TIME TO "TECH" IT UP A NOTCH: "We all know time and money are precious. So, why wouldn't you want to assess the very area that could be draining both of those resources?".

Author:Thomas, James

AS THE YEAR winds down, now is the perfect time to take an assessment of your business. You probably plan to look at your marketing. You know you should see how operations are performing, but there is one key area that is overlooked far too often in business' year-end review: accounts payable and financial technology.

We all know time and money are precious. So, why wouldn't you want to assess the very area that could be draining both of those resources? It is important to analyze how much of this is dedicated to entering data from expense reports and invoices.

You might be thinking, "Why do I need to do that? That's what folks in Accounts Payable do. That's their job." Sure, but what if they could spend these hours doing something more productive? Wouldn't it be great if they were not spending their work week digging through papers and compiling data and were contributing more to growing the actual business?

We think so, too. This is why using automated expense management technology can make your life--especially at year-end--a lot easier. Plus, it will save you a ton of time and money. If you are on-board with being more productive, we can help. Here are five key questions you need to ask at the end of each year to benchmark your financial practices:

How much time do you spend on bookkeeping? This probably is a question many CFOs and business owners do not think about. That is understandable. Not everyone is taught to look at Accounts Payable from a more-efficient model. Instead, people just "do what they know." It works well enough, so why change it? You need to see just how well it is working--or not working. A good metric for this is time spent

We have heard of some businesses spending 20 or more hours a week on bookkeeping. That is a lot of time doing something that does not contribute to the top line of the business. Please, do not misunderstand: we are not saying bookkeepers need to be replaced by expensive management software. Rather, using this kind of smart business technology would allow your bookkeeper to focus on other tasks that are more productive for your company.

They could spend more time being involved in cash flow management. They also could analyze vendor relationships and how that money is spent--or perhaps their energy could be focused on compliance, fraud, and risk management. These tasks are far more productive and valuable for the business.

How much money do you think is lost in receipts? It is easy to misplace or...

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