In order to keep efficient accounts of a company, it is crucial that an accountant has easy access to all necessary financial information and proper documents of the organization he or she works for. But finding and obtaining this information often proves to be quite the adventure. Yet it doesn't always have to be this way...
An accountant can only keep the finances of an enterprise in pristine condition when he is up to speed about all revenues and expenses within the company, ranging from the purchase or leasing of a company car to the receipt for the acquisition of a professional laptop, every detail of every audit, every incoming or outgoing invoice. And all relevant personnel details, such as costs relating to recruitment and retirement or monthly labor costs, to name but a few.
Treasure hunt at the office!
Even acquiring the necessary HR information or certain documents isn't always easy. The right documents and correct data are often hidden in a maze of cabinets or drives, or in various spreadsheets and tools, with an interface that is impossible for the layman to understand. The information might also be scattered amongst several responsible persons, especially in larger companies. Sometimes the documents only exist on paper, which makes gathering them and passing them on even more difficult. Are you really going to individually scan and forward all necessary documents?
Because of this, the accountant and his contact person at HR are facing an ever challenging quest, including many e-mails to gather all the information... often followed by reminders in order for the question to resurface on the unmanageable waves of e-mails we all ride. Or they venture on a treasure hunt of their own, in the jungle of intranets, drives and filing cabinets. Where, oh where, are the right files? Often, they are also saved on different systems, each with their own access rights. Feel free to add your own experiences – chances are you've been on a similar adventure at some point in your career.
Found all your treasures?
So you've found your information. Next comes deciphering it. That's not always simple, these days. Many modern companies pay their employees flexible wages, in accordance with their delivered performance. Or they allow expenses to be billed on the salary slips. Some enterprises only reimburse the legal minimum in commuting expenses, others offer a myriad of options: company car, compensations for the use of public transport, moped, company bicycle, you name it. All of these are nice initiatives, of which the accountant must of course be aware.
HR and accountant are in it together
Many HR departments also wrestle with these issues. Like the accountants, they frequently work with data and they have to execute certain tasks with the regularity of a church clock – but then on a monthly basis instead of a per quarter. Both use and – admit it – love monitoring trends and numbers, loads of numbers. And both need to report to the C-Level on a regular basis, in order to substantiate strategic choices.
So as for HR employees, they too occasionally search for indispensable information in their company, tackling the same hurdles. But things can be done differently. You'll see.
What if all information could be found on one spot?
Digitally, in one central platform? Always up to date? Easily accessible when HR or the accountant requires certain data or documents? How many e-mails and paperwork wouldn't you be able to avoid? And how much time would you gain? Think of the improvements you could make.
Both the accountant and the HR employee would be able to work much more fluently, with fewer margins for error. Errors which today leave a trail of unnecessary costs in their wake and could possibly have serious ramifications for the company. In short, business could run much more efficiently.
At the same time, now more than ever, the C-Level can be up to speed about the ins and outs of the enterprise. After all, you receive more accurate financial and HR reports, drafted impeccably and swiftly. They are also more profound, because the accountant and HR officer have more numbers and more time to analyse them. Time they don't need to waste on tracking, visualising and communicating certain data or documents...
“The advent of cloud-based computing and real-time data has allowed for a lot more flexibility to make real-time decisions, as opposed to just looking at what’s happened in the past quarter or the past year. You can figure out which employees are working the most or the least and come up with the median information needed to set policies and help the C-suite make the labor decisions they need to make"
- Nina Chmura, Senior partner at WithumSmith+Brown, Forbes 2017.
Welcome to the oasis where everything is within reach!
Using our grand adventure metaphore just once more (promise!), this central platform is no mirage. Today you can find an intuitive HR platform, a true oasis where accountant and HR officer find centralized and digitized all the information, much of which is relevant to the bookkeeping, such as:
- Employee data, kept up to date by the employees themselves, about their wages, assets, contracts... including historical data which can be used, for example, analysing the evolution of labor costs;
- Realtime overview of all assets within the company, such as laptops, software licences and fleet, their related costs and their contractual coverages;
- Easily comparable financial metrics, such as the composition of salaries for teams and individuals, simulating costs of proposed hiring plans etc.
It goes without saying that all this information is contained in an extremely secure environment. And you, as the company, get to decide who has access to which information and data, or which documents must remain protected.
The name of this innovative solution? Officient, of course!
Do you want to make the switch to our digital platform and make the work of your accountant of HR officers more efficient, more fault-free? Or do you want to recommend Officient in the company you are doing the accounting for?