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What do you do if an employee in the finance department quits, falls ill, or goes on vacation? How documented are the processes and who can take over the work so that the business doesn’t suffer? There are a few things you can consider to reduce vulnerability.
Control of the finances does not come automatically – it’s the result of the continuous updating of the accounts and the reporting, analysis, and communication of the figures. In order to gain control over its finances, a company needs the requisite processes, skills, and IT support. There also needs to be back-up when resources are missing for whatever reason. Below are some ways to reduce vulnerability when finance department employees are absent.
Up-to-date job descriptions.
In order to be able to cover when someone is away or resigns, it’s important to have up-to-date job descriptions available for the specific tasks.
Document processes for handling the accounts.
The processes for ongoing finance work in the company need to be documented in order to be able to maintain control over the finances.
Automate and digitalise as much of the work as possible.
In the best case, the work (such as accounts receivables) is largely automated and digitalised. This not only reduces vulnerability on several fronts, but also saves time and leads to cost efficiency.
Have a clear structure for reporting.
There must be a clear structure for reporting important KPIs as well as documented methods and descriptions stating where and how data for reporting is obtained. It’s also beneficial if there’s an easy-to-understand structure in the documentation of reports and KPIs from previous periods to enable a new resource to easily find data.
Knowledge of IT solutions.
Ensure that several employees have access to and training in the finance system. Even if they're not all super-users, vulnerability is reduced when several people have the basic knowledge to perform the most important tasks.
Let someone else do the work for you.
Even if you have all of the above in place, it can be difficult to maintain control when an employee in the finance department disappears. Staff come and go, documented processes can be omitted in practice or fail to be updated, the finance system may be difficult to understand, not to mention all the rules and regulations. One option to reduce vulnerability is to outsource all or part of the financial management to a company that has this as its core business.
You then get a team of consultants who are familiar with your finances. You can count on guaranteed delivery and get access to the expertise you need. You never have to worry about the need for resources or a loss of knowledge when employees leave. In addition, the way of working and the processes are streamlined because they’re based on many years of experience, operations, and best practices.
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