Is Your Back Office Behind the Times? 5 Things to Check

Businesses have made great strides in recent years in adapting new technologies. Owners wield iPads and smartphones as they rush from meeting to meeting. Cloud-based technologies like Salesforce and Skype have given business owners the ability to interact with clients and colleagues in the most innovative ways possible. But while business owners are busy arming their front office with the latest and greatest, they may be neglecting back office operations.

Paper-based accounting and payroll processing practices could be slowing your business down in ways you don’t realize. These slowdowns may be completely invisible to others, but your business is affected nonetheless. To ensure nothing is missed, check these five areas of your business to ensure you’re able to compete well into the coming years.

Payroll

Are you still issuing paper checks to your employees? Do both yourself and your workers a favor, and consider making the switch to direct deposit and an automated payroll software. Here are a few benefits of automating your payroll systems:

  • Direct deposit has benefits for both your business and your employees. You save on payroll and administrative costs associated with printing paychecks while your workers benefit from bank-offered incentives for direct deposit.
  • You’ll be able to pull reports on your monthly payroll expenses, helping you account for each payroll dollar.
  • Thanks to today’s cloud-based payroll solutions, you’ll be able to manage payroll from anywhere using a mobile device.

Expenses Today’s workers are on-the-go, incurring expenses wherever they go. If you’re still carting around crumpled receipts with plans to turn them in when you return to the office, you’re not only wasting time, but you’re also risking that something can be lost. With automated expense tracking, like Concur, you can capture those receipts using your smartphone, saving images of those receipts for auditing purposes. Your accountant or manager can then login and approve or reject those expenses immediately. This saves administrative costs while speeding the process along so that you get paid faster.

Human Resources

Many big businesses have taken steps to automate HR, cutting out the need to push paper around the office for multiple approvals. The necessary paperwork to hire, fire and promote workers can be placed in the cloud, with each relevant approver logging in to push it to the next level. For hiring, using sites like Monster.com, businesses can request applications online, cutting out the need to sift through paper résumés. Some automated solutions allow you to filter out applicants by certain criteria to easily weed through thousands of submissions. Invoicing

For every day you waste waiting for a bill to make its way to a customer through the mail, that’s a day longer to get paid. Automated solutions, like Concur's, allow you to automatically shoot a bill through e-mail to a client at the time work is completed. The bill can include a link for automatic payment to help speed things along even more. Electronic invoicing – vs sending an invoice in the mail – is often best for most small business owners.

Office Space

Take a look at your office space. What do visitors and employees see when they enter their lobby? Does your design capture the essence of today’s modern workplace or does it look like something out of the 1990s? Today’s offices feature open areas that encourage collaboration rather than the private offices and cubicles of the past. Most importantly of all, your visitors should have access to wi-fi in the lobby, conference rooms, and even work areas. Nothing will make you seem outdated more than answering, “No” when a potential client asks, “Do you have wi-fi?”

As busy as workers are today, businesses can easily fall behind the times. Updating your back office processes can save money and time while showing clients you have the innovation to tackle their projects using all of today’s modern solutions.

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