Many firms invest in sophisticated accounting information systems with the hopes of not only being able to improve their daily accounting-related processes, but to also make better financial management decisions. However, it can be easy to lose focus on the managerial aspects after implementation amidst your daily transaction requirements.
There are many ways a well-designed accounting system can help you make more informed decisions and lessen reliance on time-consuming, manual processes such as creating extensive auxiliary spreadsheet-based programs. Here are some examples:
- Classify, report, and analyze financial transactions based on your specific business needs such as cost centers, profit centers, regions, and hours, as well as customers, vendors, items, and locations.
- Quickly build reports based on required field values without having to ask an IT professional for support. Save these reports for future use or simply use them one time.
- Create multilevel reports that establish a reporting hierarchy and also drill down to lower level source transactions for more detail.
- Easily export information from your analysis spreadsheets based on selected criteria and automatically update it on a pre-determined basis, instead of keying in information from scratch.
- Build process alerts and dashboards to better monitor ongoing performance and make sure key business rules are not being violated.
Many firms lose their initial system implementation energy and enthusiasm by the time they get the system in place. Here are a number of questions to determine whether you are getting maximum ROI from your accounting system:
- Are your team members using an extensive set of spreadsheets to record transactional data?
- Are there workflow and business alerts built in support of key business processes?
- Are there lots of accounting documents floating around the office rather than stored and accessible via an integrated document management system?
- Are users able to generate their own reports or do they need IT support?
- Are you getting updated business critical data in easy to use formats such as dashboards?
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