It’s a cliché, but the start of a new year often prompts us to think about all aspects of our lives – how we can improve matters, what we really value and how we can focus on those things most important to us.
Time is a finite commodity – valuable to everyone – and it frequently tops the list of what business owners would like to have more of, as well as profit of course.
Now that we are nearly a month into not only a new year but also a new decade, it is a good point to stop and to ask yourself two important questions.
Are you using your time in the most effective way?
And, if you are a business owner or manager, are your staff using their time effectively?
In the UK, the average employee overworks by ten hours per week.
This means that there is 26 per cent extra time being spent at work by these employees every week. How can you, your team and your colleagues get all – or at least some – of this time back? This is one of the challenges business owners face.
If we look specifically at a finance function, a really effective way of getting time back is to find a technology-driven, flexible solution designed to fit your business requirements and take care of time-consuming tasks.
Traditionally, organisations try to achieve this through outsourcing, but nowadays businesses can opt for a Virtual Finance Function (VFF), which goes above and beyond outsourcing.
VFF advisors take on time-consuming tasks, such as accounting, bookkeeping, tax, payroll, data capture, project management and attending to VAT, all under one roof and tailored to the needs of your business. The service also gives you access to specialists as and when you need them.
The key to VFF is working in partnership with advisors to create your ideal finance function, so that you have access to real-time, accurate and meaningful financial information to help make decisions and drive your business forward. There are numerous benefits to introducing a streamlined and tailored VFF:
Remove tasks that do not add any value to your business
Removing tasks which may not be within your, or your team’s, areas of expertise frees up time to focus on running your business.
Replace outdated financial processes
If your business still uses paper expense claims, for instance, where you have to chase staff for paper receipts, there are many user-friendly technology-driven solutions that can streamline this process. In return, you’ll gain time, improve processes and reduce workloads.
Access financial information for quick decision-making
Your advisor can assess whether your financial information allows you to make quick decisions based on meaningful management information. For example, are your management reports based on real-time data? Do they contain the information needed for effective decision-making? Do you prepare succinct financial and management information that people read and interact with?
In 2020, the answer to all of these questions should be yes, and if not your VFF advisor can help you.
Comply with legislative reporting requirements
We are all facing more and more HMRC requirements and changing regulations with penalties for noncompliance, and it is becoming increasingly difficult – or very expensive – to have the necessary expertise to deal with them in-house.
VFF offers peace of mind because full-time experts with up-to-date knowledge of the relevant requirements and legislation can ensure that you are always compliant.
Whether you run a start-up or an established business, time will always be finite and valuable. The VFF team at Anderson Anderson & Brown works alongside their clients’ finance and commercial teams, evaluating the needs of the business, reviewing current processes and putting recommendations that make full use of relevant technology-based solutions into action.
Ultimately, clients recoup time to focus on running their businesses and achieving their goals.
Lauren McIlroy is head of virtual finance function at Anderson Anderson & Brown. For more information click here.