6 signs your organization’s finance function needs modernizing

Nov 05, 2023
Management consulting Finance transformation Financial management
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In recent years, the finance function has grown increasingly complicated, and in today’s uncertain and competitive environment, your organization can’t afford to fall behind. Is your finance and accounting team burdened by manual or labor-intensive processes? Do you rely on outdated technology for close, reporting, and planning?

If you recognize any of the six signs below, it may be time to explore upgrading your systems or processes. 

Challenges with compliance and external reporting

Meeting these routine requirements is disrupting day-to-day work and forcing your team to extend the close timeline. You’re not able to seamlessly move through annual compliance exercises, and satisfying external reporting requests means your team stops doing other important work to complete these tasks.

The solution

Automated reporting workflows allow the gathering and analysis to happen automatically in the background, saving time and money and lifting the burden off your team.

Reconciliation woes

Your team relies heavily on manual and non-standardized processes and grapples with reconciling bank statements and other balance sheet accounts. The reconciliation process consumes excess time and creates staff burnout because the work isn’t challenging or satisfying; it’s frustrating and mundane.

The solution

Automated reconciliation removes most human hands from the process, aside from brief staff review/approval, so comparisons happen on time and accurately, freeing up your team to perform critical tasks.

Repetitive task exhaustion

Day-to-day tasks are overwhelming your team, making them feel like hamsters on a wheel. They’re so embroiled in navigating the dense process maze that they can’t get to the point of optimizing, making change, or doing strategic, proactive work that drives the business forward.

The solution

Simple automation solutions eliminate mundane tasks, prevent talent burnout, and free up your more costly talent to focus on the strategic work that grows the business and drives revenue.

Struggling with data integrity

Your staff struggles to cleanse—and keep clean—all the data necessary for finance to function. This means they’re stumbling through basic processes like closing the books or getting current on financial statements. Problems with incomplete and unreliable data are unacceptable in today’s business climate.

The solution

Replacing labor-intensive manual processes with automation technologies eliminates the human error that creates risk. Automation vastly improves data quality and enhances efficiency and accuracy.

Fear of institutional knowledge loss

If too much knowledge is vested only with one specific individual, your company is at risk if they leave for any reason. Do you have a system in place to document and cross-train, so your critical knowledge base seamlessly transfers and you ensure business continuity?

The solution

Automated processes mean key knowledge is captured by and resides within your systems, making it easier for anyone on staff, including new hires, to access, understand, and apply historical data.

Disruption from transformative events

Has your company recently experienced or have plans for any of the following: a new investor, an IPO, a merger or acquisition, a divestiture, or a joint venture? Any of these major institutional events will shine a bright light on your finance function, so processes need to be operationally efficient and under control.

The solution

With today’s tight financing and M&A environment, lenders want to see profitability and operational excellence. Optimized finance and accounting departments can provide lenders with higher-quality data and better visibility into the business.

If your company struggles with any of the scenarios outlined above, consider working with a third party to bring an outside perspective to the challenges you face and accelerate solutions. At RSM, the first step we take with any client is to understand your current platforms and processes and how they interact. Then, based on your organization’s objectives, we determine the corrective effort needed and prioritize and sequence the next steps, which could include solutions to support your organization by filling key gaps in your accounting infrastructure. Our mutual goal is to refine your finance function for better performance, resilience, and longevity.

To succeed in today’s competitive environment, companies need to balance cost optimization with growth, doing more with less by effectively deploying resources and technologies to address challenges and pain points. A modern finance function is digital, efficient, agile, and strategic, and delivers business insights to internal and external stakeholders.

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