It’s common knowledge that there’s a gap, and maybe more like an ocean, between the finance & technology departments. One of the biggest hurdles is that neither seem to speak the same language. They simply don’t understand each other’s mindsets or terminologies. And they certainly don’t have the same priorities. Their goals and responsibilities are different. Finance is more functional; IT is generally only technical. Everybody is busy. IT is too busy to write reports and the business office doesn’t know how to write all of its reports. So how do you bridge the gap, get your department’s financial reporting needs met, and keep the peace?
Here’s a few tips to get you started in the right direction:
1. Cross-Train Departments
Don’t be afraid to invest in training. While this option requires the most amount of time to gain benefit, it’s worthwhile if other options listed below aren’t possible for your company. Designate someone within your accounting office to be trained in IT. And vise versa. And be kind to each other in the meantime.
2. Hire a Functional User/Finance Information Systems Specialist
This is one person who needs to be, essentially, bilingual. They understand the user side and can translate it to IT. This person is able to see the needs of both departments and build a bridge of understanding. They function as a translator & peacemaker. A good one is worth their weight in gold.
Implement reporting processes, procedures, notifications, workflow, process analysis, etc. to automate as many things as possible. And be able to do it with just the click of a few key strokes.
Whether you can afford to hire a functional user and/or provide cross training or not, technology is a must for maximizing personnel and expenses. But it must be the right technology.
Let’s take a deeper dive into why technology matters and what you need to look for before implementing any reporting solution to help bridge the gap.
Technology can empower a business user to have better visibility of data without putting data at risk. If a reporting tool can provide you ready-made reports, this eliminates the requirement to ask IT every time you need something. If the solution is easy to use, again, no need to bother IT. You want to empower the people who understand account numbers and their relationships best.
The key, though, is to make sure the reporting tool is easily integrated to your ERP/accounting system. And that it comes with ready-made data sets so that you can create reports out of the box. And easily.
By the way, Synoptix meets this criteria. Please feel free to reach out any time to see it in action. In the meantime, best wishes building your bridges.
Jeana has been in the software industry for 15+ years specializing in ERP reporting solutions. She has decades of experience in creative content development and marketing and enjoys exercising, traveling & spending time with her husband & twin boys.