Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Can Your Finance Department Support Growth? You Bet It Can.

Christiane Soto
Senior Marketing Manager - CX

In a recent Oracle / Inc. Media survey, What’s Keeping America’s SMB Leaders Up at Night, executives at America’s fastest growing companies were asked to identify their biggest challenges―the things that keep them up at night. The four areas that were highlighted were customer service, expansion issues, hiring and keeping talent, and transforming financial functions.

In previous blogs, we have addressed issues around sales and service, how to effectively manage your company’s growth, and hiring (and retaining talent). For this blog, let’s talk the importance of financial processes in supporting growth.

In this informative ebook, you will find the information to help you get the zzzz’s you need. So don’t wait, download our ebook today! 

Cash is King. Revenue is Important. Your Finance Group is Vital. 

A company cannot survive without money. In many ways, cash flow is king and a positive revenue stream is crucial.  That makes your finance group some of the most important people in your company. They may never talk to a customer. They will never hire a salesperson. They will never build a product or provide after sales service. But they are the owners of the key indicators of your company’s health―your balance sheet, your income statement, and your cash flow statement.

And because of this they play a huge role in your small and medium-sized business’ (SMB) ability to embrace new opportunities, attract investors, expand into new geographies, enter into new partnerships, and invest in new tools. 

In other words, they support your ability to grow your SMB. However, in order to do this, you must embrace change.  The financial processes and systems you have in place today will probably not translate to tomorrow.  You need to constantly work to improve your company’s finance and reporting capabilities.

3 Questions to Ask to Improve Your Financial Processes

  • Can you close your books quickly and accurately?  Mastering the financial close process ensures quick, effective decision making, and that is mandatory to growth. Time is the ultimate competitive advantage. So if you can provide your executive team with data they can trust in a timely manner, you can outmaneuver your bigger competitors.
  • Are you on top of your procurement-to-pay cycle?  Your accounts payable group can be the key to boosting cash flow. If you can automate your procurement systems, you can double the number of POs processed, cut required supplier lead time in half, and reduce manual processing by approximately 20%.
  • Are you too paper dependent?  Start-ups generally rely on spreadsheets. But there comes a time when a company’s dependence upon paper starts costing money.  Just one misplaced number or decimal point can cause chaos. One of the most famous examples of this occurred in December 2005. Mizuho Securities Co attempted to sell shares for a client company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A simple human error changed the offer from “1 share for 610,000 yen” to “610,000 shares for 1 yen.” The company lost $340 million in that one transaction.  

Want to know more questions to ask and how you can scale your financial processes effectively as you grow? Check out Oracle’s newest SMB ebook ―Transforming Financial Functions Is the Key to Growing Your SMB.

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