Choosing the right finance system for your organisation

Janine Chasmer
Janine Chasmer

Whether you’re in charge of a large, multinational corporation or run a small, not-for-profit, choosing the right finance system for your organisation is essential. Far from just crunching the numbers, the right finance system will streamline your operations, allowing your team to make better, data-driven decisions to outperform the competition as a result.

Why are finance systems so important?

The main functions of a finance system tend to centre around accounting, procurement, billing and asset management. Whilst accounting capabilities allow you to manage financial data effectively, monitoring accounts and ensuring compliance with the relevant standards, procurement capabilities can save time and reduce costs while enhancing supplier relationships. Likewise, billing functions can speed up invoicing, minimise errors and improve cash flow, whilst asset management functions help to keep track of any assets – be it laptops or real estate – allowing you to optimise resource allocation.

In addition to these essential financial processes, a good finance system can support a wide range of other functions. This may include budgeting, financial reporting and expense tracking, for example. Perhaps the most compelling advantage, however, is having a ‘single source of truth’. Put simply, this means that all members of your team, from sales and marketing through to the accounting department, have access to a centralised repository of accurate, up-to-date financial information. They can then use this data to make faster, more informed decisions, ultimately resulting in improved service that guarantees a competitive edge. However,  in order for this system to work, the users must be given access to the right training.

Choosing the right finance system

 With so much to gain from an effective finance system, it’s important to choose your technology carefully. There are several key considerations to take into account, including ensuring that your chosen system is both flexible and scalable. This means that it can adapt to your organisational needs as you grow. Likewise, opting for a system with real-time support can help, as you’ll never be left in the dark – at a potential loss – should an issue arise.

A variety of finance systems

There are several different types of finance system available, each tailored to specific organisational needs. The most common types include:

  • ERP systems: Enterprise Resource Planning systems help with accounting, HR, procurement and more. They are most suitable for larger organisations with complex requirements.
  • Accounting software: This single-solution option is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses looking for accounting-specific solutions. The software can also be combined with other solutions for a more tailored approach.
  • Cloudbased solutions: Cloud-based systems offer flexibility and scalability, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes. They can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, ensuring you always have real-time access to your data.
  • Industryspecific solutions: Finally, certain industries will have unique finance requirements. For example, a healthcare organisation might opt for healthcare-specific finance systems, as this will help to meet both compliance and reporting requirements.

Choosing the right finance system for your needs

Whatever system seems most appropriate, it’s important to follow the below steps when determining the best finance system for your organisation:

Step 1: Assess your needs.

Sit down with key stakeholders to work out what your finance requirements actually are. Rather than being swayed by the latest technology features, work out what you truly need help with based on your current activities and progress, then, factor in your industry and size. This should give you a better idea of what you are looking for.

Step 2: Consider budget.

Of course, you’ll also need to allocate a budget, considering not just the initial purchase and any implementation or configuration, but also the price of any ongoing maintenance and support.

Step 3: Research and compare.

Now, it’s time to conduct thorough research, reading reviews and delving into the details of what each system offers to work out how it aligns with your needs.

Step 4: Think about scale.

Make sure that the systems that made your list are capable of growing with your organisation. Scalability is crucial as your business evolves, so if there are any options that don’t seem to offer this as part of their solution, you should cross them off to consider more flexible systems instead.

Step 5: Don’t forget training.

It’s all well and good buying a state-of-the-art finance system, but if your team members don’t know how to use it, the investment is going to fall flat. In fact, employee resistance is one of the main reasons that digital transformations fail. As such, it’s essential that you budget and plan for any relevant staff training to ensure your people can utilise the finance system to its full potential. Some systems even come with built-in, real-time support.

Step 6: Implementation and continual improvement

Once you’ve chosen a system, you’ll need to implement it. Make sure that everything is done correctly, seeking help where necessary. But more importantly, keep checking up on things even once this is done. The more you monitor progress and usage, the more opportunities you will have to improve the ways in which the system is used, allowing you to tackle any obstacles and capitalise on success.

Moving forward

Choosing the right finance system is a pivotal decision that requires careful, ongoing consideration. In fact, in a rapidly evolving world, it’s essential that you choose a system that can adapt if you are to stay ahead. You might even consider professional collaboration and assistance both before and after making this crucial choice, as, with the right finance system in place, your organisation will be able to achieve true prosperity, sustainability and success.

Interested in finding out more?

Equantiis is committed to helping our clients achieve their maximum potential by optimising their processes and technology. Contact a member of our team today to book an initial consultation.

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More about the author

Janine Chasmer
Janine Chasmer - Principal Consultant

Janine’s career includes 10 years in the not-for-profit sector, specifically within membership, and she leverages her industry expertise and first-hand experience with a wider range of clients, including Membership and Charity, where she provides consultancy on a range of areas including Business Strategy, Customer Experience improvement and process optimisation. In recent years, Janine has applied these consulting skills to the Education sector, supporting HE and FE institutions to improve their applicant and student experience at key phases such as application, enrolment, Clearing and progression. Other projects include Digital and Data Strategy, process and automation, and Student Journey optimisation. She has also worked as a SRM Functional Consultant, using this unique insight of both sector knowledge, and enabling technology to achieve transformational outcomes. Janine is also a regular event speaker and creates and shares industry and sector insights with her network.