Set Goals to Achieve Goals
In order for a financial department to make changes and become more successful you need to plan to do so. Goal setting can be difficult. The main issue employees run into when attempting to set goals is that their goals are too vague. If there are no distinct reference points, steps to be taken and benchmarks set out the team will not know when they have reached their goal or how long it will take to do so.
According to IOFM’s survey AP & P2P professionals prioritise these top department requirements over others:
- Improving processes
Companies are looking for faster and more efficient processes within and between departments. There is no longer room for errors and therefore processes need to be as streamlined as possible.
- Automating manual processes
There is a need to reduce the hours staff devote to manual processes, such as printing, filing and distributing. This is especially necessary for companies preparing for expansion and growth as it will not require extra personnel to be hired and trained.
- Managing time/improving productivity
Every company can benefit from improved time management. This newly available extra time can be used for other tasks, such as reporting, resulting in a better allocation of resources.
- Increasing on-time payments
By having to delay payments companies often miss opportunities to save money through discounts. If the financial department has clear visibility over operations it can plan expenses and payments in advance. Also payments can progress through the company faster once the administration surrounding approvals is reduced.
These goals alone do not have distinct methods set out to achieve them therefore they are merely desired outcomes. A goal of improving relations between the AP and Purchase departments by outlining clear communication channels with a desired result of improving processes is far more likely to be achieved than a simple goal of “improving processes”. From this it is clear that it’s not only necessary to set goals but to set exact goals and methods to measure and achieve them. In this way financial departments will be able to achieve their goals.