Posted by Accountemps on Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 05:00 | Follow me
To stay ahead of the competition and improve efficiency, firms must provide their teams the latest tools and training they need to do their jobs. Technology can improve financial reporting, enhance security and boost a firm’s ability to remain compliant with regulatory mandates, but many accounting managers still find themselves struggling to keep pace. In fact, 41 percent of CFOs polled in a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey said keeping up-to-date with technology is the greatest challenge facing accounting and finance teams.
What are the critical tech tools for today’s accountant, and how can you as a manager provide the right training for your staff? Here are five tips:
Become knowledgeable about the tech advances in your field.
Helping your staff embrace new technology begins with you. Effective accounting leaders know how to exploit the latest technology to their company’s benefit. You must ensure your staff is proficient with ERP systems and mobile apps, is able to automate financial processes, and has the ability to mine data they can turn into strategic guidance.
Get on board with big data.
Accounting firms today are swimming in raw data, searching for a way to organize, distribute and gain actionable insights from the numbers. Big data gives finance professionals access to a wealth of information, from call center feedback to customers’ social media posts. Managers must consider the commercial potential of embracing this wider set of data and be sure their staff is trained in how to use it, or work with a knowledgeable consultant.
ERP is a widely embraced financial system, but is yours tuned to your needs?
Robert Half's 2015 Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report revealed that 78 percent of U.S. organizations and 90 percent of Canadian organizations rely on an ERP system as their primary financial system. If you’ve outgrown Excel, will an ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, Oracle/PeopleSoft, SAP and JD Edwards boost your efficiency? After shopping around, remember your staff will need training in how to produce and interpret ERP reports to help guide important business decisions.
Give cloud computing serious consideration.
The benefits of cloud computing in accounting software deployment include cost savings, greater efficiency (less paper and fewer physical documents) and an added layer of security in the event of theft or disaster. Cloud computing allows you and your accounting and finance staff the ability to orchestrate and tap into the workflow remotely — on the road or from home, wherever there is a secure Wi-Fi connection. It also facilitates your interaction with employees and customers through secure connections. Be sure to scrutinize any external cloud storage provider’s security protocols and keep abreast of industry-standard measures.
Remove obstacles to your team receiving the training they need to succeed.
Assign team members to projects that facilitate their learning about new technologies and develop their skills, and involve key employees in the research and selection phases for new technologies and upgrades.