distributed Finance team

Ensure smooth operations of remote Finance Team: A 4-step guide

Woke up late today? Oh yes! It’s work from the home week. Now, you can work in your pajamas, roam around in slippers and there are no time restrictions and no meetings. Nobody is there to stop you, no one is going to monitor you or your work. You can work without any restrictions. Whoa!

Working from Home is in fashion since people work from different cities or countries. Also, they opt to work from home when they’re ill or busy with some personal work. It has been at a peak for the last 2 years. 

Now, the whole world is fighting a war with a new pandemic outbreak. It is important for employees to stay safe at home. Maximum companies have already opted to work from home, concerning the health of employees. As there are pros and cons of every decision, here also companies are facing certain problems with work from home.

When it comes to Finance Teams or Development Teams, it really becomes complicated to collaborate and interact with each other. 

Specifically talking about Finance Teams, they have loads of work to complete as a team. Invoice reconciliations, Invoice approvals, expense management. employee reimbursements and what not. 

Amidst all this work, how to make sure that all the tasks are getting completed smoothly on time keeping in mind the productivity of employees?

We come across many such questions when we work from home. To solve these problems, we have come up with some ways, which will definitely help you to ensure that your remote or distributed Finance team is working efficiently. 

1. Make a PRIORITY list for the day: Get your employees day to day priorities beforehand. Divide the work and set goals on an everyday basis. This will become a performance tracker for your employees and won’t hinder important work. Deciding priorities helps in understanding the weights of work you have. For Instance, you have to make 500 vendor payments, and only half of them can be settled today, so you have to prioritize payments, which 250 you’ll choose? If by chance, you fail in making an appropriate priority list, this may affect relationships with your vendor, which can affect your organization in the future.

2. COLLABORATION is important: Make sure that your employees have good internet connectivity. If not, you can advise them or help them to get one. To monitor productivity while working from home, Internet connection and collaboration are crucial.  It’ll help you to conduct online meetings and view employee activity regularly. Also, when it comes to a huge company with multiple levels of hierarchy, It is necessary to communicate your messages properly to your managers, and their managers. For example, there’s a company which has to clear reimbursements of 300 employees urgently, they need appropriate platforms/tools for communicating this message, suppose they send a reminder mail to all the 300 employees, and 100 of them don’t have access to proper documents, the submissions might get delayed. “It is often a challenge in the beginning because of the sudden lack of buzz that typifies a traditional office environment,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant. But once you’re on the phone, engaged in your business, attending meetings, using videoconferencing and making a proactive effort to create your own business community, that isolation is typically overcome, she says.

3. Set TARGETS & Goals: Target setting with deadlines for your employees, would help you to track what they are doing on a daily basis. Set timely deadlines. Enforce new spend policies, set budgets beforehand. Eliminate email-based/paper communication, as it is not going to help with fraud or human errors. Switch to a collaboration platform that is capable of preventing such mistakes which in term reduce turn around time of employees. It will give proper visibility of the budget utilization and spends. 

4. Be TECH-SAVVY: Even though you accomplish all the above points, still it becomes difficult for distributed finance teams to work remotely. It’s better to go for some tools which might help you in getting your work done, anywhere anytime. Considering the efficiency and productivity of your team, Automation is definitely a top choice. There’s so much to do, like budget planning, managing expenses, invoice approvals, reimbursements, so why not look forward to automating these processes? Finly is the appropriate tool to manage all your finance operations like expense management, vendor payments, Invoice approvals, etc. Try interactive tools and ease your ambiguous tasks.

According to Forbes, Developing a remote team can be one of the best decisions you make for your growing company, but “out of sight” employees still need your attention and help. By anticipating problems, determining two-way workflows, and remaining attentive to remote workers’ needs, you can ensure that their productivity and insights directly impact your bottom line.  Digitalist Magazine, writes in one of its blogs, “There is no doubt about the necessity to further automate finance processes. Most finance personnel today are busy running the finance organization and taking care of operational activities. Limited time and resources are left to focus on value-adding activities like providing analytical insights. Automation serves as a key enabler to free up those urgently needed resources. Now finance professionals can not only provide real-time insights into the current status of the business but, with advanced predictive algorithms, they can look into the future and proactively steer the business.”

Following the above steps, will not only help you to plan your work properly but also it will give you an idea, what challenges you face and what you need to achieve in the future. Remote working requires a lot of dedication and focus. But walking on the right road will help you to achieve your targets. 

Would you like to share some challenges or opportunities of your distributed finance team? Comment below.

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