Remote work was a quick reset for all essential financial and business operations in an organization. Companies had to revisit all their processes to review them from scratch while making needed changes.
In addition, remote work brought about a series of broken processes and workflows, bringing zero accountability into business expenses across the organization. All this, when combined with manual reporting methods, results in serious trouble for your business finances.
As a business owner, you might wonder, where do I start fixing this issue?
Fret not as the following blog elaborates on the nuances of cash flow management while highlighting the significant challenges you’d face and finally telling you how to resolve them. Let’s begin!
What are the significant challenges of managing cash flow remotely?
Traditional methods of cash flow management were already a pain for your Finance teams. However, the added physical distance from remote work has become the perfect recipe to brew some fresh disasters.
Listed below are some cash flow management problems associated or worsened by remote work:
Decreased collaboration and communication
Your Finance team is the only group of people whose functioning is dependent on every other department. A lack of seamless collaborations will result in your Finance teams going through tedious and mundane tasks with little to no reward. This, in the long run, will have a drastic impact on financial productivity.
Zero visibility into organization-wide expenses
By removing paper reports and face-to-face meetings from your arsenal, Finance teams have been stripped of essential information that enables them to make the right decisions regarding company finances. This further means that Finance teams cannot find ways to optimize company operating expenses and other spending.
A need to relook business expense policies
The nature of business expenses has changed with the onset of remote work. As a result, existing policies do not compensate for the evolving nature of business expenses.
This has made expense management a confusing experience for all stakeholders alike.
Broken traditional processes due to the new nature of work
Finance teams can no longer walk into another employee’s cubicle to request clarifications or verifications. The increased physical distance has made human interaction fall by massive levels.
This is what has led to multiple inaccurate, broken, and time-consuming manual processes that have paved the way for financial leaks (like expense fraud) to affect business finances.
If left unnoticed, all these factors can seriously dampen other critical business processes as healthy cash flow is the cornerstone of any successful business.
Where can SMBs begin remote cash flow management?
- Gain an overview of the current state of financials, financial processes, and overall cash flow scenario.
- Note all that has changed due to remote work and their associated impact on day-to-day operations and management.
- Assign a priority tag to address each challenge based on their severity if left unchecked for long.
- Encourage employees to adopt a transformational mindset and leverage automation technology to take over low-impact tasks.
What’s a good start for automation? Expense Reporting, Accounts Payable and Receivable, and Payroll.
What are the different ways in which SMBs can effectively manage cash flow during remote work?
Here’s a starter tip: An essential factor to good cash flow management is to always have an overall picture of your business expenses at all times.
If you’re wondering how you can pay close attention to your processes and map out roadmaps to correct them; don’t worry; we’ve listed them all out for you:
Have complete insight into the current state of your SMB’s finances
Remember that your Finance teams can make well-informed decisions only when they have access to the correct information. Hence, right before you go into conserving your finances, Finance teams need to understand its current nature.
This can be anything from vendor payments, invoices, income statements, P&L, and expense management.
Gain control over business expenditure and finances
By gaining access to the correct information, Finance members can analyze it to understand where the spending is happening, why it is happening, and identify different ways to reduce, control, or optimize them.
With this new information in hand, Finance teams can make informed decisions regarding changing expense policies and budgets.
Wherever possible, remove human intervention
Some things are better left to be handled by technology. For example, take processes like data entry where accuracy is essential, knowing how human beings are prone to minor slip-ups, isn’t it better to just let a software handle these tasks in a second?
This doesn’t just free up time for your employees but also ensures no erroneous financial records within your organization.
Leverage the power of cloud technology
If remote teams are going to thrive, SMBs need to let automation handle all the heavy lifting. It streamlines your financial processes like a well-oiled machine and automates all broken processes while providing strict policy compliance.
This enables SMBs to ensure that there are no financial leaks in the system.
Here are some technologies that can set you off on your automation journey:
- Cash flow management: Gain an overview of all your business funds with zero added effort.
- Cash forecasting: provides real-time analysis of financial data with accurate prediction.
- Expense Management Software: enables you to seamlessly manage business expenses, CCC reconciliations, and employee reimbursements.
- AP & AR automation: digitize the entire process of invoicing.
- Explore cost-cutting mechanisms
Leverage the advanced data analytics capabilities of various cloud technologies to identify cost-cutting mechanisms. For instance, the data analytics feature in an expense software provides a detailed breakdown of expenses across projects, budgets, departments, cost centers, and more! These insights can enable Finance teams to find new ways to optimize costs through more careful planning, negotiations, or so forth.
The current economic climate demands SMBs to adapt quickly and smartly. Cleaning up your broken processes and making a list of all functions that need your attention is a great way to begin.
Every SMB owner needs to decide on the changes they need to adapt depending on their present situation, existent problems, and other personalized parameters. However, always remember that it’s only when you start talking about change that your employees can communicate and move forward.