How Finance Teams Can Adapt to the New Normal
Remote working is becoming the new normal. Finance professionals – and indeed the rest of the workforce – are grappling to maintain communication, collaboration and productivity. Many are still trying to come to terms with the huge disruption to our working lives.
Now, more than ever, finance professionals are looking to technology to minimise this disruption. There are plenty of tools that can help make remote working easier for finance teams when working from home.
Downloads of video conferencing tools like Tencent Conference, WeChat Work, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have increased as companies try to combat the current restrictions. This will obviously help with team communication but also with team morale. Speaking with your team every day helps keep that team bond strong which should not be underestimated in the current climate.
Cloud storage software and applications like Google Drive, DropBox and Egnyte can also be invaluable for easy file sharing and collaboration from any location, while communication platforms like Slack, Skype and Yammer offer real-time and secure messaging for remote teams. Advanced’s Cloud Financials can help to support finance teams directly in managing all elements of accounting – from accounts payable and receivable right through to credit management and bank reconciliation.
Accounts Payable Technology
Accounts Payable is one of the most difficult tasks to carry out remotely due to the reliance on physical paperwork, which is usually posted to the office e.g. invoices. Without technology, this process would become almost impossible to carry out, however invoice automation software can simplify and streamline these processes. V1’s solution, for example, is able to read, interpret, verify and validate invoices before they are posted to purchase ledgers automatically.
The tools to support finance professionals are endless. Others include time tracking software, PDF converter software, and electronic signature software such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign.
Technology aside, it’s increasingly important that finance professionals prioritise their mental health during this difficult time. A few areas to consider include creating a dedicated space for working which can be distinguished from home – and one without distractions (whether that be a family member, social media notifications or a pile of washing!). What’s more, they should establish a routine which includes a consistent working schedule along with dedicated times to switch off.
One thing that I found personally to help me is exercising regularly, it is important to break away from the desk and get out for some fresh air. This can be applied to all levels of fitness, so whether you are new to exercise or are a fitness fanatic, it is important to get out of the house. Even if it means walking 5 minutes up the road, it helps provide that outside stimulus which has become less frequent in recent times.
To summarise, the workplace as we know it has changed – and this new way of working is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Finance teams therefore need to understand which systems can still do their job at a time of remote working and which ones need to be upgraded with superior technology.