5 Hacks for Upgrading Your Finance Department


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Professional sports coaches love to say that if a team isn’t getting better, then they’re falling behind. This is just as true in the corporate world as it is in pro sports because not everyone can win and yet everyone is competing with one another. Your finance department is one squad on your greater company team that needs to either keep up with the rest of your sectors or hopefully even get ahead of them a bit. Knowing some hacks for upgrading your finance department can enable your company to thrive.

5 Hacks for Upgrading Your Finance Department

The biggest hacks you can do for your finance department are unsurprisingly all centered around technology:

  1. Cloud Migration: Adopting cloud technology can enhance the scalability and flexibility of financial management systems while promoting collaboration across teams. Cloud migration can also mean more security for your data if a copy of it is housed off-site. This also allows for remote work and multiple locations to work together in unison even if separated by hundreds or thousands of miles.
  2. Utilizing Free/Open-Source Tools: An open-source tool featuring a documentend codebase is a chance for a finance department to save capital from licensing costs while exploring innovation with new technologies. Many open-source tools have an extensive community of enthusiasts and supporters, as well as many add-ons and plug-ins that let you customize them to your own applications and needs.
  3. Instant Payments: Payment infrastructures that can levaerage technology for instant funds transfers, internally or externally, expedites operations for everyone involved. Consumers, in particular, are accustomed to having their needs taken care of promptly in an always-on economy.
  4. Predictive Analytics: Machine learning can automate any repetitive processes to free up corporate capital and increase the amount of available human productivity time. The amount of data and analysis now possible is breathtaking in scope.
  5. Replacing Legacy Tech: Legacy technology can result in increasing inefficiencies the longer it is left in place so the costs of its maintenance quickly outpaces its value.

Making the Right Connections

How are you hiring the people in your accounting department? Many businesses are putting adds out on websites like Indeed and LinkedIn, and waiting for candidates to contact them. Although this may be a good approach if you don’t want to invest too many resources into the process of hiring, you will find that you wind up with substandard people filling your vacancies. With just a bit more thought and planning, you can make better hiring decisions that will drastically improve your quality of employees.

Before the interview process, you should begin pooling data. Import information into a simple spreadsheet such as their name, education, and any qualifications you may want. For example, make an Excel yes or no column, bilingual yes or no, and so forth.

By pooling as many candidates as you can from varying sources and then filtering down in this way, you can be sure you are selecting the best candidates available to you. This approach may be a bit more time consuming than you’d like, but you can be sure to benefit from a higher caliber of employees when it is all said and done.

Another approach you can use if you don’t have the time to properly vet candidates, is by making use of accounting & finance recruiters. You won’t just wind up with candidates that are a good technical match for your listed requirements.  You may be getting access to professionals who are a great match for your company culture.

While you might be focused on getting someone as quickly as possible who possesses the skills and experience to meet the minimum criteria for your open position, what you really want is someone who will be a long-term member of your company’s internal community and gels well with everyone around them.

Using a recruiter can save you lots of time. They have already vetted their candidates and can present you with a list of highly qualified personnel based on your criteria. Whether you’re looking to fill a temporary roll or a long-term job position, a recruiter generally has access to higher-quality candidates than most employers are able to find on their own.

The Bigger Picture

If you like the results you get from the five specific hacks listed earlier, then you might want to step back and consider the bigger picture. Chron suggests four different specific areas to look at:

  1. Systems: Always be willing to embrace new technology for faster operations, improved capabilities, and lower capital costs involved.
  2. Processes: The right processes don’t just streamline things for more efficiency. They also increase transparency by tracking everything to identify and eliminate waste.
  3. People: The individual accounting responsibilities all your employees have, whether they work in finance or not, help you hold them accountable but can also free up their time for more valuable functions.
  4. Output: Using the latest reporting methods is sometimes necessary for regulatory compliance. However, it’s also the best way to measure your company against competitors using the same reporting methods.

Finance and Accounting Matter in Every Industry

Companies in all sectors might take different roads but they’re all headed to the same place. They want to generate revenue in excess of expenditures that they can capture as profit. The core business activities used to generate those revenues and profits will vary from one industry to the next, but there’s always going to be a need for proper and effective bookkeeping. Upgrading your finance department is one way you can hopefully streamline your internal operations toward better business success.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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