Businesses need to remain efficient to be competitive. Improvements made to accounting, payroll, and bookkeeping processes can have the greatest impact. Even minor enhancements to these important business activities can create major financial advantages for your company. There are three main areas where businesses should place their focus – system automation, process improvement, and employee training.
Data and System Automation
With the advancement of technology and artificial intelligence, there may be simple, repetitive tasks that can be handled by a computer program rather than a human. This not only speeds up the process but can also reduce mistakes and rework. Lets take a look at how Vancouver companies are increasing efficiency.
Leverage Data Imports – Many accounting programs today are equipped with the ability to automatically import important financial data into your systems such as accounts receivables, bank activity, and credit card charges. This eliminates the need to manually enter each of these transactions.
Accounts Receivable Software – Gone are the days of manually running AR reports and tracking down clients who are past due. Today, most accounting programs auto-generate aging reports, send follow-ups to clients who are past due, and automatically issue credit holds based on your predetermined criteria.
Payroll Automation – Getting payroll processed on time and without errors is vital. Mistakes and delays in the process can leave a company with unhappy employees and potential government fines. To reduce these risks, companies are moving to payroll systems that automate many of the tasks.
Analytics and Dashboards – Being able to make quick decisions and adapt your business can help give you a competitive advantage. One of the best ways to do this is by creating dashboards or automated reporting that generate important information and metrics related to your business. There is a wide range of tools available on the market including Tableau and Power BI.
Tip – While automating data is a great approach, it’s important that you still have a human checking the system for errors through audits and reconciliations.
Some of your business processes may have redundant or unnecessary steps. Take time to ask your team for feedback, survey your clients, evaluate your competitors, and compare your business to industry standards and best practices. Have your employees identify the processes that are the most challenging or time-consuming. In some cases, you may even find tasks that can be eliminated.
Work Batching – According to a study from the University of California Irvine, it takes workers over 23 minutes to refocus after being distracted from a task. As you evaluate your work processes, think about ways you can group similar work activities. For example, batch invoicing can be beneficial and allows employees to focus on invoice processing rather than having to come back to the task periodically throughout the day.
Unnecessary Approvals – Having an approval process ensures that there are checks and balances in place to protect the business when conducting certain activities. Think about how you can minimize or eliminate certain approvals. For example, if the AR manager needs approval before placing a client on credit hold, consider setting guidelines that authorize the manager to take action if certain criteria are met.
Outdated Processes – Your business changes over time. You may find that certain steps within processes are no longer applicable or required. Regular reviews of your processes will help identify these inefficiencies.
Outsourcing Bookkeeping – Outsourcing your bookkeeping operations is a great way to ensure your financials are in order and your spending is optimized as well as properly managed. An experienced bookkeeping team will ensure that expenses are properly tracked and that outstanding funds to your company are brought to attention.
Tip – Some employees may be resistant to sharing their thoughts. By creating an anonymous survey, you’re more likely to get candid and honest feedback.
Team training ensures that your employees have the knowledge they need to be more productive. You should have periodic reviews of the processes and systems they use every day. It may take employees significantly more time to complete tasks in your accounting and payroll system if the team hasn’t been trained properly.
Hire Experts to Handle Specialized Tasks.
In some cases, it can be helpful to hire an outside party to help with certain tasks. Evaluate which task could be completed more efficiently or at a lower cost than keeping it in-house. If you’re looking for accounting, bookkeeping, or tax services, Valley Business Centre can help. For over 30 years, our team has been servicing our clients in Whistler, Squamish, the Sea to Sky Corridor, and metro Vancouver BC areas. Let us help you make your business more efficient and gain a competitive edge.