Money is tight, times are hard, you have heard this constantly for the past couple of years and businesses in particular have suffered at the hands of the global economic downturn. Perhaps the poor economy as much as anything else has increased the importance companies now place on their financial teams and perhaps to a greater extent the financial management software that they employ. Is it really possible that something as basic as software could be the difference between success and failure in a recession?
It may be a little far-fetched to say that financial management software will determine how a company performs in any kind of market; however it is entirely reasonable to say that it can change the fortunes of a company. It is also fair to say that if used correctly it will provide a road map to how a business can avoid the worst of a difficult trading situation and perhaps even prosper in a recession. Of course not all financial management software is created equally and I'm not suggesting that a program created to manage a home budget will change the fortunes of a large business, what we are talking about here enterprise level software designed with business in mind. So how does it achieve all this?
Today programs are more than just accounting software and definitely about more than just managing a bank balance. Actually it is used to provide in depth information as a basis for key strategic business decisions, the reporting features that enterprise level financial software has means that it is an invaluable tool for any company involved in planning for the future, informing decision makers of the areas of business where savings can be made and how those savings can be made. It's not only about savings though, increasing profits is an area where the insights offered by the reports can prove invaluable, the combination of cutting costs, making savings and increasing margins the basis of how using financial management software can turn the failing business around to be a successful and lean operation. How to choose the right software is another matter entirely.
Enterprise level financial management software does more than just accounting, when choosing a program there are several factors that must be considered to get the right platform for the specific business conditions you operate in, to do this it should be:
- Reliable; it is essential that the program has been proven over time.
- Robust; the software should be strong enough not to break through input error.
- Flexible; it should be able to manage the whole range of financial processes.
- Simple; a smooth learning curve is helpful, user-friendly is essential.
- Integration; it is a necessity for the software to integrate seamlessly with existing business applications.
- Expandable; if necessary a modular program that can growl to a full suite of ERP applications is idea.
Although not exhaustive this is the very basics of what is required for a finance application to be good enough to guide your business strategies, anything less and the results would be misleading.
Cost effective financial management is not easy with finance teams having to achieve more in less time with less resources, the only way they can manage to do this is by utilising the best possible tools at their disposal. Financial management software can help them provide the proper reports for the best possible strategic business decisions to be made.