Jo Fuller examines five ways you’re wasting money with your old hospitality finance system.
Undoubtedly, 2020 has been one of the hardest years for the hospitality industry, with the global pandemic bringing the sector to a standstill almost overnight. Steps to reopen are still tentative, with the looming threat of local lockdowns ever-present. In light of this, the industry is under increasing pressure to make real cost and efficiency savings in an effort to not only offset the negative impact of 2020 but to build a more agile, sustainable business, ready to weather any future storms that might come its way.
One area which is often overlooked is that of back-office systems, particularly finance systems, which can be a hidden source of cost inefficiencies, with outdated, inefficient systems not delivering anywhere near the levels of value they should. With this in mind, we’ve identified five ways that many hospitality businesses are actually wasting money with their finance system, looking at how this can be remedied.
1: Numerous Offline Workarounds
Many legacy systems simply can’t cope with business growth, unable to scale flexibly to meet the changing needs of a growing business. Inefficient, labour-intensive solutions can actually prevent growth, with costly mistakes the result of human error and the inevitable consequence of trying to manage a growing business with a tangle of systems that aren’t fit for purpose.
2: Inefficient Reporting
Disparate, disjointed systems mean that it falls to someone to spend an inordinate amount of time pulling together information from across the business to secure a comprehensive view of the entire organisation. Not only does this result in errors but it’s time-consuming meaning that key information is not only inaccurate but often out-of-date by the time it reaches key decision makers.
3: On-premise Problems
Maintaining on-premise solutions is not only costly but resource-heavy too. After the initial investment, it’s an ongoing commitment to maintain the solution itself, not to mention the cost and effort required to keep hardware working effectively, while taking care of data security, disaster recovery and other business-critical issues.
4: Paper Overload
Many incumbent financial systems are very admin-heavy, involving a hefty paper trail which is not only difficult to manage but error-prone and nigh-on impossible to search effectively and in a timely manner.
5: Manual Integration
Older finance systems usually don’t have the open architecture required to automatically integrate with other business systems. Again, this leads to inefficient manual intervention, taking time, costing money and paving the way for unhelpful errors.
Thankfully, there are modern, cloud-based financial management platforms available that address these issues head-on, all while delivering further benefits to the wider hospitality business.
They’re flexible and scalable, meaning they grow alongside the business, supporting and enabling growth, with an open architecture ensuring the hassle-free integration with other core business systems.
The fact they’re in the cloud makes them much easier to manage, eradicating the need for an in-house resource that’s dedicated to managing the systems. Updates and upgrades are handled remotely, minimising downtime, and data can be accessed anywhere, on any device for maximum business flexibility and responsiveness.
When it comes to reporting, information is automatically pulled from right across the business, from different locations, sites and business functions, consolidating multiple entries in minutes, with the system slicing and dicing the information as required by the business to deliver insightful, user-friendly and accurate reports in real time.
There’s no longer any need to manually amalgamate data, boosting productivity and minimising errors. Add to this the fact that approvals and authorisations can all be carried out online, with invoices and other key documents stored online too, this further enhances performance for even more cost and efficiency savings.
With the right financial management system in place, one which spans not only financials but operational data as well, it’s possible to streamline key business processes while securing enhanced visibility right across the business. It’s only by taking full advantage of systems such as this that hospitality firms can make the cost and efficiency savings needed to optimise operations.
The right solution can be an enabler of growth, establishing an efficient and cost-effective infrastructure to help the business go from strength to strength even in the most challenging of circumstances.