Big data is no longer the future of all business. It’s the present. There’s a good chance that your business already utilizes expense tracking and reporting. That’s important. Without a sharp watch on the exact flow of money into and out of your coffers, you can easily fall behind intense competition.
As big data grows more sophisticated, simply playing ball is no longer enough. You need to make full use of your expense tracking and really optimize cash flow. These five tips can help your company do that at every level.
This is something you want in your TEM software in the first place. Getting your expense information in real time changes how managers and decision-makers view their impact on the overall budget. The easiest way to think about how important live information is would be to compare stock brokers. If they made decisions with data that was even five minutes old, they would be losing money nonstop. Your expenses may or may not be as intense as that, but it gives you the idea. Each department can better adjust their financial decisions when they have access to real-time reporting.
It’s important to understand that just having access to the reports isn’t enough. Those reports have to be utilized to do any good. Creating goals and tying them to the expense tracking is a good way to help employees make a shift that incorporates live data into their daily routines. You can reinforce this by looking at how expense trends shift as the reports get used more frequently.
Then again, how can you expect employees to utilize the real-time reports if they don’t have sufficient access to the information? When choosing TEM software, you need something that can reasonably be pushed to all levels of your tech infrastructure. Anything less hinders your employees and limits what they can gain from having the software in the first place.
It’s a two-fold approach. Every department needs access to the tools, but you also have integrate their use into daily activities. It’s also important to emphasize that every single department can benefit from having a better knowledge of spending. If only accounting knows how money is flowing, they are the only ones improving their decisions. HR, customer service and any proprietary systems can all modify their behavior to improve the overall bottom line when they adhere to best practices.
The theme isn’t very subtle, is it? That changes nothing. There is an important distinction between total integration and anywhere access. Integration means that the software is available and part of routine in every department.
Anywhere access pushes that availability further. It’s particularly important for a company that utilizes BYOD or has mobile employees. Good TEM software can be installed on personal computers and mobile devices. There are two things your software needs to meet this requirement: sufficient licensing to be installed on every device and cloud access.
You’ve done well so far. Your employees can access expense data anywhere and anytime. Company policy and standard practices have made it normal to take frequent looks at the information and incorporate it into daily decisions. That’s a great start. It’s all for nothing if employees struggle to actually interface with the software.
There are two approaches to resolving this problem if it arises. You can invest in new software, or you can invest in employee training. If only you had some resource to help you analyze which choice is financially superior…
The point here is simple. Time wasted fighting with software is money lost. Make sure your employees can reasonably use the tools you’re adding to their workflow.
The final key to improving TEM tracking is to use a system that fits your business. Even when compared to your closest, most direct competitor, your company has a unique way of doing business. If you copied their TEM system, it would be alien and inefficient. Every business in the world is unique, and your TEM needs to account for that uniqueness. Customizing the software and the management system tie back into everything else you just read. Real-time reporting is useless if the reports don’t focus on what matters to your business. Accessibility, proliferation and even easy navigation are equally impotent with software that isn’t tailored to the specific habits and values of your company.
It all boils down to a central philosophy. The flow of money dictates many business decisions every day, and that is true at every level of any company. If you want to master the flow of money, you need to ensure that each individual has sufficient ability to see that flow and how they impact it. Do this, and you’ll see instant and lasting returns.
Ready to learn how TEM software can help you? Request a free cost-savings analysis and schedule your call today.
About the Author: Jeff Poirior
Jeff brings 25 years of telecommunications and information technology management experience in voice and data networking, server support, and telephony and security; with a significant emphasis on customer service. Prior to joining Valicom, he was chief of the infrastructure support section for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Jeff was the vice president of operations for CC&N, overseeing telecommunications, help desk, data and desk side support services. Prior to that, he served as the associate director of technical resources for Covance, responsible for managing systems and network operations supporting 1700 users in Wisconsin and Virginia. He has also led data center operations at Magnetek Electric, supporting mainframe systems, client/server applications, telephony systems, and computer-aided design. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Phoenix. In addition, Jeff is a past board member of the Wisconsin Telecommunication Association.