Finance Department Best Practices

Proven Finance Department Leading Practices to Adopt

  • Best Practices (#102) / Finance / Internal Audit & Compliance

    Best Practice (Good)
    At least one week prior to an internal audit, communicate (via email) the schedule, leadership, scope, objectives and processes involved to all employees who will be a part of the audit.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Notify all affected employees of an upcoming internal audit at least three days prior to its start date via email or announcement from management.
    Benefits: Allows all affected employees to prepare for the upcoming audit thoroughly and to allocate a certain amount of time to deal with audit activities.
  • Best Practices (#134) / Finance / Expense Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Ensure that expense reimbursement policies are clearly communicated to staff through face-to-face training during onboarding, and explicitly outline required data for each type of expense (travel, client entertainment, etc.).
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Give new employees a manual with all expense policy information contained within. Ensure that receipts are attached to each expense that is submitted and ask for any additional required data during processing.
    Benefits: Ensures that employees have time to understand and ask questions related to the company's expense policy and improves the likelihood that expenses are submitted in compliance with IRS standards.
  • Best Practices (#17) / Finance / Accounts Payable

    Best Practice (Good)
    Configure recurring automatic payment for vendor invoices that continually occur for the same amount and period.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Process identical payments to vendors as if they were being paid out for the first time (i.e., as unique payments).
    Benefits: Reduces process and approval steps, expedites payments, and frees up AP processors for other tasks.
  • Best Practices (#324) / Finance / Payroll

    Best Practice (Good)
    Log and track timekeeping errors that require off-cycle payroll adjustments and use results to prevent errors and/or notify frequent offenders.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Payroll and timekeeping errors occur repeatedly and are corrected on an as-needed (ad hoc) basis without analyzing root causes or similarity of errors.
    Benefits: Reduces the rate of payroll/timekeeping errors and associated redundant effort in fixing the errors.
  • Best Practices (#130) / Finance / Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable

    Best Practice (Good)
    Establish, track and publish metrics for invoicing and payment, such as current status, payment cycle time, number of client contacts, number of copies sent, payment amount, etc.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Performance metrics are not tracked for invoicing and receivables. Research is required to determine status of any account and every item must be looked up manually; historical performance for all accounts is not available.
    Benefits: Tracking of invoicing and payment history provides account managers with information needed to manage customer payments efficiently, reducing manual research and "fire drills."
  • Best Practices (#186) / Finance / Accounting & Reporting

    Best Practice (Good)
    Hold periodic root cause analysis meetings with accounting and financial reporting team members to resolve accounting accuracy issues, improve short and long-term plans, accountability and related consequences.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Resolve accounting and finance report accuracy issues and other problems through ad hoc meetings and informal communications.
    Benefits: Provides a platform for continuous process improvement within the close function and fosters communication between team members who might otherwise only speak when absolutely necessary.
  • Best Practices (#6) / Finance / Accounting & Reporting

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a standardized survey for management to assess the content and usefulness of each report. Use these surveys to remove excessive detail and redundant reports within the Finance Department. This is sometimes referred to as "report rationalization."
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use an ad hoc, one-off method to amend and improve management reports, making changes on the fly based on informal requests from managers and executives.
    Benefits: Reduces cost related to reporting by consolidating and, sometimes, eliminating redundant or useless reports. Also frees up accountants and financial analysts, who are typically relatively high cost employees, to work on other tasks.
  • Best Practices (#108) / Finance / Accounting & Reporting

    Best Practice (Good)
    Month end reporting systems are centralized into a single access point, allowing review of all metrics in a single, consolidated location.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Reports are generated from multiple systems and made available, but users must log into each system in order to see the relevant reports.
    Benefits: Centralized reporting repositories save wasteful searching and access time. Versions are controlled, distribution is consistent and availability is monitored.
  • Best Practices (#1221) / Finance / Accounting & Reporting

    Best Practice (Good)
    Track ad hoc report requests and review the frequency and similarity of each request for possible standard report creation.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Typically, there are many "one-off" report requests, all of which are manual, resulting in a significant amount of time lost from core work.
    Benefits: Reduce or eliminate ongoing ad hoc report requests, which cause significant disruption to core efforts, as they often require extensive manual work.
  • Best Practices (#361) / Finance / Internal Audit & Compliance

    Best Practice (Good)
    When educating employees on compliance procedures, state the importance of adherence to each policy. Provide factual information on the ramifications of non-compliance, both at the individual and organizational levels.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Train employees on compliance procedures in large groups and distribute the usual literature on related guidelines and policies.
    Benefits: Increases the likelihood that employees will strictly follow compliance guidelines by educating them on the details and rationale behind each procedure.
  • Best Practices (#98) / Finance / Treasury

    Best Practice (Good)
    Centralize the oversight of global cash positions to a single location.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Monitor cash positions in regional offices and pool findings to produce cash forecasts.
    Benefits: Ensures accuracy of forecasting information and reduces amount of staff needed to monitor cash flows.
  • Best Practices (#85) / Finance / Budgeting & Forecasting

    Best Practice (Good)
    Construct activity-based staffing models that are matched to workload and experience levels.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Use staffing models based on compensation and daily work hours to forecast and align staff with capacity demands.
    Benefits: Allows for precise measurement of activities, 'flattens' seasonal work, and provides a picture of workload imbalances.
  • Best Practices (#76) / Finance / Expense Management

    Best Practice (Good)
    Create a weekly forecast for airfare prices, and establish an ideal target price based on price data gathered by the expense team.
    Typical Practice (Bad)
    Allow employees to book all flights and reprimand them afterward if the booking was too expensive.
    Benefits: Lower costs from flight bookings and increases visibility within the booking process.

Looking for a custom solution?

OpsDog’s remote analytical team can provide custom, high quality data, reports and analysis for your organization with low cost and risk. Custom solutions include:

Questions?Call: 844-650-2888Email: info@opsdog.com

Let's find a solution that works for you. Fill out the form below and an OpsDog team member will contact you shortly to learn more about your needs...

Need help?
Call: 844-650-2888
Email: info@opsdog.com
TOTAL:
Tax will be calculated in the purchase step.
Continue to Payment
Please login to continue your purchase
Need help?
Call: 844-650-2888
Email: info@opsdog.com
Need help?
Call: 844-650-2888
Email: info@opsdog.com
Back to Top