Why having the right finance system in place will help your enterprise soar in FY2023

finance system

Is your business planning to pursue a post-COVID expansion strategy this year? Join the club. Across Australia, we’re seeing a growing number of organisations of all stripes and sizes looking to the future with a genuine sense of optimism, in many cases for the first time since the pandemic began.

It’s not hard to see why. While some significant uncertainties remain – further COVID outbreaks, inflation, and the war in Europe, to name a few – the Reserve Bank has forecast GDP growth of around 4.25 per cent this year and two per cent over 2023. Household consumption has rebounded in the wake of last year’s extended lockdowns, the housing and construction sector is booming, borders are open to international travellers once again and unemployment, at four per cent, is at its lowest level since 2008.

If you’ve successfully navigated the challenges of the past two years, you may well have reached the view that now is the time to stop treading water and start forging ahead.

Scaling up your operations

Identifying opportunities to innovate, or to expand your offering or target market, is the key to growth, in all sorts of times. Once you’ve done so, it pays to be agile – to move quickly, experiment, iterate and use the experience you gain along the way to keep optimising your products and processes.

That can be tricky if your enterprise is still using spreadsheet era technology in its finance department. Why? Because legacy financial systems are only capable of providing a snapshot of how the business was travelling in the past, a month or several ago when the books were last balanced. They can’t provide you with an up-to-the-minute view of where things are at now and whether the growth strategy you’re pursuing is trucking or tanking.

Furthermore, that legacy financial software is likely to be incompatible with the cloud computing solutions you may be looking to roll out, to digitise your operations and create cost savings and efficiencies. That makes joining the dots across the enterprise a challenging exercise.

Embracing automated accounting

Adopting continuous accounting can provide a way forward and increase the efficiency and productivity of your finance department in the process.

The term ‘continuous accounting’ refers to a methodology that allows workloads to be spread evenly across the accounting period, rather than concentrated at the end of each month or quarter.

Continuous accounting is centred around three principles: the automation of repetitive processes; the elimination of end of month bottlenecks; and the implementation of a continuous improvement culture.

Daily reconciliations enable you to generate a comprehensive, contemporaneous view of operations and your leadership team can use that data to make prompt, proactive decisions about the company’s future direction and growth.

Creating cost savings

As an added bonus, continuous accounting allows you to turn your finance department into an efficiency powerhouse; reducing your overheads and saving a significant sum each year. That’s money that can be redirected to revenue-generating programs and initiatives.

Using automation technologies such as AI, machine learning or robotic process automation to complete transactional tasks can free up time that can then be spent working in the business rather than on it, with finance professionals able to devote their energy and expertise to providing strategic support to decision-makers, as they explore new market opportunities.

Starting strong

Having the right foundational technology in place can make a big difference to the health of your organisation, as it moves into growth mode in FY2023. An investment in cloud-based software that boosts efficiency reduces costs and provides a current, bird’s eye view of its financial position is likely to pay for itself many times over.