From expenses, to equity management, to tackling the burden of cash flow: How technology is relieving the outdated pains every Financial Director experiences

Award winning futurist and innovation strategist, Shivvy Jervis, outlines 7 essential ways FD’s can immediately increase productivity through smart technology

Financial Directors are now considered to be the shape shifter at the core of any business.

Their reputation of ‘number crunchers’ has been overshadowed with a more fitting prestige of an integral cog to a range of departments; human resources, IT requirements, forecasting growth and new employment, all of which have cash and finance as the most central component.

Financial departments, therefore FDs, are experiencing an influx of disruption, as new technologies and services are flooding industries with the promise of transforming the way businesses handle money. With FDs having to wrestle with brand voices shouting over the top of each other it’s hard to know how best to select and utilise the plethora of new products and services.

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London FinTech Soldo recently commissioned YouGov to speak with 4,000 companies to identify the trouble points in the cash flow cycle across business functions. The research revealed that the most important concern for financial directors in 2018 was managing their company spend. It also revealed the headache of unreconciled and badly reported company spending – 36% of financial directors said they spent unnecessary time every month doing financial detective work to find out who spent what. The resulting Spend Management Whitepaper revealed a range of opportunities for FDs to take on business fintech services in order to close these gaps completely.

HOW TO EASE THE ANGST OF FUNDING

Shivvy Jervis
Shivvy Jervis

Commercial funding is unregulated so it’s crucial if you to choose to embark on this to seek the right advisor and meticulously read the small print. Companies like Funding Bay help businesses access a wide range of alternative finance products. Their exceptional inside knowledge of the market makes them a useful asset to your business. Working with a wide variety of lenders means the team at Funding Bay can cater for a range of needs, offering suitable and relevant advice where necessary. From the start-up to an established business, Funding Bay have a track record with working alongside an assortment of businesses and industries to secure the most suited funding. Allowing Funding Bay to find you the right funding frees up your time as an FD to focus on one of the many other forms you take.

AUTOMATE PAYMENTS AND EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR FULLY TAMED CASH FLOW

From surveying 4,000 UK businesses,Soldo found more than a third (36%) ends up doing unnecessary financial detective work at the end of each month to determine who spent money, where they spent it and why. Healthy cash flow is at the heart of any successful business. Time is money, so when you’re wasting hours chasing up lost receipts and trying to determine the necessity of certain employee spending, money is drained. Soldo combines prepaid Mastercard cards as an alternative to the outdated company credit card, an intuitive employee app and web-based admin console. The account holder is in control of where and when money can be spent. In addition, the receipt capture software means you won’t be running after bits of paper to provide proof. Soldo also integrates directly with accounting software, meaning no more tedious hours spent filling out excel spreadsheets. Cut up those company credit cards – Soldo ensures all your business spending needs are in one place.

ENSURE PAYROLL AND HR FUNCTIONS ARE IN TOP SHAPE

Payroll — a task dreaded by any FD that takes up more time than necessary, and a generally tedious requirement of financial departments. With services like Gusto you need no longer to look at payroll as a 30 minute daunting job but rather a quick and easy process. Simply add an employee to the Gusto app and include them in the payroll. With an impressive seven minute record of running out payroll, using Gusto is a breeze. Not only this, but Gusto automatically pays and files your payroll taxes, altogether in an easily accessible place. Your team can also use Gusto to sign any uploaded forms and contracts. By making the most complicated business tasks simple and personal, Gusto is reimagining payroll, benefits and HR for modern companies.

TAKE CHARGE OF EXTERNAL INVOICES

There are a new breed of innovators providing a simple solution to a problem every business encounters – cash flow. GapCap‘score product is focused on freeing the cash tied up in unpaid invoices; a no-nonsense, modern take on factoring. The process is straightforward – upload the details of the invoice you require financing for alongside information on the customer. GapCap then review the information provided, validate the invoice and come to a funding decision within 24 hours. Once its validated GapCap will immediately advance up to 85% of the invoice value, with cash in your account in minutes. As soon as your customer pays the rest of the invoice, GapCap will forward you the remaining percentage of the invoice, minus a small fee.

MAKE USE OF SOLID EQUITY MANAGEMENT

As a business, founder and/or financial director, you must question: “How do I build a cap table the right way?”, “How much equity do I allocate in my option pool for hiring?” and “How do I make smart equity decisions?” Capsharewas formed to help answer these testing questions. Capshare helps you issue stock today and manage all your equity in one place without getting bogged down in spreadsheets and paperwork. Capshare offer one of the only in-depth how-to guides on equity topics. Information is hard to find, hard to piece together, and hard to follow. If you want to grasp the basics of cap tables or the complexities of founder friendly stock, no others match the service Capshare provides.

GET THOSE ACCOUNTS LOOKING SLICK

If you don’t know by now, cloud-based technology needs your attention. Xero offers cloud-based accounting software with a variety of features including automatic bank and credit card account feeds, invoicing, accounts payable, expense claims, fixed asset depreciation, purchase orders, and standard business and management reporting. All financial data is stored in the cloud on a single unified ledger, allowing users to work in the same set of books regardless of location or operating system. Grappling with various accounts can be not only overwhelming but also time consuming. Xero offers a smooth, simple, smart way to keep to access accounting anytime, anywhere.

THE RIGHT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE WILL CHANGE YOUR GAME

Domo brings together data, systems and people for a digitally connected business. With its fully mobile, cloud-based operating system, Domo unifies every component of a company with real-time business dashboard visualization and KPI reporting—connecting everyone and everything within the company. As a Financial Director it’s your job to steer the financial ship while communicating value to investors, analysts, and employees, all while keeping up with changing regulations. Domo delivers real-time insight into the financial indicators affecting your business and driving your bottom line. The intelligence is outlined clearly in the Domo dashboard with giving visual insight into any financial changes your business could face. Domo delivers overwhelming data is an easy to digest way.

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