4 Ways Consolidating Your Financial Operations Can Help You Scale
Is your midsize company growing or poised to grow?
This is an exciting and challenging time. You’ve got new employees joining, more work coming in, new activities, clients, processes—but your finance team is likely to be stretched. As your business grows, your financial operations will need to catch up.
But where do you start? Maybe you’re using different platforms for expenses, reporting, and payroll, or you’ve got employees using multiple credit cards for reimbursement. You must decide how to centralize financial operations to support the business and keep stakeholders happy, while integrating with other platforms used to manage day-to-day company operations. Otherwise, you’re exposing your business to risks—ranging from inefficient processes to security breaches and even retention problems.
It’s a lot to think about, but we’re here to help!
In this article, let’s explore why consolidating your finances will help your business be more efficient, agile, and nimble in today's environment.
1) You can save time and money by building better business processes
You already know that managing multiple platforms and services requires work. Today’s fintech platforms prioritize different metrics, UX, algorithms, dashboards, and solutions. But your employees must fill the gap and design—piecemeal!—an accounts payable and receivable, payroll, controller, planning, and reporting ecosystem that works for your business. This might include manual integration into accounting software, aligning rules and roles for expense reporting, monitoring dashboards, and making reports by hand.
Now imagine if you had access to a streamlined platform where you could view expense reports and payroll together; integrate seamlessly with your collaboration and accounting software; automate frequent tasks; and offer in-the-moment visibility, avoiding the opportunity costs associated with selecting, implementing, monitoring and managing multiple solutions.
There would simply be less to monitor and manage, freeing your employees up for higher-value activities like forecasting and financial strategy.
One platform, many savings.
In a recent study, we found that 85% of current Brex customers surveyed last year believe that Brex, an all-in-one platform, saved them hours of accounting every month. And nearly all those surveyed believe that they also saved money as a result.
Keep the focus on your growth.
These efficiencies are critical at this moment in your company’s lifecycle: as a growth-oriented business, you must focus your energy on doing the work that you know and do best.
When a single provider takes care of your financial systems, using one platform that seamlessly integrates with other workstreams, you can focus on growth without distractions.
2) You’ll get better visibility into your company’s financial health, gaining insights that can better inform your next business move
Does your accounts payable always know what accounts receivable is doing? What if one team is slow to pay invoices and must deal with upset vendors while another is handling unauthorized purchases or disappearing invoices? You might have problems in more than one area of your finances, but you’re leaving each department to solve each problem separately at the end of the month.
Busting silos helps you get ahead of ‘big-picture’ problems faster.
As companies grow, silos can become a challenge—and when you’re using multiple tools, it can take extra time to identify and correct operational problems. But when you consolidate your finances in one platform, you gain instant visibility. You’ll rein in all the moving parts of a healthy financial organization, and the trends and problems can be flagged and corrected across departments.
As you grow, you’ll need better insights into all of your financial operations. This is harder to do across multiple platforms, and you don’t want to deal with building that while simultaneously doing your core business.
With the birds’ eye view, you can make timelier and better business decisions.
One system will show you a birds’ eye view of your company’s expenses today, in real-time, not just at the end of the month. Information is integrated into your existing tools, thereby more relevant for changing business conditions.
This means that your bookkeepers, accountants, and administrators won’t be caught off-guard mid-month. Rather, they’ll be empowered to solve problems faster and with more agility— so your decision-makers pivot in response to what’s happening in the market and the needs of your customers.
Consolidation also offers years of potential operational insights and analytics about your performance across channels. You won’t have to start fresh each time by building dashboards, creating integrations from scratch, and hiring analysts to understand trends. You can focus on solving deeper business problems.
3) You will keep your data, your spending, and your employees more secure
There’s less risk of identity theft, security breaches, external threats, and other issues when you’re managing a single finance tool with built-in integrated automations, fraud protection, and account security.
Proper defenses for external threats.
With multiple providers, you can’t be sure whether your information and your customers’ data is being used in test environments, potentially leaking into the wrong hands at the wrong time.
If it happens in one area (such as expense reporting), it can happen, independently, in another. But when you consolidate, you’re gaining the confidence that all confidential information will be guarded under the same standards, properly authenticated, in one place, securely, with the proper authorizations standardized and in place. You’re less vulnerable to external threats and can deal quickly with any employee spend issues.
Built-in guardrails for internal compliance.
With a single corporate card provider, you can also set the right guardrails for employee spend with automated alerts and analysis. In a recent survey, 73% of Brex customers said Brex makes it easier for employees to comply with the company’s expense policies than with the tools that they used before.
4) You will create a better employee experience
In 2021, people are re-evaluating what makes them happy at work. They’re quitting in droves: in September 2021 alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.4 million people in the US quit their jobs. In a time when retention is a critical problem, bad internal tools aren’t going to help keep employees happy.
Employee experience can impact your bottom line.
If your best employee is working with multiple systems, doing menial or manual work, troubleshooting outdated software, or handling complex or over-engineered processes, they're likely to feel frustrated or even undervalued. They might make errors that end up costing you time and money to fix. Clunky internal tools may create inefficiencies, or worse, you’ll have to replace good employees, costing you more than their original salary.
And modern companies know and care about internal UX: 79% of finance professionals told us they need financial products that everyone can use, not just specialists in the field; that nearly half feel stuck using their existing financial products, and just as many are stressed out about using them.
As more people work from home semi-permanently, the usability of daily tools is critical. More than half of the workers we spoke to this year said their company introduced benefits aimed at WFH and they'd consider leaving their job if those expectations weren't met.
When you consolidate and prioritize platforms with a strong UX across multiple areas of finance, you’re making your employees’ lives easier and saving the cost of training and retention.
Consolidation helps your financial team be more efficient and strategic.
Finance professionals understand why this is critical: 70% of mid-market professionals that we surveyed report that it's important to consolidate their financial products. They want to be seen as efficient, strategic leaders within their companies—and their experience and success are critical to yours.
Don't wait. Consolidate your financial operations into one platform that seamlessly integrates with existing business processes and any other tools that you use to manage your day-to-day business. Learn more and sign up.
Unless otherwise noted, research and data referenced in this article comes from a survey fielded September 3-16, 2021 to a sample of 406 professionals responsible for financial decisions at their midsize companies.