You’ve heard of “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a euphemism which explains that after the burdens are piled up, even one tiny addition can cause the entire process to falter. The same goes for finance departments at growing organizations. As your organization grows, you have to continue doing more with the same amount of resources, leading to a situation in which there can and will be a breaking point.
This poses a problem, not only for the team members in charge of getting everything done each month, but for your leadership and organization as a whole, which can’t capitalize on opportunities as quickly as they can and could be getting the wrong information.
Three Challenges for Growing Organizations
A recent Wipfli/Brittenford webcast took a look at some of the things holding growing organizations back, providing actionable advice on how to face these challenges with modern and accurate reporting, connectivity, and collaboration. Webcast leaders Brian Dietz and Brent Neitz discussed these topics, finding that five of the biggest burdens for finance departments are as follows:
Manual, Time-Consuming Reporting
Growing organizations need to remain nimble, even with ever-increasing amounts of data to analyze. Early in the company’s life, this was not a problem, as there were fewer stakeholders and less data, and reporting could be done easily in an Excel Spreadsheet.
Now, the spreadsheet is either overloaded or unable to crunch the numbers, and holding back your organization’s growth. Among the common symptoms of this very common problem held by 64% of finance leaders according to an Intacct survey:
- Delays in reporting, which mean delays in decision-making
- Error-prone spreadsheets (most spreadsheets have errors)
- Time drains across the organization
- Inefficiencies in processes
Lack of Visibility into Key Outcomes
Organizations are moving into an environment in which data has to be sliced and diced in new ways, tracked by new drivers, and focusing on new outcomes. More organizations are looking to measure by key performance indicator or performance metric, with 57% of organizations using outdated accounting software seeing this pain point. Common symptoms include:
- Delayed decision making and reactive (not proactive) decisions.
- Manual attempts at tracking more data in more ways, leading to errors
- Missed opportunities for growth.
Silos on the farm are meant to keep grain separate. Silos in your organization mean that data is kept separate, even when it probably shouldn’t be. Think of disconnects or manual workflows that need scanning, emailing, and readjusting information between departments so each can use it (think invoice management). 57% of companies surveyed had this problem, with common symptoms including:
- Lack of visibility into the numbers or drivers behind the numbers
- Delays in reporting
- Both of these get worse as the company grows
Dietz and Neitz go share two more of the top pain points, as well as some of the cures these organizations could use including automation, workflow improvements, and improved collaboration. Watch the replay of the webcast here, and contact us to talk about making improvements to software or processes.