01 November 2018
A Month in the Life of Our Finance Team
Following the popularity of our other blogs exploring the depths of our staff’s role, I thought it was time we took a closer look at to what the finance department gets up to.
The first thing that I noticed about the department was rather than be segregated into members of staff who only do credit control or invoicing, the team are allocated a number of clients and are responsible for invoicing them, handling any enquiry they have, processing their payments and chasing them if necessary.
This means that one staff member knows the full billing history of the customer and that the client has a named contact within the finance team who can answer their questions more quickly and accurately than someone who has a less understanding of their account.
Other teams also communicate directly with the dedicated finance officer about the relevant billing. For example, Account managers can relay if they have offered the client a discount on any additional functionality or have quoted for training etc. It’s also works the other way, as account managers can go straight to that colleague if they have questions regarding the customer’s billing. The support team can also inform finance if any work has taken place relaying the information from the design team about any customisation they have completed or if the developers have actioned any bespoke work.
During the month the finance team has certain dates to complete various activities; the last working days of the month are dedicated to invoicing, in order for customers to have their next bill for the relevant period. Other days are assigned to tasks involving credit control, reconciliation and payroll etc. Some days may just be filled responding to client enquiries.
Finance is split into 2 areas, the part of it that revolves around customers, which includes:
- New Subscription
- Processing account receivable payments
- Credit control
And the other part that only applies to the business, which includes:
- Processing account payable payments
When a customer subscribes their account, finance is notified to start the billing period. This includes upgrading their record to a full account, which triggers the subscription tasks for their allocated manager, generating their invoice, entering the relevant details onto the revenue report and setting up their payment method. They also have to send out confirmation that the client has subscribed into an agreement and send the relating invoice.
Up / Downgrading an Account
If a customer decides to add or remove licences and additional functionality, a system email alerts finance so they can adjust the customer record accordingly for the next invoice. They are also made aware if any changes to the information have been made such as new contact, change of address or bank account details.
Once a month customers are invoiced for their next period. Our finance officers have a methodical approach to this, starting off with any customers that have had a change to their account an extra licence added or they have bolted on the ability to customise system emails etc. Once the more complex clients have been invoiced it’s onto the straight forward ones who haven’t made any amendments since their last invoice.
Processing and Chasing for Payment
Our finance officers regular check the payments in and process any of their customers. Unfortunately, as much as we like to be we are not immune to late payers, in some cases purchase orders haven’t been raised or the invoice hasn’t be authorised yet. Whatever the reason the finance department follows their process that happens throughout the month to manage the payment process.
With many business accounts, including various credit cards for specific members of Click4Assistance, the direct debit collection, and the bank accounts, the finance team need to ensure that it all adds up correctly. Therefore they spend time each month reconciling the income vs the outgoings and source all relevant paperwork to perform the relevant check and balances.
Processing Account Payable Payments
Happy employees are paid employees, therefore once a month finance run through the payroll process and ensure everyone is paid what they are due.
Similarly, the HMRC are also happy when they get paid, so to keep on their good side our finance team will pay them regularly with what is owed in terms of PAYE tax and VAT.
Other bills also need paying, therefore once a month these are authorised and payment is arranged.
The finance department is certainly an extremely busy team but with the structure they work by and the processes they follow, the officers work efficiently and successfully within the business.
For more information regarding Click4Assistance the UK’s leading chat integration provider and the staff behind the solution, contact our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.