Now that the economy shows definite signs of life, many businesses are growing and experiencing the increased resource demands that go with that growth. With the struggles of the recent past still in mind, decision makers may be hesitant to add more staff, especially in back office departments such as accounting and finance. So, the question for many becomes:
How do I meet the growing needs of my business without hiring more accounting staff?
I love this question! For 22 years, I have enjoyed helping my customers do more work with less effort. More work means more orders, more shipping, more invoices, more payroll, more purchases, more this and more that...with always, it seems, more people and more effort. Being able to participate in helping accounting staffs do more work with less effort always makes me happy, but particularly now that most businesses still want to be very careful with new spending. Many options exist to help in this area, but today I'd like to explore three area for consideration:
- Application integration
- ERP technology
Application integration can be a key tool to help an organization do more work with less effort. Look for business processes like keying data into one computer program directly off a report generated by another computer program. Wasn't this data already digitized once? Can't we investigate automating the transfer of that information? That's application integration, and every function in the back office may reveal these types of opportunities. Look for integrations that offer a one year return on investment. Once you find them, get ready for not only a productivity increase but also the unintended benefit of greater accuracy. That's what we call a win/win scenario!
Also, now may be the time to outsource certain back office tasks like payroll reporting compliance. Aatrix provides this service to Sage 300 ERP U.S. Payroll users, and it is true there was a bit of culture shock when first announced. However, the long time Payroll do-it-yourself-er gets over that quickly! No more buying, printing, stuffing and mailing W-2 forms as this can now be outsourced for $1.89 per employee! Remember, the stamp costs 45 cents! Sign up for an eFile package automating all federal and state quarterly reports for a price based on employee size. For example, it's $150 a year for 20 employees. And, they'll keep a copy for you to print later when the worker's compensation audit rolls around. Aatrix surveys their customers every quarter, and those surveys reveal a 98% satisfaction rate, so I'm confident this is a no-brainer for companies who consider payroll an in-house process.
Finally, technology offers a host of opportunities to do more work with less effort. CRM automates the quote to sales order conversion process in addition to keeping track of opportunities, contacts, and customer service cases. Mobile applications automate sales and field service data entry from the iPhone, iPad and Android devices that employees want to carry anyway. And, a whole slew of connected services exist for both Sage ERP and Intacct Cloud Financials to streamline, outsource and automate key processes such as sales tax calculation, billing delivery, payment processing, and cloud-based document management and storage.
As the economy continues to improve, our businesses enjoy the opportunity to produce more. The alternative was not fun. The trick is holding the line on the amount of resources required to do that work, especially in the back office. If careful, businesses may discover ways to increase accuracy, outsource non-essential functions, and reduce operating expenses even while they do more work with less effort!
To discover if any of these solutions are right for you, please feel free to contact BTerrell Group. We'd be happy to help you determine how to streamline your processes so you can keep your back office headcount manageable.