• Celia Schweyer Finway SEO Manager Celia Schweyer
  • 11.11.21
  • 9 min read

Why you should optimize your financial processes while it’s still 2021

finway-2021-onboarden

Have you ever heard yourself or your colleagues talk this way?

“Our way of processing invoices is certainly not the most effective or productive one at the moment, we know that. It’s an issue we plan to address sometime soon, though!”

“We often exceeded our budgets this year as well, because not all expenses were apparent from the planning and we were nastily surprised when the numbers were finally fully available. It’s such a big issue, it takes time and we don’t have that until the end of this year!”

In conversation with potential finway customers, we have heard sentences like the above ones quite often lately. Once more companies rather decide to head towards the end of the year “as usual”, and then, when everything is fresh and new in the balance again, they may plan on tackling issues like expense management, invoice processing, expense reimbursement, better budgeting, or generally digitizing accounting.

Because – traditionally or according to common practice (the good resolutions…) the turn of the year is gladly used to clean up with old habits and to do everything differently or better in the new year.

But here we ask ourselves:

 

Why not do it right now? There are so many good reasons to tackle this issue before the critical end-of-year period. We would like to present the most important 4 to you here.

Every day you lose more time and money

Perhaps you haven’t questioned the current handling of internal finances for a long time – thinking that’s just how it’s done and that it takes time for a payment to be approved or an invoice to be fully processed?

But then you also know the frustration that sometimes arises when it is unclear who has to release a payment, approve an invoice or a purchase or which means of payment are available (“Where is the company credit card?”) – and this causes avoidable delays in the daily work routine.

And last but not least, it is not uncommon for you to even lose cash discounts if invoices remain unpaid for too long because they are accidentally forgotten and only end up back on the table with the 1st reminder.

But you have it in your hands to turn the tide. Think about…

 

  • …how long it currently takes to process an invoice?
  • …how often these very invoices get lost, forgotten, not clearly assigned?
  • …how often you had to search for the company credit card; or an SMS confirmation was not possible, because your CEO receives it on his phone, and he is not present at the moment?
  • …how much paper is wasted on printing invoices?
  • …how many Excel spreadsheets are on your server
  • …how many e-mails you write and receive with queries about payment transactions
  • ..how often ambiguities occur regarding the budget of the individual departments, or how often it is even unintentionally exceeded, simply because up-to-date real-time data is never available?

 

In most small and medium-sized companies, optimizing these daily work processes would save several days per month, which employees could use for more meaningful tasks. And last but not least, the entire budget planning would finally get more clarity.

All of this sounds like enough arguments to address the issue, but why now, as the year draws to a close? Read on:

The new fiscal year & budget planning in one place.

How about starting the new year and having clarity from start to finish, not only in the finance department, but for everyone else as well? This is possible – by using software like finway to plan and map your budgets for all departments individually and flexibly for the entire year.

If you are already set up here at the beginning of a new fiscal year, you can map the entire course of the year in one tool and compare the individual months with each other – and learn from this now for the next year.

You get a clear overview with a real-time view that is automatically updated with each new (planned) purchase. If a budget is in danger, the purchase can be rejected and postponed to the following month, or you can make the decision to increase the budget for that month. In any case, you know about it from the start and there are no nasty surprises.

In the following screenshot you can see what a graphical representation of planned and made expenses in the budget planning can look like. Here, someone started working with finway in the summer:

 

Budgetübersicht

These things are possible with a software like finway when it comes to budgeting:

  • Set budgets flexibly and individually per month and cost center. If there is a risk that a budget will be exceeded, this can be seen at a glance, even before the money has been spent.
  • Define cost center managers
  • They see incurred and planned expenses including responsible employee, supplier and reason for purchase.
  • Every upcoming expenditure is planned and mapped automatically in real time in the budget via so-called purchase requests, which are created by employees.

This means you can react in good time at any time if, for example, a large expense threatens to burst the budget. And you finally know where the money in your company is actually going.

For you and your employees, this is the ideal training period.

The changeover to a financial management system like finway does not take as much time as you might think, but it may take a bit of effort and, above all, an appetite for innovation. After all, the conversion of financial processes requires the involvement of everyone in the company. That means all employees who spend company money as part of their job (whether through company funds or personal expenses) needs to take part.

Some people find it easier to get used to changed processes, for others it takes a few days until everything is integrated seamlessly and effortlessly. Humans are creatures of habit and the major part of a process change takes place in the head. Just a few examples:

Until now:

  • Ask for the company credit card by email, phone or in person & hope that the person in charge is present if a text message confirmation is requested.
  • One corporate credit card for everything – and no one knows who bought what in the end
  • Ambiguity in invoice approvals: Who is responsible for what? The only thing left to do is to ask around, or to keep everything in mind
  • Saving or printing invoices, handling account stamps or reconciling and stapling receipts and bank statements together
  • Paperwork with receipts that the accounting department has to laboriously type out
  • Budget clarity only when all figures are available and can be reconciled at the end of the month.

With finway:

  • Clearly defined approval processes for all purchases and invoices.
  • Nothing gets lost no one needs to be reminded, all to-dos (like “upload invoice” or  “approve invoice” etc.) are in the software dashboard
  • Digitally pre-allocate invoices (cost center, G/L account, cost object, etc.), receipts and expenses are automatically matched
  • Scan or photograph all receipts and upload them directly into the software which reads them out via OCR.
  • Even before each purchase, you can see how it will affect the budget, if the purchasing employee submits a purchase request for it.

Back to the main question: Why change just now, shortly before the end of the year? The answer is simple: If you want to start next year from the beginning with optimized processes, you and your employees can use the remaining weeks to change over and get used to the new software.

Because: You can of course also onboard a new financial software without having to retroactively import the whole current year. So in the remaining weeks of the year, you can bring your employees into the tool, set up workflows and test them with, let’s call it, motivated composure.

One customer told us:

“As an admin, I didn’t get any queries about the application from my colleagues. No “where do I have to press when I want to release something”, etc. You get a message when you need to do something, you can approve, reject invoices or applications, or post a comment.”

And last but not least, all the benefits of using a “Finance Operating System” don’t just start in the new year – even now you will realize how much time and nerves can be saved when the processes finally run smoothly.

 

call-out-demo-now

And finally, perhaps the most strategically convincing argument:

Use any existing software budget before it expires!

What about your software budget utilization this year? Do you still have unused resources that you would let fizzle out and risk that next year the funds will be set lower from the start? Then you have THE convincing argument to start now with a new tool that will really help you.

It happens rather often that funds are still available in the company – budget that is earmarked for certain expenses and should be used for them. If during the year someone says that “there is no money for X or Y”, or you “need to keep a buffer”, now is exactly the time to use it.

What costs do you have to reckon with here? The costs for finway are calculated according to the number of invoices that are to be processed in the system each month – apart from that, all features are available in each package. In addition, a small onboarding fee will be charged. This is exactly the kind of thing that can be ideally covered by unused residual budget, of course. You can find out more about our prices here.

Conclusion:

There is actually no time wrong for switching to an intelligent financial operating system and optimizing your internal processes – and now is even exactly the right time! We would be happy to personally demonstrate how you can benefit from a financial operating system like finway.