As we near the end of 2020, a year full of new challenges and change, there are a number of learnings we can reflect on, and questions we will ponder as we enter 2021.
These questions continue to be around:
- How can we improve things?
- What do we really value? and
- How can we focus on those things most important to us?
Time is a commodity which is finite and therefore really 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!).
If you find yourself wishing for more hours in the day, ask yourself two important questions:
- Are you using your time in the most effective way?
- If you are a business owner or manager – are your staff using their time in the most effective manner?
How can you make the most of your time?
In the UK the average employee overworks by 10 hours per week. This means that there is 26% extra time being spent at work by each employee each 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. However, if we look specifically at a finance function for the moment, 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 businesses would try to achieve this through outsourcing, however, a virtual finance function goes above and beyond traditional outsourcing.
Benefits of a virtual finance function
A virtual finance function (VFF) takes the running of your finance function and streamlines it for your business so you have access to real-time, accurate and meaningful financial information to make decisions and drive your business forward. It also enables you to have access to specialists when you need them. Your VFF advisor(s) take on all of the time-consuming tasks such as accounting, bookkeeping, tax, payroll, data capture, project management and VAT needs, all under one roof.
Not only this, but through working in partnership with you to create your VFF solution, your advisor will also help you to remove tasks which do not add any value to your business.
This can include undertaking tasks which may not be in your, or your teams, areas of expertise so that you can get that time back to focus on running your business.
Consider if your financial processes are outdated
For example, if you are still preparing paper expense claims or having to chase staff for paper receipts there is an extensive list of user-friendly, technology-driven solutions which can streamline this process and in return you’ll get time back, improve processes and reduce workloads.
Assess if your financial information allows quick decisions to be made based on meaningful information
Are your management reports based on real-time data? Do they contain the information that is 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 advisor can help you.
Be compliant with legislative reporting requirements such as HMRC and accounting standards
We are all facing ever-increasing HMRC requirements and changing regulations with penalties for non-compliance. It is becoming increasingly difficult or very expensive to have this expertise in house. By implementing a VFF solution you can have peace of mind that you are always compliant.
Whether you are a start-up or an established business time will always be finite but equally always be valuable. The AAB VFF team work alongside finance and commercial teams to evaluate the needs of the business by reviewing current processes and then making recommendations utilising technology-based solutions. Ultimately we help clients get that valuable time back to focus on running their businesses and achieving their goals.
2020 has taught us all to be a bit more agile, embrace technology and how to be resilient in the face of various challenges and change. It has also reminded us what is important, and that we should all value our time more; do you value yours?
For more information about AAB’s virtual finance function service, please contact Lauren McIlroy, Virtual Finance Function Partner