Thought Leadership

Everything You Need To Know To Improve Your Finance Team’s Efficiency

Post by
Jordan A. W. Steinberg
Everything You Need To Know To Improve Your Finance Team’s Efficiency

Optimized financial efficiency in an organization is an achievable goal that can be reached by implementing a carefully targeted series of changes. Finance teams often encounter challenges throughout the course of carrying out essential processes. These challenges can be remedied by implementing systems and tools that lead to greater operational efficiency. This article will explore some of the changes that can be made to improve a finance team’s efficiency.

This article will cover the following topics:

  • What makes a finance team efficient?
  • What are some of the challenges that finance teams face?
  • Ways to improve financial efficiency
  • Benefits of having an efficient finance team

What makes a finance team efficient?

To understand what makes finance teams more efficient, it is helpful to consider the various factors involved. These include managing approvals, defining an internal workflow, automating manual processes, etc. Considering these differentials and the processes involved in each financial activity can provide insight into where an organization can make improvements.

What are some of the challenges that finance teams face?

With so many moving parts within the financial sector of an organization, facing challenges is a natural part of doing business. Some efficiency-related challenges facing efficiency include:

  • Errors from manual data entry
  • Lack of clear communication across departments
  • Slow or repetitive processes that are time-consuming
  • Information leaks and data sensitivity breaches
  • Delays in the approval process
  • Lack of transparency
  • A lack of continuity in practices within the finance department
Manual Data Entry Errors

With so much room for error in the manual data entry process, it is common for there to be inconsistencies and mistakes. However, even a minor error can be problematic in the grand scheme of things. Reducing manual data entry errors can significantly improve operational efficiency company-wide.

Unclear Communication

When communication across departments is unclear, there is greater room for error, thus reducing operational efficiency. This is one of the significant challenges that finance teams face and one which causes delays and workflow interruptions.

Slow and Repetitive Processes

Removing redundancies by eliminating slow and repetitive tasks is instrumental in creating greater financial efficiency. One of the major hindrances finance teams encounter is getting stuck in slow or time-consuming tasks that restrict their ability to complete critical functions within budget and on time.

Data Sensitivity Breaches

Data breaches are multifaceted and can come in many different forms. This can be critically detrimental to the finance department and cause substantial financial loss. Discovering new ways to enhance security for sensitive financial information is essential, as they help organizations reduce loss while also improving operational efficiency.

Approval Delays

When it comes to having a budget approved or signing off on a major project, many roadblocks may arise. The necessity to confer among departments can slow the approval process down, as can when interacting with too many different decision-makers. With approval delay challenges, finance teams can find it difficult to move forward quickly with priority projects.

Lack of Transparency

Lack of communication ties into the challenge of insufficient transparency within an organization. This can occur when there isn’t a universal method of communication. Finance teams are seeking to fix this challenge by implementing shared communication across a universal automated platform.  

Lack of Continuity

When different team members carry out tasks without shared continuity, it can create disruptions in the workflow. To improve productivity, it is essential to ensure everyone is on the same page and carrying out tasks according to previously established protocols. This ensures compliance and creates greater order and structure, which ultimately equates to greater profitability.

Ways to Improve Efficiency Within The Financial Department

After identifying their challenges and the various factors at play, finance teams will be better equipped to move forward and make the necessary changes in order to see success. To improve efficiency within a finance team, it’s essential to adjust how things were done previously.

Some of the ways to improve financial operational efficiency include:

Establish Universal Compliance

Many finance teams have difficulties creating cohesion and uniformity in their practices, leading to a significant loss in time and profit. One solution is to increase compliance by implementing effective policies and procedures. This guarantees that financial practices are uniform and in compliance with company standards.

Enhance Communication

Communication is an essential aspect of cohesion when it comes to business processes. Without cohesive communication, moving forward on important tasks can be challenging. One solution is to establish clear and open communication within the finance team itself and across all other departments. It’s crucial to consider inter-department communication since finance teams don’t operate in a vacuum. They will need to work with other departments to receive or request financial data, which can be tedious if performed manually. This inefficiency can be remedied by integrating software that offers shared communication features for easy messaging and document sharing.

Implement Automated Processes

One of the best ways to improve operational efficiency within the organization is to reduce, or even eliminate, manual processes. There is simply too great a margin for error when sensitive financial data is entered manually. That is why businesses should consider automating manual processes. An automated system will significantly speed up overall performance while eliminating human errors.  

Improved Training For Finance Teams

By improving their skill level, finance team members can bring more to the table, ultimately benefiting the entire organization. Implementing training opportunities for team members can improve performance and optimize productivity. Investing in quality training keeps your team members’ skills up to date while enabling them to stay abreast of any changes to accounting and finance software or best practices. There are many possible training formats, including webinars, in-house seminars, one-on-one training, and external conferences.

Optimize Business Forecasting

Companies often default to using annual budgeting practices to determine the right financial path for their organizations to take throughout the coming year. However, this can be problematic due to the changing nature of business. When the unexpected arises, adjustments may sometimes need to be made to the annual budget.

One solution is to eliminate annual budgeting altogether and consider financial forecasting instead. Financial forecasting offers a more flexible approach while still providing a process for looking ahead. Regular, rolling economic forecasts can help finance directors deal with both internal and external changes while adequately preparing for the future of the business.

How To Make Organizational Changes to Improve Operational Efficiency

After identifying the challenges facing your finance teams and the methods of improving them, it’s time to make the necessary changes. However, many businesses find it difficult to know where to start or how to find the right tools that can tie all of these changes into one simple, straightforward solution. Thankfully, this monolithic task becomes much more manageable with software aiding in automation, like PayEm.

However, automation is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Inter-departmental communication, long-term forecasting, and analytics are all crucial components of decision-making related to operational efficiency.

Software like PayEm can give a finance team all the tools they need to succeed in one dynamic platform. Financial technology has been at the forefront of successful business practices for years and is one of the most effective changes a business can make to improve its financial efficiency. With robust enterprise resource planning software such as PayEm, financial directors and CFOs can breathe a sigh of relief. With this platform, all systems and processes needed to improve operational efficiency are delivered in one neat package.

Some of the benefits of Having an Efficient Finance Team Include:
  • Increased compliance
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Smoother workflows
  • Clear communication
  • Easier approval process
  • Better budget tracking and analytics
  • Enhanced reporting
  • Better transparency and visibility

Even with the best finance team in place, they can’t optimize their performance without the proper tools. By providing the right automated software solution such as PayEm, finance teams have the software they need to be empowered to work efficiently. This results in greater operational efficiency, increased profitability, and enhanced output for improving an organization’s financial health. For a commitment-free, no-cost demo of the platform, in which these tools can be seen in action, contact PayEm’s experts today.

Ready to increase efficiency and control while saving your team money?