Moving Back-Office Operations to Digital for Remote Teams

by Erin Hutton

Are you surprised by the number of paper and in-person processes you now need to convert to digital? Take the list that you have and consider the true need associated with that process. In other words, begin with the end in mind. For the example of invoicing, does your customer require a paper copy of the invoice or could the invoice be supplied in an electronic format? Most of us have logged into Amazon.com, Netflix, or even your utility company online account to review invoices, pay an invoice, or ask a question. Now may be your best opportunity to move your back-office processes to digital platforms.

The best place to start your process redesign is to identify what the end state requires. Typically, back-office processes, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, treasury, payroll, and general ledger require various levels of intake, review, approval, distribution, and retention. Identify the need by interviewing participants and reviewing compliance guidelines for the following:

  1. Methods of intake
    1. Internal system (e.g. new hire paperwork)
    2. External system (e.g. online submission form)
  2. Participants in review and approval
    1. Required workflow
    2. Required documentation
    3. Required retention for each
  3. Determine which participants need access to the information and at what intervals
    1. Monthly, quarterly, annual reporting
      1. Internal
      2. External
    2. Compliance reporting
    3. Forecasting
    4. Annual analysis for renewals
  4. Communication method needs
    1. Real-time
      1. Phone
      2. Video conference
    2. Asynchronous
      1. Email
      2. FAQs
    3. Collaboration tool (e.g. Slack, Microsoft Teams)
      1. Does it integrate with other software systems
    4. Best method for push notification by process
  5. Utilize the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle)
    1. Design for 80% of situations
    2. No process will completely satisfy 100% of the participants
    3. No software will completely satisfy 100% of the process need initially.
    4. Don’t spend unnecessary time in development if there is an existing software
We can help

There is an incredible number of software options your company can utilize to move your back office to digital, enabling highly effective remote work. Elliott Davis can help your company achieve remote work capabilities for sustainable success. We have a team of experts with deep practical experience and expertise necessary to help you manage through this unprecedented series of events and help drive your business forward. Contact a member of our team here or fill out the form below.

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