Business Finance & Accounting: What Questions Should You Be Asking?

Business Finance & Accounting: What Questions Should You Be Asking?

August 30, 2022

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It’s time to embrace next-level finance and accounting processes…

As market fluctuations and rising interest rates add stress on internal finance departments, wise organization leaders are stepping back to reassess their finance and accounting (F&A) processes and systems. These assessments can help determine whether F&A workflows are enabling timely outputs for reporting, budget forecasting, internal processes like payroll, and other important tasks.

Among the many benefits of analyzing and improving internal F&A processes, cost effectiveness and efficiency are paramount.


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Balancing Cost & Efficiency

Cost reduction strategies that initially seem intuitive could yield unexpected and counterproductive outcomes. For example, some F&A departments might put policies in place to discourage unnecessary spending. Despite the benefit of cost savings, implementing cumbersome spending parameters can complicate and delay F&A reconciliation and expense processes, which could impact productivity, damage employee morale, and increase the risk of employee burnout at a time when attracting and retaining talent is increasingly difficult.

When processes are not running efficiently, your gut reaction may be to hire more employees in an attempt to fill gaps. However, a more cost-effective and employee-centric option is to examine your F&A department’s overall posture and effectiveness, with a particular focus on systems and technology that may no longer be working.

Try asking questions such as:

WHICH MANUAL PROCESSES CAN BE AUTOMATED?

Automation can reduce the time your employees have to spend on tedious tasks. From bill pay to transaction processing and month-end closing, automation helps to balance workloads and allows employees to better invest their time in other high-value services.

Find relief. How would it feel to finally be able to automate your digital document capturing and processing—or even make the leap to the cloud and upgrade your team from physical data systems to an integrated, cloud-based environment?

Beyond moving from a time-consuming and less-connected operation, you would be eliminating duplicated data for your organization and streamlining critical info into one protected space.

The confidence you’d gain and the time your team would save—what could you do with it?

HOW CAN FINANCIAL REPORTING BE IMPROVED?

Organizations are better equipped to make decisions when they are armed with more insightful reporting. This includes setting benchmarks based on industry-specific metrics and reassessing them regularly for accuracy. Creating internal KPIs and benchmarks to assess processes for diligence and efficiency can also help an organization more successfully meet reporting deadlines.

With new F&A tools and technology entering the market every day, it is very likely a solution exists to match your organization’s needs. The issue is sifting through many options and making the right choice.

Finding the Right Solution

Rather than jumping to invest in more internal resources, when strategizing solutions, organization leaders should first examine existing operations to determine which changes can be handled internally and which may benefit from external assistance. While embracing the next level of finance and accounting processes may appear daunting, you don’t have to do it alone.

It’s the nature of technology to continue changing at warp speed; selecting and implementing new tech requires intense change management and training of users. REDW’s Client Advisory & Accounting (CAAS) and Software professionals provide expert advice on selecting the technology that is right for your organization and also help with successful implementations of new systems and processes to ensure your data’s integrity is maintained and your team is ready to move.

We welcome your questions on setting up robust controls, aligning spending, optimizing financial reporting and finding opportunities to adopt automation technologies and processes. Reach out to Cristina Fumagalli, CPA, to start a conversation using the form below.


More about Cristina Fumagalli, CPA

Cristina Fumagalli, CPA
Outsourced Controller

Cristina Fumagalli helps businesses develop high-performing and competent accounting practices as an Outsourced Controller on REDW’s Client Advisory & Accounting Services team. With over 20 years of financial management experience, Cristina operates as a strategic growth partner to small and mid-size businesses. She has productively guided organizations, at various stages in the business cycle, in the finance, technology, and manufacturing sectors. Cristina is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New Mexico, and graduated summa cum laude from Furman University in South Carolina with her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration.



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