Company Executives Are Pushing For Improvements In Financial Operations To Drive Revenue And Culture

Taking a look back into operational reporting in the late 20th century perfectly depicts the stark transformation of how leaders access business insights. From analysts checking and rechecking thousands of lines of data to real-time visual KPI reporting, business leaders today are primed for success, but why do some still lack visibility into their organizations?

Revenue growth and profitability have always been such a priority to leaders throughout the years. With the development of cloud technology, the market continually responds by building a plethora of tools to maximize those goals. Cloud computing synchronizes enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and business intelligence (BI) systems to convey a multitude of financial, marketing, sales, and operational data visual analysis. Today, managers can predict sales trends, product profitability, and forecasted revenue by sales rep, region, customer, or product with a click of a button.

Stay Connected

For high-volume transaction companies, interdepartmental communications translate to effective operations. Shipping companies, such as FedEx or UPS, popularized a live tracking feature within every transaction, so clients can see how far along is their order. Management teams are no different in terms of data tracking. These organizations need to align sales data daily with inventory, compare the trends against a sales forecast, and then prepare the next quarterly budget. This process requires mass data from multiple sources calculating at an exceptional rate without crashing.

Streamlined operations and connectivity between systems are no longer a choice; it is a must-have to be successful. Businesses need real time data available by optimizing their operations with industry best practices for all departments. Integrated cloud business software suites, such as NetSuite, blend CRM systems, budgeting tools, and general ledgers. Management then can deep-dive into multiple sets of data from individual transactions to financial reporting. Robust systems are a considerable investment upfront, but with the proper implementation, they offer the necessary tools to improve the likelihood of long-term growth.

Before Adding, Learn to Subtract

Day-to-day operations are the true champion behind real-time visibility, as the quality of output directly results from a quality input. However, manual calculations for tens to hundreds of thousands of lines in spreadsheets reduce the speed behind up-to-date analysis. How effective can an organization be when its people stare at an hourglass or a spinning rainbow wheel waiting on calculations, scared to breathe on the computer in the meantime because the computer might restart all over again?

Before introducing new systems into the business, managers should considers optimizing their operations first. Organizations can save dozens of hours a month by removing multistep practices that are duplicated due to manual tracking. Management can better utilize accounting and financial team resources by improving or outsourcing excess processes, such as T&E reporting through a provider, reducing thousands of SKUs to a reasonable product set, simplifying manual transactional accounting calculations, or streamline payroll analysis. Third-party companies are able to simplify various operations to free up internal resources to analyze and act on the data versus waiting to calculate it.

Foster a “Think” Culture

By finding the right partner to optimize operations, internal teams are able to focus on true firm development – driving new ideas rather than spinning the wheels of managing a day-to-day. Sales no longer needs to chase down Operations and Delivery for a status on deal closures. Marketing does not need to wait for finance to report on earnings based on specific campaigns. Teams are virtually connected via integrated cloud systems, and the actionable information is accessible at all times. Real-time analysis allows internal departments to shift their mindsets to think for the future:

  • Executives and management have more tools, data, and information for long-term strategy
  • Sales organizations can map out a growth plan through prior trends, budgets, and forecasting
  • Marketing can better target its efforts based on more effective campaigns
  • Operations can track the status of costs, customers, orders, and more

The increased time allotted for data analysis and visibility not only offers leaders necessary actionable insights; it more importantly allows the team to focus on attracting new business. If driving revenue and maximizing profitability still reign as a priority, how much longer do leaders have to wait for their data before their teams can focus on growth?