Any qualified financial advisor will tell you that as a business grows, so do the intricacies of managing its budget and finances. The larger your company gets, the more systems you’ll need to ensure everything runs by the numbers.
Thankfully, nowadays we have a cache of knowledge at our fingertips. On top of lived experience, savvy entrepreneurs can also leverage the modern tools and resources at their disposal. This includes things like listening to financial podcasts, reading market reports, and practising tried and tested financial management methods to find the best processes for your enterprise moving forward.
If you’re currently trying to develop your own financial management processes, then this is the resource for you. Read on to find out how best you can tailor your financial management processes to suit your business.
The only way to improve what you already have is to understand it inside and out. With that, it’s recommended that business owners take the time and labour cost to analyse all of their current financial processes to get a detailed inventory of everything. There will be some areas that immediately stand out like a sore thumb, as some older companies are still relying heavily on archaic technologies to facilitate their financial management processes.
While the overall cost of amending your financial processes will be the governing factor, upgrading to newer, more capable tech is a sound decision. You don’t have to be an expert in these financial processes yourself, just ensure you have the right people in place to give you accurate information.
Knowledge is key, as it will allow you to make well-educated decisions when developing business growth and operational strategies. There is really only one characteristic that supersedes knowledge in well-rounded business owners, and that’s wisdom – namely, the wisdom to recognise the limits of your own experiential and academic knowledge.
Trust that you don’t know everything, and understand that maintaining a realistic perception of your limits is a good thing as it allows you to keep learning with an open mind. And that is in short, the best way to push your limits.
As we mentioned earlier, listening to industry podcasts is a great way to glean new information, as is joining a few forums online. Just do your best to stay up to date with your industry, to give you the strongest position for strategising and thus, the best chance for commercial success.
A lot of companies will have in-house personnel that are up to evaluating your company’s financial management processes, but that is not always the case – particularly for smaller businesses. Naturally, there is always a cost associated with hiring financial professionals for your company, but the value can be exponentially higher. Even so, you need to be able to balance the cost of all investments (including your own time) to understand the real value that can be brought in by a financial management professional.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or even just too busy, there are a whole host of professionals out there that specialise in just this. So take the time to research local financial management professionals, as they have the knowledge and skills to help you develop the financial management and budgeting processes that work best for your business both in the present as well as in the long term.
For small businesses, it is always a good idea to get input from the employees who utilise your financial systems on a daily basis. Larger corporations will typically keep this compartmentalised, but a lot of small businesses don’t have such a strict hierarchy, which is actually fantastic as it allows for dynamic development and collaborative strategising.
The best input on how efficiently a system runs should come from the people who are most experienced with using that system. These are likely to be your long-time employees. Understanding their critiques of the systems that are currently in place can help you design updated processes that are built to work – not only for your business but for the individuals that actually use those systems every day.
Automation and digital technologies in the workplace don’t have to be viewed negatively. Yes, there are fears of people being replaced by machines, but artificial intelligence will always be lacking one crucial element needed for practical intelligence: the power of subjective thought. Don’t shy away from investing in your company’s digital transformation, especially in the context of financial management.
There are software solutions available that can help streamline your business’ financial management systems. Tools like bookkeeping software, invoicing software, and online business banking platforms, can help you take a big picture look at your company’s finances.
Automating your company’s financial management processes can be as simple as setting up automated invoicing for your suppliers, or even setting up a fortnightly or monthly repeat order for printer paper and other office essentials with your office supply store. If you can automate dull or tedious tasks that staff typically do manually, you can often then put them to better use somewhere else.
Amending your company’s financial management processes can feel like you’re venturing into uncharted territory. After all, you’re strategising for performance outcomes that you want, not to maintain standards that you already have. There’s also a lot of technology that’s rapidly evolving in the financial sector. It’s in your best interests to get to grips with these new tools on the ground floor. That way, your business can leverage these emerging tools and methods as they’re available and not after your competitors have already mastered these processes for themselves. So take the time to listen and learn just as much as you tinker and test. In doing so, you’ll be able to finetune financial management and budgeting processes that are in alignment with your daily fiscal operations.