For many businesses, the management accounts that come out of the month-end process are the main reports to get pulled.
But then someone asks you for a piece of data or a figure that isn’t in the management accounts. You can see why the information is needed and would be useful, but there’s a problem.
Finding anything out-of-the ordinary takes time you simply don’t have. You’re also aware that the time it takes to gather together any new information contributes to the perception of you and the rest of the finance team being focused on the past and too busy to deal with.
So, what do you do? Do you accept the situation and say there are many other businesses out there that have the same problems as you do? Or do you take control and investigate how automating your invoice and expense processes could be the difference you need?
Get Easy Access to Individual Invoices and Expenses
Let’s say your sales director asks to see the expense claim from an employee’s sales trip a couple of months ago. Or your marketing director asks you to find out how much it cost to print last autumn’s edition of a newsletter.
This will probably involve a trip to a filing cabinet and a few minutes of your time.
But when your expense and invoice systems are automated, it’s just a few clicks of a mouse. Even better, it’s something your sales director and marketing director be able to look up for themselves if you wanted.
Gain a True Picture of How Much You Spend in Any Area
Now let’s imagine your operations director wants to know how much the business spent on printer ink in the past year. They’re wondering whether there are savings to be had by moving to a managed print service contract and want to run some numbers.
This isn’t going to involve a quick trip to a filing cabinet. It’s going to take a lot of time sifting through paperwork and spreadsheets to pull together the information required.
But with automation, it’s easy. Just another few clicks of the mouse and there’s a report winging its way to the operations director.
No More Unexpected Costs and Better Cashflow Control
Let’s imagine your factory manager comes to you with an overdue invoice from a machinery supplier. It needs to be paid immediately because the machinery supplier won’t ship a desperately needed new part until it has been paid.
Your cash position from month end a couple of weeks ago says you can afford the invoice. But what’s the situation now? And what will the impact be on your cashflow?
With automation, you have real-time visibility of your cash position, so you’re able to make an informed decision. And in any case, invoice automation has the potential to flag up missing invoices much earlier anyway.
Finding the Needle in the Haystack First Time, Every Time
Think of it like this. Paper and spreadsheets give you a 2D picture of your business’s finances. What you see is what you get.
With automation, you get a 3D picture you can look at from whatever angle you want. There are standard reports and key metrics to give you the headlines. But you can also interrogate the detail in whatever way you want and get real-time insight into cashflow whenever you want. It means you have a much better understanding of your business’s finances.
To find out more about how invoice and expense automation could give you better visibility of your numbers, get in touch today.