In part one of this series Sarah Walker explores some of the challenges faced by the accounting & finance departments in the wholesale and distribution industry, asking how technology can help to overcome these issues. Discover part two of our series and learn how to solve these pain points.
In today’s ultra-competitive wholesale and distribution industry, it’s proving more and more difficult for businesses to stay one step ahead. With technological advances occurring on a regular basis, technology is often a key differentiator for those businesses who want to stay ahead. In reality, however, wholesale and distribution businesses are struggling to implement technology quickly enough. Instead, they’re having to deal with more pressing issues that affect company performance.
This scenario is particularly common within accounting and finance departments, where it’s not unusual to find accounting teams spending inordinate amounts of time working with cumbersome spreadsheets. Expensive yet legacy software is an anchor keeping these departments from focusing on activities that could add real value to the wider business. So, what are the most pressing pain points affecting your finance and accounting department and is there a way to solve them?
The fact that many wholesale and distribution businesses are run using a host of disparate systems, most of which aren’t fully integrated, is a time-consuming headache for the finance team. Just to get a true picture of business-wide financials can involve the onerous task of manually inputting data or physically amalgamating reports. Not only is this inefficient, but it’s error-prone too, meaning that the resulting information is inaccurate and often out of date. Long processes that require the input of multiple departments or spreadsheets can exacerbate this inaccuracy, making the resulting insights unreliable and delayed.
As the resulting information can’t be relied on to be 100% accurate in terms of content or timeliness, decision making is affected. With disparate systems providing information in different formats and often without context, critical business decisions become difficult if not impossible to make. The result of this is a business that is far less agile and much less responsive than it could or should be.
With so many business decisions hinging on financial performance, a lack of accurate and timely reports is a real issue for the business as a whole. Manual or outdated accounting processes and systems only serve to greatly reduce the overall efficiency of the accounting department, causing reporting to be slow and time-consuming to produce. Not only does this hinder the department’s ability to report on such important issues as cash flow and compliance, but it gives the team little or no time to focus on more value-adding activities, such as pursuing vital growth opportunities.
For more information on how Sapphire can help your wholesale and distribution business turn its accounting capability into a real competitive advantage, contact us.
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