for others that have a more immediate deadline.
Cross-training and employee flexibility is increasing, letting business owners reduce overhead without sacrificing service. However, this practice limits the available workforce for off-schedule projects, like compiling reports with significant amounts of data. It’s important that you meet this challenge by freeing-up time for employees to complete reporting tasks.
In addition, growing enterprises or companies with locations spread over the U.S. may have difficulty keeping this information centralized. Having your data spread out like just makes effective reporting even harder.
How to Streamline Financial Information
Keeping track of your budget against committed expenses and actual payments shows your leadership team which targets are being met. To make this process easier, cutting-edge companies take advantage of web-based business process automation software. This type of software is available for purchasing, accounts payable, budgeting, and much more. Using an integrated solution puts all your financial information in the same place and makes key data simpler to locate.
BPA software makes it possible for companies to streamline financial information and deal with the challenges that face their budgeting goals. Automation takes over routine tasks such as data entry and invoice processing. This frees up your employees to spend time on projects like compiling reports on financial data. It also ensures all your information – even for multiple company locations – is stored in the same place for easy access. Customizable reporting with data from a central source helps you compare spending targets against historical data quickly and easily.
You can further streamline the financial reporting process by combining interrelated accounting functions in the same software platform. For example, starting with NextProcess’s automated accounts payable software gives you an easily accessible repository of invoices and credit memos. It also includes built-in reporting to track spend by vendor, general ledger account, cost center, and more. You can easily integrate this AP platform with our other software modules to expand functionality and streamline processing. Many clients opt to use our software suite to incorporate Capital Project Management, Procurement, Expense Report Software and more to transform their financial workflow.
Going Beyond Automation
Business process automation gives you the tools you need to transform the reporting process in your company. With web-based software packages, you’ll have the tools you need to monitor your budget throughout the year. The digital records the software keeps also makes it easy to access financial data when you’re planning budgets.
Automation helps your company face the issues we discussed in the introduction. You’ll speed up the process of generating fast, accurate reports since the software gives you immediate access to up-to-date information needed to make strategic decisions. This type of software doesn’t do all the work for you, though. There are still plenty of tasks for human employees to handle. These include making sense of the reports, generating budgets, and monitoring company finances throughout the year.
For example, Capital Project Management requires its own layer of expense tracking. Large projects are particularly susceptible to the dreaded ‘scope creep’. Without careful management, the requirements and cost of the project may slowly start to grow and break the budget barriers that were set. Ongoing monitoring and automated alerts notify executive leadership and the management team of changes. If spending starts to get out of control, project managers have the opportunity to reign things back in.
The Question of Security and Transparency
Historically, one of the greatest obstacles to transparency has been keeping information secure while providing highly specific access for important decision-makers and stakeholders. Online software makes access to financial information easier than ever. But you’ll want to be careful. Some software packages come with special fees for user licensing and they may lack security customization necessary to keep your data private.
NextProcess is committed to security as well as transparency. We never charge extra for additional user licenses, which makes it economical and easy for you to grant access to as many employees as you like. Reports can be emailed automatically to key team members on specific schedules to improve turnaround time on key budget reporting. Temporary or permanent access can be added and restricted easily, keeping operations transparent while maintaining confidentiality.
All of the problems we’ve discussed today can impact companies differently. However these issues impact your company, starting each year with a plan for budget monitoring will make all the difference. Leave your budgeting problems in the past where they belong and see where advanced reporting tools can take you.
If you’re ready to put business process automation to work in your business, simply contact NextProcess today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about our software packages. You can also schedule a free demo so you can see first-hand how our software can work for your company.