As 2019 continues on in full force, businesses are beginning to adjust, adapt and implement updated processes within their organization. Every year, technology and process advancements not only nudge businesses in a different direction, but over time mandate change to remain relevant. However, change should be gradual over time rather than a shock to your business’s operations. It can be difficult to identify where your business may need to change, especially with several moving parts, it’s likely that things can be overlooked.
After conducting a survey and compiling the responses from various business owners, we’ve identified some key takeaways and insights in beginning new processes or updating their old ones. Here are the top trends to look out for when assessing new business strategies
Moving to Zero-Based Budgeting
Zero-based budgeting is having departmental budgets set at zero and managers must be able to justify all expenses. Zero-based budgeting is quite strict due to controlling expenses that may not be considered an essential to the organization’s operations. If your organization is going through a financial restructuring or market downturn, zero-based budgeting may be the right choice for you. It is a good choice for your organization if you’re looking to have more control over your expenses and looking to start fresh for the year.
If you’re looking to revamp your budgets this year, download our guide on how you can build a successful budget plan.
“We are implementing a zero-based budget along with a cash flow management plan for our clients. We believe that a business owner must have a plan for every dollar they earn in business. The plan could consist of a specific dollar amount placed into a saving account or invest back into the business; or perhaps invested into stock. We desire for our clients’ to track and manage their finances carefully so that they earn more money and most importantly keep more money in their business.” — Octavia Conner, Say Yes to Profits
Moving From Excel to Software
In 2019, accounting teams are looking towards software to help automate their processes and save them hours in the future. Many companies are going towards software to help with the heavy lifting of tracking purchase orders, packing slips, and invoices. There are shortcomings of excel or paper, that companies are looking to fill. As the shift towards software from excel/paper, companies will be shifting to be more tech savvy.
“With Procurify, the approval process has become dramatically easier. You get a purchase request, and everything can be approved within 30 minutes with Procurify — instead of 6-8 weeks, which is typically the timeline for more traditional processes.” — Damon Norris, Arizona Charter School Association
Automating Your Processes with Technology
Implementing a financial tool can save your team up to 5 to 10 hours a month, which equates to one full day of work; times that by 12 months and that is 2 weeks worth of extra time for your team to focus on other important tasks. This is why technology is such a huge trend in 2019; many companies are looking to improve their processes and make it more efficient, with having technology as a pillar within their new processes.
“If Procurify integrates with your existing system, you are going to save time on inputs and retyping information. You don’t need to be typing things into multiple systems for the same purchase order. From my perspective, it makes everything exceptionally faster from getting a product ordered, delivered, and paid for.” — Ed Fineran, Atlantech
Manual Process Elimination
As the phrase goes, out with the old and in with the new. Many businesses find themselves attached to old ways, failing to adapt and update to the new methodology. If a process implementation has gone wrong, it can be difficult to unwind what took hours to put in place.
While we had many different answers from our participants, a common thread that stuck out was eliminating manual processes. At first, eliminating your manual processes may not be quantifiable with certainty, you will be able to see a general positive impact with these changes within your business.
By removing manual paperwork and excel sheets, you’ll be able to generate real-time reports that allow you to analyze your data rather than spending time inputting your data. When considering to eliminate your processes, it will cost your company money to replace it with a more efficient process. However, if your company spent many hours fine tuning an inefficient process, it may cost more in the long run.
“Any manual processes to track spend, also only analyzing spend at the end of the month vs ongoing as the month is happening to be able to pivot at that time instead of waiting until the next month” — Stephanie Mewhiney, Centage Corporation
Since each business prepares and implements their financial and operational tools differently, it’s entirely up to you and your team to identify potential shortfalls and make adjustments appropriately. Starting with implementing a sound process and then focusing on proper tools, you can effectively eliminate unnecessary features and see a return on your invested time soon enough.