How the Financial Management Process Is Transforming

The process of financial management is one of the key processes in an organization. This process plays a vital role in supporting the corporate decisions, while meeting the regulatory and legal requirements. To run an organization smoothly, it is essential to manage its finances in an accurate and appropriate manner. This is why entrepreneurs hire an expert help or partner with a financial service provider to handle end to end accounting tasks.

With a comprehensive network of professionals, finance and accounting service providers bring together the right set of people at the right time to help entrepreneurs lead the financial market. By focusing on improving the performance and increasing the value of a business, these service vendors offer a range of financial services to bring a transformation in this sector.

Well-organized Financial Operations

By structuring and standardizing the accounting functions, an entrepreneur gets empowered to identify the improvement areas and recommend relevant suggestions to overcome industry challenges.

In order to explore the full potential of resources, financial firms integrate advanced technologies and applications that further automate the accounting processes and deliver timely reports and accurate results. This allows the in-house staff to shift their focus on other core areas. Service vendors offer robust platforms and resources to manage transactions and operations of the financial sector.

Service offerings:

• Market research
• Financial planning and management
• Accounting BPO Services
• Banking Services
• Financial research and marketing
• SLA management

With the help of a service provider, entrepreneurs can minimize the risk factor and maximize return on investment, on various financial decisions.

Other allied financial services include:

• General Ledger Accounting
• Accounts Receivable Management
• Accounts Payable Management
• Bank Reconciliation
• Collection Outsourcing

Effective Decision Making

The service vendors deliver an adequate financial plan & a performance management agenda so as to help an entrepreneur make better decisions. Entrepreneurs refer to financial forecasts before making any acquisition or adding a new segment to their business.

The process includes the subsequent offerings:

• Financial Information Management
• Cash & Working Capital Management
• Expense Management
• Financial Reporting & Analysis
• Budgeting & Forecasting

Financial Planning and Transformation

Making a financial strategy helps an entrepreneur redefine their business goals and ways to accomplish them. It helps a financial officer to evidently articulate the fiscal vision of an organization, analyze the process efficiency and develop a future ready business model.

To bring transformation in the financial processes, it is essential to understand the business needs and then plan ahead for success. Financial transformation involves a review of the entire process and explores the growth and challenging areas that an entrepreneur need to focus upon. Service providers suggest relevant changes to be implemented in a business for process improvement.
Due to new and improve methods and business solutions the process of financial management is transforming drastically.

Importance of Financial Management Degrees

At present, nearly all government or private organizations have at least one financial manager to guide investment activities, manage the groundwork of financial reports and develop and carry out cash-management schemes. These days, every organization, whether big or small has financial managers, and they hold a key and responsible position.

Although, responsibilities of a financial manager vary according to the position, but some of the common work includes preparing reports that are generally required by regulatory authorities. They also play important role in managing the preparation of financial reports, such as balance sheets, income statements and analyses of future earnings or expenditures. All these describe and determine the organization’s financial position. In many firms, financial managers are the key personnel who administer the accounting and budget departments.

Financial managers also called as financial consultants or personal financial advisors use their knowledge of investments, tax laws, insurance and real estate to recommend financial options to individuals based on their short-term and long-term goals. Considering the work responsibilities and expectations of employers every firm looks for a skillful employee who can direct their business to the right path. Hence, to compete with ever changing requirements of employers getting a degree in financial management is must.

Typically, a career in the financial management needs at least a master’s degree. Courses available in the financial management in the United States include fundamentals of business law, accounting, management principles, e-commerce, ethics, finances, tax laws and other related topics. These programs help students learn the skills of focusing on different aspects of business like systems integration, business strategies, e-commerce, technology consulting, and human resources. With Master’s degree you can have a greater opportunity for promotion and advancement in your career field.

Since, financial managers can be found in every organization, their demand goes higher than any available positions in the market. Moreover, employment growth for financial managers is anticipated to be as fast as the average for all occupations. Apart from this greater demand for highly skilled financial professionals, make the career outlook even more excellent.

In fact, if we study the recent data then by the year 2016 the demand is expected to grow by 13%. Regulatory reforms along with the expansion and globalization of the economy will raise the need for financial expertise and drive job growth. Both the creation of new businesses and growth of established companies will spur demand for financial managers, controller, treasurer/finance officer, credit manager, cash manager, and risk/insurance manager.

Hence, to get into the rush of grabbing a honourable and responsible accounting position the first and foremost thing is to equip yourself with all the skills, which are in high demand in the financial market. For this you need to enroll in a recognized school where you can learn all the techniques of managing finance.

12 Areas to Include in Your Financial Management Operations Manual

From a process perspective, Financial Management is the easiest and simplest business process to take care of no matter what business you’re in. But it’s often the most avoided and neglected area of any business. So why is that? Well, in my experience it often comes down to our fears around money.

The best way to tackle fear is by using knowledge. Not avoidance. I work with many clients who at first will try their absolute best to avoid looking at their numbers, or not paying attention to it, in the hope that it will go away. But unless we know where you’re at right now, there’s no way we can improve it. This is where putting together a financial management process and documenting this in a financial management operations manual can be of huge benefit both to yourself as a business owner and to your business!

