Updatewd : June 2020
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Introduction to Digital Finance & Operations Sytems
Before buying digital finance and operations systems think about the way in which you work. Do you regularly do a full system analysis, or do you use tools and software systems only when needed?
If Making Tax Digital (MTD) has forced you to think about digital transformation, it makes sense to think about your overall digital finance and operations systems at the same time. Not only would this mean that you are compliant with MTD but can be a huge benefit for your business.
Taking an overview of digital business processes in the form of a systems audit can be an eye-opening and extremely valuable process.
As a business owner, your proximity to the business can sometimes be an issue as you may feel that everything is going well and, therefore, there’s no need to change anything.
It’s great when everything is going well, but could things be a little better?
Are your digital systems connected and robust enough to take advantage when better times roll around?
Does your accounting package make it easy to see if you’re facing cash flow issues before they become an issue?
Many businesses find that they aren’t, and by that point it’s too late.
This is why a professional systems audit before you go ahead and complete your digital transformation journey, is so valuable. And will stop you from investing in the wrong accounts package or an unsuitable job management system.
Should You Go It Alone Or Call In Professional Help?
Calling in a professional, such as a pro from Software Buddy to run your systems audit gives you an objective evaluation of strengths and weaknesses.
We can take an in-depth look at how your business works and pull out impactful, meaningful data.
As a result, this will mean that you can make decisions more confidently.
A proper systems audit will identify exactly where your digital finance and operations processes are efficient and where they can use some work. So that you can make the right choice and tap into the benefits on offer.
Whether the findings suggest using a better accounting software package, linking digital systems together for more efficiency or focusing on solutions to specific problems, a professional system audit is all about making your business better.
Get Solution Focussed
For a lot of businesses, finding a piece of software that is robust and can do a specific job is a priority. However, a lot of the time, you can end up buying a piece of software that’s not capable of doing what it’s being asked to do. Which can mean that you end up spending a lot of money on different systems until you find the right one?
By examining the problems, you need to solve and working out the solutions before buying into software systems, you can avoid this backwards process and apply the right tool to the job from the outset.
By failing to do this, you can end up spending money you didn’t need to on the wrong system, use resources that could have been better directed elsewhere and, worst of all, have lost opportunities.
Choosing a new accounting package, a job management tool, stock manager or even HR system is a big decision and key to making the digital transformation process successful. After all, the system you choose will impact how your business performs every day.
So a misstep could be a huge blow. If you choose the wrong accounts software for example, it could even mean that your digital transformation roadmap veers wildly off course and leaves you unprepared for Making Tax Digital.
Being solutions focussed when you’re weighing up which accounting package to invest in, or which project management tool to subscribe too means you’ll need to ask questions like:
- Will this provide the right solution?
- Will it still be good enough if we grow?
- How does this contribute to business success?
Avoid Gaps and Integrate
The more a business grows, the more its digital infrastructure stretches.
And when things stretch, there are gaps.
This can often lead to miscommunication, systems breaking down and, ultimately, loss of business efficiency.
And we can all agree, that if there’s one thing any small business needs, it’s efficiency.
An inefficiency in systems in a small business can be disastrous for current and long-term health, and that’s just no good for anyone.
This underlines the importance of integrating your digital systems into a harmonised, efficient whole.
It pays to view your business systems – from digital finance to digital stock control – the same way you would your employees.
You wouldn’t give a batch of employees a shared project and then seal them each in a room on their own, hoping for a collective, well-realised outcome.
Your digital systems for finance and operations are exactly the same.
They deliver the best results when they work together, and can communicate and exchange information as needed.
This way, there are no gaps and no horrible surprises further down the line.
Just a well-planned system that does what it’s supposed to do, as defined by you.
Finance and Operations Gap Analysis
A digital finance gap analysis is simply a way to see if there is a difference between desired performance and the actual performance.
It’s not just about seeing where the problems are, but also about solving them.
By taking stock of your current situation and using that a baseline, and then working out what you should be earning as a business, you can identify the problem areas that are keeping this from being a reality.
And this is where your operations come into play. Operations like integration, choosing the right software solutions for your needs.
It’s an important process and one of the most insightful measures you can take to see where your business is going.