With the ongoing Covid-19 crisis looking to persist for the immediate future working remotely, in some form, looks likely to continue, this can present unique challenges for finance teams – here on some thoughts on how to overcome those challenges.
Manual processes are the blight of accounting departments everywhere. They are time-consuming, repetitive and a common source of errors. While accounting software automates many of these processes, routine activities such as posting transactions, generating invoices, and reconciling accounts can still take hours to complete.
In the wake of the global pandemic, many accounting professionals are struggling to keep up with normal levels of productivity. With many businesses still requiring employees to work remotely, accountants confront technology hurdles, including domestic Wi-fi constraints, lack of business phones, and the functional limitations of common accounting packages that are ultimately a drain on out-of-office productivity.
Cloud-based finance platform NetSuite is introducing new features that provide accounting professionals with more tools, access to data and controls they need to work effectively from anywhere.
With remote working and a geographically dispersed team set to continue for, at least, the immediate future and charity finance teams under increased pressure to model budgets and forecasts in ever shorter timeframes, now is a good time for senior finance professionals to investigate further.
Automated matching transactions from bank statements
Bank reconciliation is tedious and time-consuming, especially with high transaction volumes, multiple bank accounts or, possibly, multiple currencies to reconcile. To ensure that bank data and accounting details are in synch, financial transactions must be entered into the accounting system first. Often, this process is done manually and leaves room for inaccurate information. Now with the ability to automate transaction creation from the bank transactions, NetSuite users can create and post transactions automatically from imported bank data, saving time and improving accuracy.
Simplify management of intercompany transactions
Each accounting period, financial managers spend several days posting, matching and reconciling intercompany transactions. Transactions may be recorded incorrectly (or not recorded at all), allowing cross charges, transfers, and other exchanges to go unrecognised. By improving cross charge automation, accounting managers can automatically post, match, and reconcile transactions based on cross-subsidiary fulfilment events and record it all in NetSuite.
Fewer people are needed to verify intercompany financial statements, and accounting periods can be closed faster and with less chance of human error.
Another manual process NetSuite has eliminated is the settlement of intercompany receivables and payables. While it is common to keep intercompany transactions open (not settled) for several accounting periods, new intercompany AP/AR netting allows users to combine their mutual balances through a netting statement. Settlements are then created for the selected transactions for both subsidiaries. Companies will save time by reducing the number of open intercompany transactions, which eliminates the need for multiple wires and subsequent bank charges.
Virtual accounting team
With companies reducing staff or needing to supplement accounting with additional staff, organisations may choose to outsource some or all the accounting function. That is not a problem for companies using NetSuite. The long-standing NetSuite Accountant Program makes it easier for accounting firms to support clients who are NetSuite customers by giving those customers the ability to provide the firm with access to their NetSuite account at no additional costs.
Automate and do more
Because accounting and finance teams play a large role in the overall health of a business, it is critical for companies to invest in technology that will save money, automate processes and extract useful information to help executives make informed financial decisions. These new updates from NetSuite will save accounting professionals valuable time by allowing them to focus on managing exceptions, identifying inefficiencies, and improving performance.