The type of Financial Management process that I take clients through is a method that I devised because I was probably way behind where you are now. It comes down to understanding some simple systems that you can then enhance to build your very own financial management process. Then putting that knowledge into a financial management operations manual so that your financial records are maintained in a consistent manner that you can get the information you want.

I have to be very clear with you here. I am not an accountant. My understanding of financial management comes from learning the hard way – by it costing me a fortune to NOT know. So over time, I developed my financial know-how and then devised systems and procedures to help me to be able to better manage my business finances.

And by the way, I have always had great financial people on my team. But they are made great by the fact that I have a system that they follow. This ensures that my data is recorded in a consistent manner, and that I’ve got my finger on the pulse of my business by having all the right reports available at the right time.

Here’s a quick high level checklist of what should be included in putting together your financial management process and operations manual:

1. ACCOUNTING ROLES: Clearly indicate who’s responsible for your money in your financial management operations manual. Understand the different roles of people who are doing the numbers in your business. Be clear about the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant or financial manager and how each can benefit your business in the most cost effective way. Then put together job descriptions outlining who is responsible for what and how they interlink (or you can purchase complete job descriptions for your bookkeeper and financial controller at our website).

2. FINANCIAL REPORTS: Work out what reports you require to keep your finger on the pulse of your business – and then insist on receiving them on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Outline in your operations manual who is responsible for delivering these (this should be outlined in the job descriptions also!) and at what regularity. These reports should form the cornerstone of your business decisions. You can never have too much information.

3. YOUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM: Many people rely on their bookkeeper or accountant to tell them what the best accounting system is to use. But don’t just take this information at face value. Investing in an accounting system is a big investment over time. Research the initial investment cost of any recommended system, as well as the continual costs to upgrade the system from year to year. Also consider how many bookkeepers are trained in this system. There is no point is purchasing an accounting system that is cheap as chips if there is no-one able to use it. This will just result in paying top dollar for a specialized bookkeeper and potentially more costs down the track to convert over to a less specialized system!

4. PROFIT AND LOSS PROJECTIONS: Every year prior to the end of your financial year, you should be putting together a profit and loss projection of what you want your business to be doing. This provides you with important “what if” scenario planning. It’s always better to know whether something is going to financially work before you embark on it!

5. BUDGETING: Budgets are the most known about and yet least used thing in most businesses. You should have an annual budget that has been derived from your Profit and Loss Projection then broken down into specific areas in your business. It also assists people (including your bookkeeper) in your business to know exactly what they can spend and what they can’t. It’s also an idea to ask your bookkeeper to enter the budget into your accounting system so that you can incorporate your budget into your Projected Versus Actual reports.

6. CASH FLOW ANALYSIS: I often get asked why a business is making a profit, but there’s never any money to spend. This is because there is a difference between cash flow and profit. It is essential that you ask for a cash flow analysis each month at a minimum – weekly would be better! This ensures that you have enough money in your bank to pay people when money is due, and allows you to chase up faster those that owe you money.

7. CONTROLLING COSTS: To control costs in your business you should have a purchasing system in place. Ensure that not a dollar is spent in your business without a purchase order and incorporate this into your company policy document. Every bookkeeper I’ve ever known baulks at this idea because it’s extra work for them. But at the end of the day, it keeps control over your money. With this system in place you will never have unexpected expenses arise that an employee has kindly organised for you.

8. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Outline and record in your financial management operations manual how your accounts are paid including the method and timeline. Also include any regular payments including direct debits, as well as other spending methods such as store cards or credit cards. Another tip is to include your petty cash system and employee (and director) expense reimbursement systems.

9. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Often business owners think that it’s common sense for a bookkeeper to know what to do in accounts receivable. But never for one moment think that your common sense is the same as your employees! Ensure that your financial management operations manual includes an overview of the system for dispensing goods and/or services, your credit terms, how to raise invoices and how to follow up on outstanding payments. I also encourage clients to include phone scripts on debt collecting in their operations manual so that there is no doubt as to how to handle clients. Nothing annoys a good client more than an accounts person chasing them for money and conversely, nothing annoys a business owner more than an accounts person who can’t get a definite payment date!

10. BANK ACCOUNTS: Make sure that your financial management operations manual includes an outline of bank accounts, including GST accounts and who credit cards are issued to. Also include an overview of online payment systems. However NEVER include details on your PIN numbers. This should be divulged in person and never written down.

11. Other things to include in your financial management operations manual should include items such as Fixed Asset Register, Insurances, Depreciation Registers and End of Year Procedures. Although these are generally covered by your accountant at the end of the year, it should also be included in your financial management operations manual so that your bookkeeper and/or financial controller know what steps to take to prepare the information for your accountant.

12. DATA BACKUPS: Your money records are THE most important records in your business. Ensure that your bookkeeper is saving your records to a device that is stored externally to the computer. Include information on how to back up to this device in your financial management operations manual.

Putting together a financial management process and documenting it in an operations manual takes time and patience. In general you should allow yourself time to collate all the information to put together a draft manual, then time to fine tune it. Alternatively, if you are looking to source a ready made template that already outlines most of what you need, then have a look at our website http://www.innovabusiness.com.