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The Role of Accounting Experts in Business Process Design

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Good business process design requires a lot of things. In order to be efficient and fit for purpose, a process should be built in consultation with key stakeholders, and subject matter experts.

As such, a finance and accounting expert, such as someone who has a masters in accountancy, can be a valuable person to involve in process design, whether it be your financial director, a senior member of your accounting team or an external consultant.

Here is why the input of someone who is qualified and knowledgeable in accounting is a great asset in designing new processes for your company.

Financial Logistics

Almost all processes have a financial component somewhere – even if it is higher up in the network of processes under discussion. However, within a business, people tend to think of the movement of money only in budgetary terms, leaving only the financial people and to some extent the admin team to worry about how invoices get paid, money gets received and purchases are made.

Of course, the logistical aspects of a company's finances are important in processes, because the flow of money in and out of the business has to happen in practice, not just on paper! An accounting expert who has done a masters in accounting will be very familiar with the process options that could be applied in given situations, and can also spot where a process design may have logistical flaws or bottlenecks.

Compliance

Compliance is another part of a successful process design, and there are several elements of this. Legal and regulatory compliance will depend on your industry and region, and will also require you to have other experts to consult with, however financial compliance is important in every industry.

Financial compliance is something an accounting specialist will know all about, and will ensure that any processes that relate to money will be fit to pass an audit.

Roles and Responsibilities

If you have an internal accounting team (rather than using a consultancy or other third party), then your processes will need to account for the roles and responsibilities within that department. While other managers may have some idea of this, only someone who is in that team at a senior level can really verify which roles within their department should be responsible and accountable for parts of the process in hand.

Even if you use a third party to deal with your accounting, the liaison between your company and theirs, and how you interact will form part of your processes and so this is something that will need to be visited in your process design.

As with other major business functions, it is very difficult to design processes for a medium or larger company without serious involvement from someone on the accounting side.

Even for small businesses, engaging an accountancy specialist to review things like logistics and, most importantly, compliance, can make the difference between an efficient and manageable process and one with holes that will cause issues later on.

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