How Strong Financial Processes & Data
Fuel Your Growth Journey
Stand back and watch it grow.
Standardize Key Processes
- Automate Manual Processes
- Integrate Your Tech Stack
Measure KPIs Regularly
Let’s face it, there is nothing easy about being a startup. But if you think the early stage is hard, then buckle your seatbelt and eat your Wheaties as you approach the scale phase because this is where the real fun starts. While the startup phase is shaped by innovation, creative ideas, and courageous audacity, the scale phase is about driving growth and structure in exactly the right proportions.
When you’re ready to grow, you can’t rely on your gut to make decisions anymore. You need cold, hard numbers, and you need them fast – especially when a growth opportunity or M&A deal comes along. If it takes too long to get them, the deal is dead.
Let’s say an investor is interested in your company and wants to see your financial statements. But that’s not easy to do, because while you’ve been laser-focused on growth, your financials have been limping along in an Excel file trying to keep up with the rest of your business. While you engineer a financial cleanup in aisle two, the investor has gotten tired of waiting and the deal is off the table.
On the flip side, if you have had the foresight to put strong financial structures and processes in place, you can grab that opportunity as soon as it knocks.
Growth, scalability, and M&A all hinge on your company’s systems and processes and the data they produce. When you build the right financial processes into your company from the beginning, you will be positioned to scale successfully. Just as importantly, you’ll be ready for M&A in the long run – or when an unexpected buyer comes knocking.
We like to call that starting with the end in mind.
Scaling Your Business With Financial Clarity
The bottom line is that investing in your finance structure is the smartest move you can make as a growth company. When you have strong financial systems in place from the beginning, you’ll have the clarity you need to make better decisions about when and how to scale your company. You’ll also gain insights into how you can improve performance and you’ll be ready to move quickly if an investment opportunity arises.
So how do you do it? What kinds of investments should you make now so that you’ll be ready to move quickly when necessary? Here are some key things to consider:
- Standardize Key Processes – Take a look at all of the business processes that result in financial transactions. This might include billing, paying vendors, paying for inventory – anything where a financial number goes into the system – and standardize them. Undefined and non-routine processes make it difficult (ok, impossible!) to create reliable financial reports, which in turn makes it impossible to make strategic decisions effectively. If your processes are shaky, you’ll have more errors and you’ll miss key data and trends.
Bear in mind that standardizing is not the same as automating. Standardization must happen before automation because trying to automate a disorganized, unclear process is a recipe for disaster.
- Automate Manual Processes – Now that all of your processes are standardized so they happen the same way every time, you can automate them. Manual processes are slow and error-prone, which you may have noticed if you have ever tried to create a pivot table in Excel. Automation improves process efficiency, saves time and money, and gives you better financial visibility.
- Integrate Your Tech Stack – Yes, the future of business is digital, but technology can only take you so far if your various systems can’t talk to each other. When information gets trapped in data silos, you’ll have to use time-consuming manual processes to find what you need and create useful reports. Everything that happens in accounting and finance processes depends on having integrated systems so that you can base strategic decisions on accurate financial data and predictive insights.
- Measure KPIs Regularly – It takes discipline to stay on top of performance metrics, but the effort pays off when you can leverage them to make great decisions. Founders and CFOs need to know those numbers so they can digest information consistently, identify problems right away, monitor trends, and use all of that information to facilitate growth and profit.
All of these things hinge on building out the right financial data systems and processes right from the start. If you wait until your company is floundering in a cash flow problem, it will be too late.
Contact us today to see how we can help you navigate the financial side of your business!
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