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Working from home: a help, or a hindrance?

It goes without saying that remote working has been one of the greatest business challenges of the coronavirus crisis. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single business that hasn’t been affected

However, with challenge comes the opportunity for growth. Remote working is a problem, sure – after all, it’s a natural human instinct to want to work side-by-side with your colleagues and peers. However, if you manage it correctly, finance teams stand to reap enormous benefits from remote working processes and systems.

The hidden benefits of remote working

For too long, we’ve all been cutting minutes – or, in many cases, hours – out of our days in sacrifice to the daily commute. Eliminating the need to commute altogether is the most obvious benefit of working from home.

The fact is, when people are given the freedom to work on their own terms, they’re generally more productive. In fact, a study found that working from home can boost input by up to 13%. With more hours in the day to recharge their brains, your employees can dedicate more of their mental energy towards progressing your organisation’s goals.

However, better work-life balance and a welcome boost to employee mental health aren’t the most important advantages of working from home. For savvy organisations that seize the nettle and make much-needed changes to their systems and processes, this is an opportunity to improve across the board – both now and in the future.

Collaborate like never before

If your financial processes are set up for true remote working, you’ll enable your employees to collaborate like never before.

For example, with a cloud-based unified ledger tool such as IRIS Financials, all of your employees can work from the same data set in real time, so there’s no opportunity for double entry or completing the same work twice. This is a huge upgrade from disparate systems and long-forgotten spreadsheets.

This is also an opportunity to start automating those low-value, high-effort tasks that every organisation has to complete. For example, invoice processing can be completed entirely by modern-day machine learning technology – and these days, it’s more accurate than a human.

Simply put, organisations that move these mission-critical functions to cloud-based technology now will avoid potential disaster in the future. It’s clear that the way people work will be changed for years to come – even long after the coronavirus crisis has been put to rest. Businesses that upgrade their systems now will reap huge benefits in the long run – and any upfront costs are sure to be worth it in the future.

However, not all cloud-based systems were created equal.

The risks of poor implementation

A poorly implemented cloud-based system can work against your organisation, forcing you to change your processes to match the way it works – not the other way around.

Unfortunately, there exist far too many options on the marketplace that aren’t modular enough to meet every organisation’s unique needs. For example, a charity would need access to a specific set of compliance reports – but, if their financial software doesn’t support these, submitting these mandatory reports could quickly become a nightmare, leading to poor compliance and extra manual labour.

Worse still, if your cloud-based software isn’t built on a unified ledger system, you could make assumptions based off of old information. Unified ledgers are automatically consolidated, so there’s no lag in your general ledger figures – they’re always up to date.

It’s always better to work with a partner that understands your organisation’s unique needs.

Work with a partner that understands your needs

With extensive experience of operating in a huge range of sectors, the IRIS Financials team understand that every organisation will have its own unique quirks – and our implementation service supports this.

Simply put, we work with our customers every step of the way to ensure that their financial software supports their processes.

If you’d like to find out more about IRIS Financials, visit our website for a complete rundown.

We recently spoke to over 1,000 UK business professionals about the strategies they’re using to tackle the coronavirus crisis – and we’ve published these results in our latest insight guide, Finance departments in the next normal. If you’re looking for more great insight and exclusive statistics, it’s available to download now for free.

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