You’ve decided your organisation needs a new finance system – but the hard part is getting your board to agree with you.
That’s a situation many a financial director or chief financial officer has found themselves in.
In those circumstances, you will be well aware of the extent to which the existing accounting package is holding you back. After all, nobody considers changing finance software for the love of it. You will have an idea of how much easier it would be to produce better data and reports with a new system – and how much staff time could be saved by automation.
Now comes the challenge of convincing other people that this is not just your pet project but something that needs to be prioritised among all the other demands on resources.
Making the argument for finance software across the organisation
The key to making a case for new accounting software lies in showing the benefits to the whole organisation – and especially the parts outside the finance department.
That can require a bit of a mindset shift if you’ve spent a long time considering the headaches that currently plague the finance team and the possibility that you can make life in the department easier. But the benefits of a good finance system really do spread across the whole organisation.
It will help to consider some of the following points:
Aligning with business objectives: An organisation that is going all-out for expansion does not want to be stuck with software that won’t scale with the business. A company that wants to acquire other businesses needs software that allows you to add entities easily, and that will consolidate its accounts easily. A business that needs to respond quickly and efficiently needs systems across the organisation that will support that objective.
Considering all the productivity gains: However much they might sympathise with the stresses the finance team is under, non-finance people might not have those problems at the top of their agenda. But learning of the number of hours or days to be saved each month, enabling the business to do more with less, might be another matter.
Integration with non-finance systems. A powerful cloud accounting package will be able to integrate with other applications used for customer relations management, expenses, and a host of other key business functions. That ensures you have ‘one source of the truth’ data and makes life easier for people across the organisation, not just the finance team.
The benefits of self-service. When an organisation is using outdated software, the problems of the finance team can affect other users. Staff who come to the department with queries or requests for information can find they’re in a queue of frustrated colleagues. With better finance software, people can “self-serve”, getting access to the information they need to see.
Streamlining workflows. Do budget holders have invoices piling up on their desk for authorisation? Are staff on the road accumulating expense claims that they are not submitting in a timely fashion? All this can be automated and handled on mobile devices with the proper software, benefiting everyone.
The implications for compliance. It might not be the sexiest word in the language, but the mention of “compliance” can make people sit up and take notice. There are real risks from having an inadequate finance system, so it’s worth explaining how the software will help. One aspect of this topic is data security – and with cloud technology, your data can be securely held on the provider’s servers, ideally in the UK.
The benefits for the bottom line. Sales are the all-important driver for many a business. But without efficient processes across the organisation, it’s possible that a lot of the money the salespeople are bringing in the door is flying out the window. The efficiencies that come with better software should have a real impact on the balance sheet.
Driving better decisions. While improving the accounting system has many immediate and tangible benefits, perhaps the most important comes afterwards. Better reporting and budgeting features give decision-makers up-to-the-minute data at their fingertips, enabling both a big-picture overview and close-up scrutiny of anything in the accounts. When you’re leading a business in turbulent times, quality information is something you can’t afford to be without.
The powerful argument for cloud accounting software
Frustrating as it can be, it’s only right that finance heads should have to make the case to other leaders that the accounting system needs investment.
The process forces you to examine afresh your case for the move and to see the issue from other perspectives.
And by making the argument to non-finance people, you may well discover that the business case for new software stacks up even more powerfully than you previously thought.
To find out more about how iplicit can transform your organisation, benefiting finance and non-finance departments alike, take a quick online tour of our software, sign up for our webinar on moving to a modern cloud finance system or get in touch to book a demonstration.
If you’re ready to start the process of looking for a new finance system, use our evaluating finance systems checklist.