Your company’s growing quickly and you’re having trouble scaling internal processes with the demand. The logical next step is to hire additional staff. But is that the smartest step? While it’s not politically correct to say so in this economy, hiring employees can sometimes be counterproductive to enabling innovation and rapid success in your small or midsize business.
More people means more overhead, including the incremental cost of benefits and annual raises. Larger staffs also create more complexity, more layers, and more people to manage. That can detract from serving customers and expanding in ways that will benefit your company for the long term.
Intacct’s CFO, Marc Linden, recently conducted a webinar with Proformative focused on how moving to cloud financial applications can help companies adapt to increased complexity (such as a new product offering) and/or business growth, without adding accounting and finance staff. One of the key take-aways from talking to our customers is that the planned addition of a talented analyst or finance manager can be a strategic move, while adding staff to combat task overload usually isn't.
A better way to manage growth is to consider how technology can efficiently automate manual and redundant financial processes and eliminate the need for adding lower-level accounting staff. Cloud financials in particular, also drive hiring efficiencies in the IT department, since you won’t need dedicated staff to support your accounting systems.
Mark was joined on the webinar by Jurate Baubliene, a Finance Manager from Meetup, an Intacct customer that had been facing the pains of rapid growth—in the finance department and elsewhere. Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups, with nearly 15 million members and more than 390,000 events happening every month.
Prior to Intacct, the company’s finance department was mired in a spreadsheet-driven culture, where many processes such as expense reporting took place outside of their accounting software. This disjointed, highly manual environment created not only inefficiencies and a lack of visibility across Meetup, but resulted in long cycles for managing revenue recognition, month-end closing, and other core activities, according to Jurate. Having outgrown its QuickBooks accounting software, the company looked around at other systems including Sage and Microsoft Dynamics, ultimately settling on Intacct—primarily for our ability to handle Meetup’s complicated revenue recognition process, customization, and remote access needs.
On the webinar, Jurate noted that since switching to Intacct in 2010, the company is realizing all of its finance process automation goals—including reducing month-end closing by 2 to 3 days and achieving daily revenue recognition. On top of that, they have also avoided hiring any additional finance employees, despite 20% year-over-year business growth.
Moving their financial system to the cloud also helped Meetup last October, when Hurricane Sandy hit and forced the company headquarters to close its doors for a full week. Since users can access Intacct from any web browser, the finance department remained entirely operational, with all employees fully productive working from home.
Be sure to follow Intacct on all our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. To network with other people interested in cloud financial applications, be sure to join the Intacct Cloud Accounting group and the CFOInsights group on LinkedIn.