In companies that have implemented accounting automation via the technology provided by FaaS (Finance-as-a-Service) partners, they get better visibility into their financial processes. Furthermore, they can maintain confidence in those automated processes themselves. The combination of advanced reporting tools and process visibility helps companies democratize the analytical capabilities of those who perform daily accounting tasks.
Finance as a Service is valuable to teams who are used to seeing all their data on spreadsheets and are now being asked to rely on automated processes that work their magic. With improved financial visibility, people using these tools can get a better look into process anomalies while performing their routine tasks. This brings huge benefits to the company (by detecting issues before they grow and do significant damage).
The Importance of Having a Better Financial Visibility
Businesses run better when their management can achieve full visibility into the processes of the organization. When it comes to finance and accounting, visibility is even more important because the company either lives or dies by its numbers.
Recently, the SaaS cloud-based concept has been applied to almost any type of software-as-a-service, and one of those modes includes financial planning services. One of the most common problems for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) is the lack of financial reporting, which prevents them from having complete visibility into how their company is performing financially. Financial reporting at these businesses is not accurate and timely, so they cannot bring and execute the right data-driven decisions. Understanding where the company stands financially is paramount for investment opportunities, decision-making, and hiring new employees.
How Finance as a Service Helps Improve Financial Visibility
With Finance as a Service, a company can get better visibility into the processes that produce, correct, and report their numbers. This allows the CFO and their teams to refine their business process, improve strategy execution, and increase operations visibility. With real-time financial data and business insights, the management team enjoys continuous planning and improved wealth management. Finance as a service can be utilized to:
1. Provide insights that enable better growth decisions
What lies at the heart of many business failures is a fundamental disconnect between their goals and financial figures. Without visibility into financial information, it is not possible to monitor performance and measure progress accurately.
Finance as a Service gives access to more in-depth financial insight as well as data analysis tools to help build an understanding of the financial position of the company. Also, with mature financial management guidance and connected data, your company can mitigate risk and build for the future thanks to:
- Cash forecasting built on a clear understanding of receivables, outflows, and recurring revenue
- Reporting to provide stakeholders the data that builds confidence
- Pricing strategies that reflect costs
- Identification of market opportunities and financial trends to better control costs and guide the company to mitigate risk
2. Instill confidence in financial figures
The better managers understand the company’s finance, the more likely they are to enter into data-sharing partnerships. The process visibility brought by FaaS is crucial to both C-level executives and business managers. It’s also vital for sharing information between board members and C-level executives as well because their responsibility includes building and maintaining trusted relationships with industry investors, analysts, regulators, and others. Executives are professionals who are expected to understand and have confidence in their financial operations. Improved financial visibility can be used to demonstrate and deliver that confidence.
3. Making financial processes visible
In order to improve the visibility of financial processes, the finance department needs to focus on activating two important features of advanced automation systems:
- Collecting key performance indicators (KPIs). An advanced FaaS system can capture steps of all tasks in the accounting workflow in detail, which makes it possible to pinpoint slowdowns or problems. Then, it lets users create KPIs to track in order to improve the performance and visibility of financial data.
- Dashboard visualization. Collecting KPIs is not enough because you also need to make them visible through a dashboard that should be easy to read. KPI visualization can reveal complex relationships and details easily and quickly, making them suitable for interpretation by CFOs, controllers, executive managers, and business unit managers. That helps non-finance executives understand and gain confidence in the value of finance to other company departments. A state-of-the-art system, such as the one provided by Consero, can foster continuous improvement by enabling process benchmarking through collecting and analyzing KPI data and making it available for comparative benchmarking by stakeholders and clients.
4. Capturing spend easily
Finance as a Service is an easy and intuitive way to capture expenses and receipts as they incur them. It is simple – you need to start from the beginning in order to get the data required for making better financial decisions. Capturing company spend in real-time (as it happens) means that you have real-time insight into how cash flow is being manipulated.
Analyzing data that is across disparate spreadsheets can make cross-collaboration between projects and departments quite difficult, and is also time-consuming. Why should your finance team have to analyze spending retrospectively? With FaaS, they will be able to take proactive and productive measurements to get better quality insights. By failing to utilize automation that FaaS brings to the table, you might miss to include important financial data or effectively interpret useful spending patterns. But when your finance teams get access to a cloud-based system that enables them to capture and track company spend, they will be equipped with advanced technology that allows them to keep track of spend on the go.
5. Visibility over the entire process
Being able to create insightful reports is only one side of the whole story when it comes to gaining better financial visibility. What you also need is a transparent system through which you can track your business figures anywhere in the process. What is also crucial is having an overview of the approval system – being able to see who still needs to approve an expense can save companies a lot of time asking around.
What can also provide a useful insight is having a similar view of policy issues. A good place to start reviewing your policies is seeing where employees are having issues. FaaS provides an automated solution that can help you adapt policies immediately in order to reflect overspends in particular areas. Is a certain department spending too much cash in a particular area? To balance out any overspending, you can adjust the policies assigned to them.
Improve Visibility and Reduce the Hassle
Consero has a comprehensive and complete FaaS solution that can help you build for the future. Our financial reporting helps businesses with:
- Effective decision-making based on the projected views of the future.
- Easy-to-access and real-time reporting on your company’s financial standing.
- A holistic, integrated view of all financial systems can minimize the need to compile and reconcile information from disparate sources manually.
- Effectively summarized reports that allow to quickly obtain information on overall financial health and performance.
- A financial forecast that allows the projection of future impacts against which performance can be measured.
- High-level KPIs and metrics with a comprehensive picture of your company’s overall financial health and direction of financial performance.
Companies will often discover that, once they’ve found an area to look at more closely, useful reports and accurate figures are difficult to come by. This makes finance a complex issue and can slow your progress down by impeding you in making savings and controlling the budget (even when you understand where you should start). Improving financial visibility is fundamental to getting all the information you need in detail and providing clarity to your spending.
Finance and accounting are pillar functions of any organization. At Consero, we provide these processes as a service, and our cloud-based finance and accounting operation delivers an effective and efficient data-driven finance operation. We combine traditional bookkeeping, controller, and CFO services with integrated and innovative software (including Simon voice-activated AI technology and our SIMPL financial management console). All of that comes without the effort, cost, and time of creating and managing an entire in-house accounting and finance department. Company executives get an easy-to-use dashboard with a visualized view of company performance, as well as the ability to pay bills and invoice customers.
With FaaS, the CFO has more time to focus on strategic business activity, relationship management, process management, and business transformation, allowing them to improve business performance and increase efficiency. Our clients get confidence, scalability, and clarity – all at a fraction of the money, time, and effort required to build and maintain a whole in-house finance and accounting department. The combination of integrated software and back-office administration and office expertise is a solution that can deliver substantial benefits to your company on an ongoing basis.