The back office can often be overlooked in businesses, but it has a critical influence on the bottom line. Without a team of professionals working tirelessly in the background, your front-of-house will be unable to focus on generating and fulfilling business. Your company will soon be left in a state of disarray, with mountains of incomplete paperwork, unanswered correspondence and phones ringing constantly. Behind the scenes, your back office takes care of the administrative running of your business, helping you get on with your job.
Roles can vary enormously depending on the type of business that you’re running and your unique needs. The back office has a wide remit, from managing your payroll and providing guidance on HR and employment law, to arranging an office move and maintaining supplier relations. Therefore, making improvements in this area will have a remarkable impact on all departments. Here are a few suggestions:
Streamlining your back office
Streamlining back office functions can have huge benefits. Automating some accounting processes, for example, will free up time for employees to focus on other, more strategic activities. Why not take advantage of smart assistants (powered by machine learning) which can automatically schedule meetings, book meeting rooms and send email reminders?
Automation can reduce potential errors as well. Communications can be automatically checked for spelling and grammar, records updated with the latest information and data assessed for accuracy. One misplaced digit in billing could prove a costly mistake, so automation can offer peace of mind.
Improving stakeholder relationships
Have you thought about the stakeholder relationships maintained by back office employees? Having all suppliers, customers, employees, contractors and investors on one platform will save time when someone is searching for the correct contact or communicating with a specific group. It will also strengthen the customer client bond through more consistent messaging and a unified experience.
Moving paper-based processes onto a digital system will also streamline your back office. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 80 per cent of companies will adopt cloud computing strategies by 2020. Opting for this type of software will make reporting more efficient and allow advanced analytics to be done. Not only this, moving your back office online will boost the security of sensitive information such as employee files – all of which is essential in the post-GDPR era.
Sharing experiences front and back-of-house
Giving your front-of-house employees a taste of your back office and vice versa will bring useful insights to both teams. Your front office staff will better understand how the back office supports their work. Meanwhile, your back office team will learn the intricacies of front-facing roles which will inform more of their behind-the-scenes processes.
Improving your back office has many benefits
By understanding the varied role of your back office, you can uncover new ways to modernise their processes. Having a competent back office team equipped with the right infrastructure and technology will be noticed by your other employees and your customers. Directing customer feedback to the right department, for instance, will be much easier when your back office is running smoothly.
The changes don’t have to be costly either, simply automating a few routine tasks will offer noteworthy results. So, don’t underestimate the importance of your back office or the improvements you’ll see when you give them a boost.
Are you looking for an ERP system that will improve your back office function? Contact Xledger now to discover how we can help automate back office processes, improve stakeholder relations and manage key financial and accounting documents.