If your business is looking to make efficiencies, you are not alone, and every part of your business should be examined to see what savings could be made and where processes could be improved. Your finance or accounts team shouldn’t be exempt from this and in fact, there could be some significant savings or improvements. 
There are several ways to make savings within your accounts or finance team which include process efficiencies, switching to cloud accounting software, outsourcing services, not replacing staff or increasing headcount but utilising virtual services. Below we explore each of these areas further. 
Process efficiencies 
Often accounts teams can be process heavy and some of these processes may be dated and inefficient with senior members of the team being tied up doing tasks that are below their pay grade. Auditing these processes and seeing what happens during these processes and who is doing what gives you great insight into how your team operates and how it might be improved. 
It may be that you need to reassign tasks, reengineer processes to streamline them or invest in some software that will reduce the administrative tasks and overall reduce the cost of the team. 
Cloud accounting software 
Cloud accounting software, such as Xero, can help improve your accounting in several ways. Firstly, it can increase team efficiency by removing some of the administrative tasks and free up team time to focus on other activities. 
Cloud accounting software also gives greater visibility of your figures in real-time with the ability to share access at different user levels with other people in your business and with your accountant. This gives greater knowledge and insight to senior managers and increased collaboration within the business and with your accountant. 
Other advantages include the ability to automate tasks such as invoicing and reporting, improves compliance, and helps you go paper free. They are secure and cloud-based so can be accessed remotely on any device, so you are always in the know. 
If you are interested in switching to cloud accounting software, speak to us as we can advise and help you with the switch. 
Outsourced or virtual services 
Outsourcing some of your services can create efficiencies especially if you employ some in a full-time role and the role doesn’t necessarily utilise all of their time so they may fill their time with less experienced tasks. An opportune time to consider outsourcing a service is when a key person leaves the business rather than replacing them as it can be a more cost-effective solution. 
Some of the popular tasks that can be outsourced are payroll and bookkeeping which can be delivered as virtual services. Virtual services are integrated with your teams but supplied by an external provider. This means you benefit from a highly trained team without having to manage or recruit them and you only pay for the service they provide not their full salary. 
What we are finding is more businesses want greater virtual support in the form of a virtual management accountant or virtual finance director who can provide regular support to their business. These services are bespoke and can include management accountants, cash flow forecasting, business reviews, profitability analysis, credit control and what-if scenarios. These virtual services support businesses in making decisions, aid growth and help them to keep their headcount down whilst supporting senior managers with the financial information and knowledge they need. 
How to approach streamlining 
You can do a review yourself using the above for guidance or we would be happy to help and offer suggestions. All of the above suggestions for ways to streamline your business are services that we can offer you, so if any of these are of interest to you, please get in touch to learn more about them. 
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