BILL.COM BLOG

Avoid the Groundhog Day Approach to Finance

Groundhog Day

"It's Groundhog Day!"

Welcome to the Gobbler’s Knob of finance. Do you feel stunted with your accounting methods? Do you have a sense of dread when the clock strikes 6? Do you feel like you’re having the worst day of your life... over and over again?

Well, you, friend, are stuck in an accounting time loop. You don’t love your processes and you want to break the cycle.

But first, let’s talk Groundhog Day.

If you’re a human being, you’ve no doubt seen this film 1000 times. Bill Murray as a pompous curmudgeon who is foiled by a famous marmot? It’s cinematic gold.

But...if you haven’t seen it, here’s a brief synopsis:

A weatherman travels to Punxsutawney, PA., to cover Groundhog Day. By fate or a bout of rodent madness, he finds himself in a loop where he lives February 2 over and over again. In order to receive his Hollywood ending, he breaks the pattern, gets the girl, and actually becomes a decent member of society.

So how does this relate to finance?

We all get stuck in ruts, and accounting is no different.

You fall into “the way it’s always done” and don’t register the excessive time, manual labor, and inaccuracies associated with it.

Well, we’re here to Murray you! And no, we can’t give you Andie MacDowell, but we can help you permanently stop your own financial groundhog.

“Watch out for that first step. It’s a doozy.”

Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Take a step back from your accounting, and with an objective eye point out the parts that are most challenging, tedious, or painful. Do you spend too much time on AR? Are you not getting reports in a timely manner? Are your bills getting paid late?

Harnessing this hindsight will help you pinpoint the areas that need your attention. That’s the first step, and it’ll help you avoid a future of icy puddles.

“Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.”

Now that you know what you’re facing, it’s time to plan through the challenges. Let’s break down the most common frustrations:

  • Spending too much time on accounting.

Time is precious, and no company has enough of it.

If you feel like you’re spending too much time on accounting, determine exactly what tasks are eating up your time. If you rely on paper-based accounting, you may find you lose time locating documents, getting bills approved for payment, or signing, printing, and mailing checks. If you favor paperless accounting, you might have electronic information dispersed across multiple workstations, drives, or devices.

The solution: Move to a unified platform. Turn to solutions such as QuickBooks or Xero as your main accounting software. Then, explore apps that will streamline processes for you.

  • Struggling with cash flow.

Every business owner has had cash flow problems at one point or another. You don’t know when checks will clear or when they’ll be mailed to you. And you’ve still got to pay rent, salaries, and bills.

The solution: If you have real-time data, you have a strong foundation for cash flow management. Using cloud-based solutions means you know exactly what’s going on in your bank account at all time. You have real-time information, can auto-draft payments from customers, and build a robust history of financial performance.

  • Not prepared for an audit.

The traditional model of an audit consists of 20 boxes of paper, a conference room, and an auditor pouring through your documents. It’s beyond stressful to collect the information and takes an immense amount of time.

The solution: Technology. It can break the cycle and give you a better experience. Accounting solutions and apps can automatically track every activity within their systems. An auditor can access the system with a temporary code then locate every bill, approval process, payment, and check.

  • Have to be in the office for accounting tasks.

If your accounting restricts you to the office, it’s a disadvantage. Business shouldn’t have to slow down or even halt because you aren’t physically there. These days, you can accomplish almost anything from a smartphone, tablet, or remote connection. So why not accounting?

The solution: You don’t have to sacrifice convenience when it comes to accounting. Financial technology and apps let you handle tasks no matter where you are.

“A gust of wind. A dog barks. Cue the truck.”

If you are uncertain about where to start, turn to your accountant. As professionals in their space, they’ll have helpful technology recommendations that can help break your cycle of inconveniences. With their recommended digital favorites, you’ll transform into a streamlined, mobilized, audit-ready accounting machine!  

“Chance of departure today: one hundred percent!”

Break the accounting time loop and focus on the true excitement of the day—a large squirrel predicting the weather.

Kate Wilson
Social Media Manager, Bill.com
Kate is in charge of all things social at Bill.com. When she's not writing every type of content imaginable, she's drinking strong coffee and debating the use of the Oxford comma with her coworkers.