How To Improve Back-Office Efficiency

Posted by Onno Van der Valk, Senior Director of Finance on October 8, 2013

improve back-office efficiency

It can sometimes feel like squeezing blood from a stone, but driving additional efficiencies is a core responsibility of a modern CFO. There is no denying we have all suffered the consequence of the recent recession and feel the impact every day. In an effort to drive cost out of the business and preserve our margins, businesses lost headcount. But did we drive efficiency? Or are our people now buckling under increased workloads?

A concerted effort to improve productivity should always start by taking a closer look at the status quo. Take each and every business process and put it under a magnifying glass. Could anything be done better? Even a minute adjustment could have flow-on effects that are ten-fold to the rest of the team. Carefully assess where administration time is being spent and investigate if there is another way of performing the task so that both time and effort are saved. In a professional services organisation, people are our most valuable resource, so any time we can reassign to either billable or strategic work is gold dust. Sweep up all the dust and you could suddenly be very profitable.

At Deltek, we are taking this incremental approach to transforming our own back-office. We are making use of technologies such as Maconomy ERP to standardise and optimise our core processes and manage our workflows. We have consolidated our multi-location processes and by introducing changes such as a new vendor invoice scanning process; to save manual staff time, easing the approvals process and ultimately speed up our AP so that vendors get their payments in a timelier manner, it is win-win for everyone. Who can argue with that? And it means that my team now has increased bandwidth to assist with the more strategic initiatives that will drive greater value to the business as a whole.