Marketing and ad agencies may consider creative talent their most obvious asset, but it’s the people running the business who are the brains behind the scene. Let the copywriters, videographers and graphic designers focus on telling stories and making eye-catching images. It’s the accountants keeping eyes on the books who know if your shop has enough business in the pipeline, and whether or not it's going to turn a profit.
Just like their creative counterparts, agency accounting and business management pros have benefited tremendously from various apps and solutions that help them track expenses, manage budget burn, and make better-informed forecasts of agency health. And, as we recently discussed regarding the creative teams, the accounting team is now often struggling to find, analyze and extract benefit from several different non-cooperative platforms.
That can mean:
- Questionable data accuracy
- Unreliable data access
- Time lost to reconciling mistakes
- Frustrating multi-platform management
Your accounting team will be the first to tell you that the numbers don’t lie. The essential question this raises for agency leadership is whether or not they can really trust those numbers.
That’s a hard notion to consider, but if you think about how agency operations likely evolved, the concerns become glaring. It might have started with the use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution a few years ago. Then you bolt on a project management application or two, maybe add something later to track talent productivity, and just like that you’re asking the accounting team to use a handful of sources to come up with one picture of overall agency performance.
How Taft Communications Optimized Their Financial Operations
Learn how Taft Communications used Deltek WorkBook to improve their financial forecasting.
Seen in this fractured light, the need for integrated systems becomes obvious. Taking the time now to consolidate your agency’s disparate systems is going to have a substantial positive impact on agency performance, and therefore profit. Immediately evident advantages include:
- Eliminating redundant data entry for more efficient data management
- Creating more accurate reports revealing both past and projected performance
- Ensuring overall trustworthiness of agency financial health in real time
This is, in many ways, a defining moment for advertising and marketing agencies. Shops of every size are taking a hard look at every aspect of their operations, knowing they need to optimize their ops to compete in today’s marketplace and maintain margin. Getting a crystal clear picture of agency financial health is simply not possible if your accounting team is spending too much of their time trying to get a host of different internal IT systems and apps to cooperate. What’s needed is a solution that will get clarity of every operational aspect on the same page. Only then will you be able to truly trust what’s in the books.
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