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The finance department is a huge part of every university (and every business for that matter). Rarely do they just report numbers but often are a key stakeholder in any decision-making process. However, we know that the finance team can often get bogged down with the time-consuming admin work which impacts their ability to really add value to the business and help drive overall growth.
Every finance team can benefit from a regular review of their finance processes in order to continuously improve on them. For example, your finance team might be importing and exporting financial data to and from various systems or writing checks and sending them in the mail. Let’s stick with the first example for a moment. We’re sure your team are not the only ones using various software applications in their daily routine, but is this the best use of their time?
Here are some downsides:
High volumes & error rates
In some cases we’re talking tens or even hundreds of thousands of manual data lines that your financial team will need to complete daily. To update this level of data is too much to handle on a regular basis and as such, the accounts are often updated monthly. You also run the risk of error with large amounts of data, spreadsheet manipulation, manual reconciliations etc. So, in a situation like this, how can you ensure that you are on track against budget or forecast and proactively managing performance? Can we just say, monthly retrospective analysis is nice, but the most important moment has been and gone.
Time-consuming & demotivating for your team
Following on from the previous point consider this - how long does it take you to export/amend/import/reconcile the 5 different systems you are using? Your team is so busy processing, checking and correcting issues that they never get a chance to really add value. In addition to this, it doesn’t increase the real experience of your staff; completing repetitive and time-consuming tasks often demotivates them. Surely your finance team could benefit from being able to do all those things that never make it far from the bottom of the to-do list. We’re talking very important tasks here, like reviewing of the controls, upgrading of the systems, identifying revenue growth or cost saving opportunities and even more importantly, doing something about them!
Training / Ownership
In any finance department, there are defined roles and often you will find that in examples like the one above, only one or two people actually have the knowledge and knowhow to pull off these manual integrations. Staff often have to be trained and trained again, at which point they might choose to leave the business and all that time would have been wasted. The point being, you are often left with one person who knows how to do things, when they are off sick or leave the business, you’ll find yourself in need of expert help, often external and expensive. It also becomes easy to point the finger at one person, but is it really their fault that technology is not being used to its full potential? See above, they probably don’t have time to fix issues, even if they wanted to.
Now imagine that those 5 different systems have a two-way integration updating each other on a minute by minute basis and that the systems have pre-created reports that allow you to easily reconcile between them. All the points above are good reasons in making sure that all your finance systems are communicating with each other. So, what can you do to change the current situation, i.e. decrease the hours spent on doing manual work, increase the productivity and efficiency of your team and reduce the error rate and costs?
You need to make sure that your systems are speaking the same language and have an open API to ensure integration compatibility. We explore this in more detail in our blog, the benefits of software integrations.
How does this work with your Kinetic products?
Simple. With a customisable approach, we’ll make sure that all your requirements are discussed in advance and interfaces delivered are tested before going live. You can choose which processes you would like to modernize and automate, and which you prefer to keep doing manually. Some examples of the transaction streams which we can integrate for you include event invoices, attendee accounts, cash sales, payments, etc. You will be able to track the financial information by creating simple reports which will help you track any errors occurring, time spent on certain tasks and, more importantly, have an accurate overview of your organization’s finances.
Check below which financial integrations we have already successfully implemented for some of our other clients.