You may have the world’s most creatively brilliant team, but without an organized, efficient financial department, your agency is doomed to fail. To help illustrate the multifaceted benefits of a great finance department, refer to the following seven ways it helps creative teams.
1) Streamline the Billing Process
When business is thriving and your project team is busy around the clock, taking the time out of your day to send invoices can seem impossible. Likewise, ensuring that all completed work is invoiced, and all payments are dividing across multiple invoices can seem downright impossible. A great financial department streamlines and automates the billing process to reduce any conflicts or headaches that might otherwise occur.
2) Follow Up on Overdue Invoices
One of the major challenges faced by nearly every agency is the issue of payment delays. Without automated billing systems and procedures, it’s nearly impossible for project teams to track down clients or partners that have outstanding invoices. Time is of the essence with a busy agency—and overdue invoices can limit cash flow and productivity.
An effective finance department functions to ensure that invoices are processed and accounted for.
3) Customize Client Requests
If you’ve ever dealt with invoices (which you probably have if you’re reading this blog post), you know that clients have individual needs—and catering to those requests is what encourages repeat and retainer clients. A great finance department customizes invoices needs or stylistic wants, no matter the request.
4) Simplify Expense Reports
Keeping track of internal expenditures is often the last thing on the minds of your project teams—in fact, some employees even dread the notion of tracking and organizing all of their expenses. Great financial departments function to take the pressure off employees by reducing stress and simplifying the process. Automated software can individualize reports by each staff member, and assign tasks and projects to each expense.
5) Reconcile Vendor Invoices
Reconciling invoices is the process of matching data to invoices. Keeping track of all invoices and bills keeps your agency organized and clients happy. A great finance department is able to reconcile vendor invoices around projects the vendor is involved in or freelance invoices against their timesheets. Furthermore, financial departments help agencies minimize input and maximize output, and reduce unnecessary data entry.
6) Manage Cash Flow
You’ve probably heard the adage “cash is king” at least once or twice. If this is true, than cash flow is the lifeblood of any agency. Without cash, profits are meaningless—and monitoring that the amount of cash that comes in matches the amount going out ensures success. A great finance department balances out positive and negative cash flow, and a positive cash flow is needed to generate profit.
7) Simplify Year-End Accounting
Whether your agency handles things in-house or outsources work to a CPA, a great financial department makes year-end accounting a breeze. Because, who has the time to juggle tax forms?