Did you know that you can use your accounting data to facilitate your strategic planning process? This information will be invaluable in determining the areas of development or growth for the coming year, as well as areas that you will need to keep an eye on. Let’s first take a look at information governance.
What is information governance?
Information governance is a way of collecting and formatting data from internal and external sources. It gives you the keys to strategic decision making for your company’s future.
More generally, we use the term Business Intelligence (BI) to designate all the tools and technologies that allow you to collect and format information that is useful for decision making and strategy. This data is crucial for executives, as well as for CFOs and managers, in order to facilitate their strategic planning processes.
Where does the data come from?
Data useful to the company can come from several sources:
- CRMs (customer relationship management tools)
- Performance monitoring tables (sales, marketing, etc.)
- Accounting indicators
When we talk about information governance, and more broadly about data and indicators, we immediately think of eye-catching graphs and pie charts. But although making data readable is a good first step, it is also important to be able to learn from it!
What can you learn from your company’s data?
You are probably already using numerous tools that collect a large amount of data on your company’s different activities. Collected and unified, this data is a mine of information! It will allow you to:
- Facilitate and accelerate decision making
- Make your strategic planning processes easier
- Identify your friction points and opportunities for growth or revenue
- And most importantly, stay ahead of your competitors!
But be careful, you don’t want to drown in a flood of information! Collecting data is good, but you can quickly become way too enthusiastic and want to know too much, at the risk of spreading your attention too thin.
Select the data that will be most useful to you, based on each department’s KPIs (key performance indicators). They will help you determine the future of your business by allowing you to focus on the most important areas.
Using accounting data to define your business plan
In a complex and changing context, accounting data is a real asset for making strategic decisions and establishing your action plans.
But several criteria must be met before you can use this data to help you to make decisions! Your data must be:
- Interpretable and readable
Once you have collected your data from the various sources, you will need tools to format the information. This will help you to visualize the data better and draw lessons for your future strategy.
According to a study conducted by Veritas, companies lose an average of 1.1 million euros each year due to poor data management. Even worse, 25% of them state that their competitiveness is affected!
Which accounting data should you use?
To facilitate decision making and to prepare your strategic plans, once again, there is no need to ask your CFO to produce all the accounting data! Rely on the solutions you use, such as your accounting software and your expense report solution, to get an overview of your company’s costs and expenses for the year:
- Results, headcount, debt, capital, turnover, etc.
- Rents, running costs and maintenance of the premises
- Inventory, purchase of raw materials, equipment and solutions
- Salaries, bonuses, training and personnel expenses
You will benefit by being able to map the economic health of your company. As a CEO/MD, it is essential that you use this data to optimize your company’s costs, and therefore its competitiveness and turnover.
Collecting data to define your business strategy
By equipping yourself with the right tools, you will have a vision of the past, but also of what is happening in real time, in addition to forecast analysis. This is ideal for identifying friction points, turbulence, or growth areas!
As CEO, collecting this data is crucial. It is also essential that your CFO is able to spend less time producing data, and more time analyzing it to better manage the financial side of the business.
Are you convinced of the importance of using data to make the right decisions for your company’s future? Did you know that an expense report solution can allow you to feed all of your employees’ expenses into your accounting system, giving you a better overall view? In addition, it allows you to access specific types of expenses to get a granular view of costs over a given date range.
Our expense report software, N2F, is specifically designed to provide CFOs with access to all accounting data related to employee expenses. It interfaces with all the accounting software packages on the market, for better management of your company’s strategic and business plans.