Accounting departments are essential for smooth business operations, but they are also one of the most complex departments in the company. They must be able to navigate complicated processes, they face regulatory and compliance scrutiny, and they are at the mercy of the involvement of various other departments. These factors – and a host of others – can lead to inefficiencies that drag operations down. Here are a few strategies to help make your accounting department more efficient this year.
Enforce Deadlines and Cutoffs
One of the biggest time wasters for accounting team members comes from chasing down employees for documentation. If employees are habitually late turning in their invoices, adjustments, expenses, etc., leadership must put its foot down. Set up automated email announcements or system-wide pop-ups reminding team members that a cutoff is approaching. Get upper management involved if a team member or department is a habitual offender. You might even consider setting up a reward for the department that gets all of their docs in the earliest.
Embrace Batch Processing
There is no reason to process every single invoice, reimbursement, or check as it comes into the department. Set aside a day – or several days – each month when documents will be processed. Make sure that vendors, customers, and employees know those processing dates so that they do not keep knocking on accounting’s door looking for their money or their receipt.
Get More from Your Software
Your company has likely invested in accounting software that has a great many capabilities. This year, schedule training sessions with your vendors and your team members to start getting more out of that system. Odds are, many team members are doing a lot of work outside the system, which can cause redundancies. If you are unsure of the full capabilities of the system, talk to your representative.
Walk Through Your Processes
Accounting managers need to revisit workflow and processes regularly to ensure they are efficient. A minimum of once a year, walk through your processes from start to finish, from the perspective of a customer, a vendor, a partner, and an employee. It can also be beneficial to work with a process consultant with an objective eye.
No matter what types of processes you have in place, accounting efficiency is really all about people. If your company is seeking top accounting and finance talent, or you want to improve your accounting and finance hiring processes, contact the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. As a market leader, we can help you create a team that will keep your accounting department humming.