Cash flows out of a company more easily than it flows in. A lot of business owners put a huge amount of emphasis on bringing cash into the business, but are less attentive to what’s being charged into overhead. For most service organizations, one of the largest cost is labor. If your company is spending a lot on labor, either due to hiring additional staff or contractors or paying overtime to get the job done, then perhaps there’s a problem with how your back-office is running.
Here are three ways streamlining your back office processes can improve workflow and save operating costs for your business.
Consolidate Financial Data
Contrary to popular belief, accessing your business’s financial data should be relatively easy. If you or your staff spend hours running individual reports from different systems and then have to merge reports, valuable time is being wasted. Worst-case scenario, you’re still using spreadsheets to manually search through the columns of data to find the information you need.
A better way to save on time and labor is to host all of your financial data in a real-time software system. You’ll be able to track financials from across departments including sales, marketing, and management without hopping from program to program or from spreadsheet to spreadsheet. Consolidating and managing your data in one system is not only more efficient from an organizational standpoint, but it can also be a great time saver and overtime-reducer, especially during your busy reporting periods.
Automate Back Office Processes
Back office processes are named so for a reason, they aren’t glamorous. Back in the day, the day-to-day time consuming processes such as time-tracking, payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable were set up in the back of the office. Meanwhile, sales and marketing were placed towards the front of the office to interface with customers and potential clients.
Even though the location of these processes may have changed over the years, every business still needs to track employee time, pay employees, and make sure that bills are paid while keeping up with collections from customers. These processes, if done manually, use up a lot of staff time and resources. Instead of entering the information into the system by hand, you can choose to automate these processes. By adopting an automated system for capturing project-related costs and employee time, you can easily silo this information into your bookkeeping system (if it isn’t integrated already).
Most importantly, make sure your departments are talking to each other. With all of your financial data in one central repository, you should be able to track to see how different processes within your business are contributing to the bottom line. Additionally, with multiple processes becoming automated, your departments will be relieved of burdensome tasks to spend time focusing on more “big picture” issues.
Once you’ve pulled your data and your processes together, get the team together to make sure everyone is on the same page. A clearer vision among your employees can lead to better productivity and more efficient use of your workforce.