In the world of football management, the power of the half-time period is well understood. It’s that golden opportunity for a manager to alter the course of events – sometimes with dramatic effect. In the 2005 Champions League final, the tactical changes and inspirational half-time teamtalk of Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez helped to transform a 3-0 loss into a winning triumph. It’s this ability to change the course of events that makes half-year financial reporting so valuable for any business that’s looking to scale-up. It provides a company snapshot – to assess performance, to identify weaknesses and implement tweaks that can improve the next six-months. Until recently, collating a half-year financial report has been a prohibitively complex and time consuming task for all but the largest organisations. With digital management systems, however, this is no longer the case. Here’s a look at how to handle a half-year report: Review your management tools If the idea of having to collate this kind of company information fills you with dread – it’s worth reviewing the way your organisation manages its finances. With traditional systems, any kind of reporting can be a fiddly and time consuming process with information spread throughout an organisation, buried within a multitude of different spreadsheets and documents. By switching to a digital system, all of this data is synchronised and made instantly available to the finance team. Reports that could have taken days to compile, can now be created in a matter of minutes. A system such as webexpenses includes inbuilt reporting tools which allow data on every aspect of employee expenses to be easily viewed, managed and manipulated. Identify your key datasets While the switch to digital management allows access to all the information required for an effective half-year financial report, it also creates new challenges. With such a wealth of financial information generated by digital systems, it’s important that your company is able to identify its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are the core metrics that allow a company to quickly and easily keep track of performance. These can look beyond the bottom-line costs and identify the efficiency of your processes. For employee expenses, that could mean not just looking at how much is being claimed but the length of time it’s taking to reimburse employees. Do some admin housekeeping At the start of each financial year, a business will set out with the best intentions of staying on top of administrative tasks and maintaining the best practices. But as time goes by, there’s a natural tendency for those best intentions to slide as employees battle with the rigours of the day-to-day. A half-year report provides a valuable opportunity to identify any “messiness” and tidy things up before they’re allowed to negatively impact performance. A common task is to ensure that employee expenses are being accurately categorised, something that’s required to ensure tax compliance and efficiency. Using traditional expense management methods, there’s a tendency for a multitude of costs to find themselves squeezed into an all-encompassing “miscellaneous” category. With digital management, any number of categories can be created to ensure that an accurate record of each and every expense cost is maintained. Get it right and your business can benefit from a half-year report that’s created with minimal effort and delivers the maximum return. It can be particularly effective for a growing business to mitigate against the risks of scaling up. Just like a football manager who’s able to change a game the course of a game via their half-time talk and tactical changes; a half-year provides the same kind of power to our business leaders. Webexpenses provides a better way to manage employee expenses. Find out for yourself by requesting a free demo.
This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.
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