Every Finance Controller is faced with the tough task of making the accounting function efficient. An efficient accounting team meets deadlines and works efficiently with other teams. If you find yourself putting out fires every day, working without a plan, missing deadlines, despite long hours. This is clear case of your accounting function not leveraging the power of accounting workflow.
What is an Accounting Workflow?
A workflow is defined as a sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from start to finish. An accounting workflow lays down a sequence of steps that everyone needs to follow. A well designed workflow will avoid micromanagement, streamline your processes.
To start a workflow one must develop standard operating procedures (SOP). These must be shared with team members. In doing so, onboarding new employees becomes a breeze. This will create superior employee and customer experience.
Examples of a Workflow:
A basic of example of a workflow can be onboarding a new vendor. On boarding involves:
- Vendor Onboarding Form-collection of information from the vendor
- Creating of Vendor Master-processing the information of vendor
- Accounting vendor bills/PO’s/vendor payment-results of the processing
These three steps can be distributed to various members of the team so that everyone else can focus on the tasks at hand.
Is there a need for an Accounting Workflow?
You will need a workflow if your answer is a “Yes” to these questions:
- Do your vendors call you for payments?
- Are you receivables mounting due to lack of follow up?
- Do find yourself out of inventory by not placing orders?
An accounting software with inbuilt workflow can solve all these problems. We recommend Zoho Books and its workflows to ease your accounting woes. Zoho Books is a cloud based accounting software which can be accessed remotely.
How to write a Workflow?
A workflow contains three components:
- List of steps-defining the order of occurrence
- List of participants-who does what
- Triggering events- to start the workflow
A list of steps is normally contained in the SOP’s that organization will have for every department. The participants must be listed in the SOP’s as well.
What are triggering events?
Triggering events are the catalyst for the workflow. Triggering events are:
- Event Based
- Date Based
Event Based Workflow:
If the workflow is Event Based, then the workflow is triggered when a module is:
- Created or Edited
A workflow is triggered when:
- When any field is updated
- When any selected field is updated
- When all selected field are updated
Further, workflow can be triggered:
- Just Once-The workflow would be executed when the criteria is met for the first time.
- Every time-The workflow would be executed every time the criteria is met.
A use case of this flow is when a workflow is triggered when a new customer is on boarded by the sales team. The Accounting team gets an email or in app alert about the addition. Further, this workflow can be extended to intimate the stakeholders if a large sales order is approved
Date Based Workflow:
A date based workflow on any number of days before or after the execution of the task. The time of execution in terms of hours and minutes can be configured. The execution of the workflow can be:
A date based workflow can be used to alert the sales department when a Sales Order expires. This workflow can be run every month to ensure the extension of sales orders.
The number of workflows than organization can create is limitless. In doing so, it can bring various departments on the same page, leading to better co-ordination. The accounting function will get more efficient as inputs get streamlined.
Accounting teams often fall back on excel sheets to get things done. Accounting Workflows will reduce the excel sheets in use. So, automate away and keep working smarter!
At Integrabooks, our advisors are trained to assist you with automation. Please drop a line here.