Technology has radically redefined the workplace, with the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things being amongst the most popular things adopted. Unfortunately for accounting teams, it’s often the front-of-house or customer-facing parts of the business which have enjoyed these developments the fastest. While nearly one-quarter of companies with more than $100 million in revenues are still making their finance teams use spreadsheets, pen, and paper to complete core close tasks like matching financial transactions.
With tax season just around the corner, when your accounting team’s working hours are likely to double; the best gift you can give them is a taste of technology to improve their experience. There are now dedicated financial close software suites available to help accountants tackle the excessive manual processes and time they say cause the biggest issues for them trying to get the job done.
Just a single financial close software suite, provided it’s the right one, can provide your accounting team with the gifts of:
A single source of the truth & reliable business intelligence – It’s impossible to run accounting processes effectively and efficiently without being completely confident that everyone in the team is viewing the same, correct facts and figures. Naturally, confirming this is incredibly hard when people are working from different spreadsheets, paper invoices and receipts spread across different locations. By digitizing and combining all financial documents and processes, accounting teams can be confident they have a single source of the truth on which to base their calculations.
No more repetition – When done by hand, core tasks like matching financial transactions and balance sheet reconciliations are some of the most repetitive and time-consuming parts of the financial close. Teams spend countless hours trying to pick through and make sense of Excel files full of broken links and old macros. But these software solutions are able to automate these processes at a fraction of the speed, your team can spend more time working through more advanced and interesting tasks.
A well-organized working day – Planning out team tasks and workflows by hand is a complicated process, particularly when strict compliance standards have to be met. It’s easy to make mistakes or for people to lose their place when things are busy and the goalposts are constantly shifting. Modern accounting software suites have functionality which centralizes tasks lists and controls, and documents the progress of each item on the projects to-do list. They also send automatic notifications and alerts to help keep everyone on task. And perhaps most importantly, include embedded workflow and audit trails to provide water-tight governance and control. So not only can your team know exactly what they should be doing when, but you can relax knowing it meets regulatory standards.
More interesting work & opportunities – Using software to speed up repetitive and time-intensive tasks, means your team’s time can be freed up to focus on more interesting strategic priorities and opportunities. If a team can get its books closed in just five days instead of ten, that’s an extra five days each month. The time that can be spent on value-adding things like supporting the CFO and department heads in planning future projects, and offering the CEO support with forecasting and advice. All things that will help further their career and broaden their horizons, rather than keeping their head down exclusively in Excel.
Time to think about future technology – Blockchain technology is touted, alongside the cloud and artificial intelligence, as being the most disruptive force the accounting industry faces in the next decade. Yet new research from Onguard suggests that almost half of those working in the finance sector have no idea what it is. Instead of spending hours matching transactions by hand, with automated software doing the job, you can task your team to start researching the future to ensure you all stay ahead of the game. After all, it’s the businesses that can move the fastest that will continue to grow and succeed.
Better work-life balance – While the average accountant works around a 40-hour working week, this has been known to double during tax season. It’s not surprising that the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA) shows that than three quarters (76%) of accountants say work has had a negative impact on their lives in the past 12 months. The ability to offer your team a better work-life balance by automating many of the time-intensive processes is worth its weight in gold. After all, the holidays were meant to be spent with loved ones, not staring at a computer screen.
Many organizations have already chosen to gift their accounting teams with Trintech’s Adra Suite for all of these reasons. Protector Insurance, a Scandinavian company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, invested in the solution after a period of rapid and profitable growth to help its finance professionals stay on top of the larger close process.
As the company’s Group Controller, Mikael Aanes Warholm explains: “The majority of our work was done manually and reconciled in ring binders. It was important for us to gain a better overview of our distribution of responsibilities as we expand across multiple countries. We have a large volume of transactions and Adra Balancer and Adra Accounts ensure we have a straightforward overview of these transactions and save us time at period end. The time we have saved through the automation of our processes has resulted in us being able to focus on higher value-added activities.” You can learn more about how Protector Insurance gained control of its close with Trintech’s Adra Suite.
With the deadline for submitting corporate tax returns just over a quarter away and the war for accounting talent still raging on, there really is no better time to show your team how much you value them with financial close software. Not only will you help them feel merry but you’ll also make your own life a little easier in the long term too. Trintech’s Adra Suite is truly the gift that will keep on giving, close after the close.