Accounting has always been important in family offices, but it hasn’t always been urgent. Closing the books on a quarterly or even just annual basis was deemed acceptable. And even if accounting was slow or prone to error, it was considered adequate.
That may have once been true, but accounting standards have risen significantly in recent years. Instead of closing the books in weeks, in-depth reports are expected within days or even hours. The amount of data to consolidate and analyze is exploding as financial and operational data are combined. And compounding these issues is the fact that accurate, up-to-date financials are essential for effective decision making.
>The largest companies have been able to adapt to new accounting standards fairly easily, but the situation is not the same at family offices. Adding new staff, adopting new policies/practices, and meeting tougher benchmarks is challenging when it’s possible at all. Family offices are at a distinct disadvantage, and without an accounting upgrade will find it difficult to compete.
Luckily, a solution does not require a major new investment, it only requires a few new approaches. Use these three strategies to turn accounting and finance into an everyday advantage:
Speed Up the Time to Close
Faster close times allow accountants to close the books quicker and more often.That means key financial insights are available almost on demand. Dealing with expansive data on a shorter schedule is only possible when automation is handling more of the collection and analysis. The most time and labor-intensive aspects of closing the books are made automatic, allowing decision makers to spend more time applying insights and less time looking for them.
Break Down Data Silos
Speed is an asset, but improving the quality of reporting is important for family offices as well. Errors and omissions misrepresent the health of the business, and incomplete data leads to risky decision making. Relying on a single platform to access both financial and operational data means that key details are never being overlooked. And since all relevant data is aggregated and integrated, reports are as comprehensive and trustworthy as possible.
Approach Reporting in an Active Way
The traditional approach to reporting is backward looking. Closing the books interrupts the natural flow of operations while offering only a look at the past. That information is useful, but family offices would rather have guidance and forecasts for moving forward. When data is present on a single platform and enhanced with automated tools it’s possible to practice real-time reporting. Decision makers can instantly integrate whatever data they need and analyze it according to their strategic priorities. Consequentially, ambitious decision making is more accurate overall.
It’s easy for family offices to adopt a new approach if they embrace new tools as well.Sage Intacct is a financial management solution that makes world-class reporting accessible to any size office. When you’re ready to explore what Sage Intacct would look like in your business, contact the tight-knit team at InCloud360