Events such as calamities and health crises propose dire consequences which require responses and resources beyond the capability of a single unit. These incidents do not just threaten the lives of people but inordinate economic losses affecting both small and large businesses.
Whichever industry your business belongs to, you will come across a testimony on how research and data has helped them overcome challenges such as crises. It might be curing a disease, improving a company’s revenue after a global lockdown or understanding the economic market. Simply put, data is another word for information and these so-called information can begin on answering lingering questions which eventually produces strategies and techniques. Therefore, having a great research and data team for your business especially in times of crisis has its value.
Devising Crisis Mitigation Measures
Health crises and natural calamities are unforeseen and unpredicted events which most often than not catches us off guard. For instance, the recently declared pandemic COVID-19 took everyone by surprise. It’s first occurrence was reported late December 2019 in Wuhan City, China. 3 months later, the virus has spread in 145 countries with 180,000 confirmed cases and over 7,000 deaths. But through the help of research analysts, scientists and data collectors, the initially-thought community illness was rightfully declared pandemic and appropriate mitigation responses were made.
Research and data are vital tools in linking an underlying problem with tangible evidence to understand and analyze important information and aid decision makers on effective planning and intervention. In every crisis, may it be health or disaster, businesses can suffer immensely. Obtaining data (qualitative and quantitative) helps in analyzing information objectively thus creating equally objective solutions to a problem. Making a decision based on poor quality data is risky and may lead to disastrous results for your company and the safety of your people. But having a state-of-the-art data collection and analysis techniques builds an important knowledge base and proactive preparation for your business. Real time decision making and information dissemination during any crisis can assist executives and business leaders alike in responding efficiently and effectively by not risking the business while protecting team members in trying times.
Stops Full Blown Crisis
Research and data allow you to monitor the situation in your organization in times of crisis. By utilizing data for quality monitoring, organizations are able to respond to a molehill crisis before it becomes a mountain of problems. Effective monitoring allows you to be more proactive rather than being reactive and will aid you in maintaining best practices overtime. Businesses can effectively determine a problem and visualize the relationship of each department and how they can contribute to a solution within your organization while you can monitor errors in place. It also assists looking at different crises side-by-side and in return allows you in formulating accurate theories and put into place more effective solutions.
The solutions you propose for your company will be backed up with a strong argument in cases system change is needed. Whether you’re advocating on transitioning your employees to remote work or making changes in your company’s regulation for the security of your people and your clients, these decisions will be supported by data and allows you to demonstrate why changes are needed. It also stops the guessing game by helping you explain the good and bad to your stakeholders. Whether or not the strategies and decisions you made results in an outcome you perceive to happen, you are confident enough that you develop your approach based on good solid data.
Allows Strategic Approaches
Data equals knowledge. Good data is undisputed evidence which results in informed decision. While anecdotal decisions based from assumptions or abstract observation may lead to water down crisis management due to taking action from an incorrect conclusion.
Research and data allow organizations to analyze the effectiveness of your approach in crisis and the strategies you formulate. When strategies are put into place to overcome a challenge, collecting data will allow you to determine your planned solution is performing, and whether or not your approach needs to be changed over time. It also increases the efficiency of your planning strategies supporting your analysis and allows you to direct scarce resources where they are most needed. There will always be increased business-impacting incidents during crisis that data can dissect further whether the increase is widespread or isolated in a particular department in your organization. If the issue is isolated, training, staffing and other resources can be deployed precisely where they are needed. On the other hand, it also aids organizations to determine which areas should take priority over others.
These strategic approaches allow you to assess how well your organization is doing in times of crisis. Data analysis identifies effective mitigation measures and assessing how the business is running amidst crisis by identifying high-performing programs, service areas, and people. Once identified you can develop strategies to assist programs, service areas and people that are low-performing.
Prepare now and win later
To maximize the value of research and data, having a great team of analysts in your organization prior to being in a crisis is the best key in winning this type of business hurdle. To save on cost and have access to other excellent resources, one proven action to take is to outsource.
At Infinit-O we build great teams of trusted research and data specialists that can help you build and operate a dedicated team of research professionals designed for your unique needs. We can help you meet your goals before and even during a crisis whilst achieving better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings. With access to a great team of research and data experts who use cutting-edge technology, we provide some of the best strategic solutions for your business. We are ISO-certified and GDPR-compliant, so your company and client data are safe with us.
By working with Infinit-O, you can have your team of data analysts up and running in 30-45 days. You need not spend time recruiting and hiring an expensive workforce. Let us do that work for you and save you a tremendous amount along the way.
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In this article, we will learn the following;
- The roles of professional accountants
- Some challenges that accountants face
- The importance of keeping financial records
Accounting has played an indispensable role in the business world through the centuries. It has helped to keep things orderly and bring about regulations with money affairs. Accounting as a concept started about a thousand years ago, as a solution to issues arising from the trade of goods and services. The earliest evidence of accounting dates back to the Mesopotamian civilizations by keeping records of merchandise traded and received. Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians also track their livestock and crops.
Over the years, development in Information Technology has modified this concept. When IBM released their first computer in 1952, the first users were accountants. Although it is now very convenient for anyone to keep the financial records of their business, we cannot overstate the importance of professional accountants because accounting is more than listing debits and credits. It is a language of business and the language of all financial things. Their significant roles include:
Record Keeping and Investment Analysis
Accountants keep financial records in a bid to understand how the company is doing. This provides insight and helps the business owners to stay proactive.
Any company that intends to make and maximize profit must have a top-notch record-keeping system. Well-kept financial records help organizations and investors recognize profitable ideas and methods. The data obtained from records is crucial to the decision-making process of organizations because it helps them make sound and logical resolutions that may be beneficial for their business. Companies have been forced to shut down or scale down as a result of bad investment decisions. Other times, bad accounting sequels debt instead of profit. When companies keep documents properly, then it is easy to understand how each part of the business is doing and make decisions accordingly, all the while keeping your business financial position in check.
The story of Forever 21 is a great example of how companies need to measure customer behavior from accounting data. The clothing brand failed to recognize the shift from retail to online shopping. Instead of transitioning to digital marketing, the company focused on opening more stores. This eventually cost them a fortune as competitors leveraged delivery services and online stores. This way, their competitors made more money while spending significantly less. If financial advisers such as accountants were able to keep tabs of their capital investment on opening more stores versus the profit they were generating, their business hurdle may be reversed.
Curbs Fraudulent Practices
When financial records are kept properly, it makes it easy to refer to them. This is how accounting helps in reducing (and in some cases eliminating) fraudulent practices in organizations. This is achieved through the accurate tracking of all financial procedures within the company. Although fiscal laws and regulation varies from state to state, proper accounting helps you with statutory compliance in your business. Hiring the right team ensures proper bookkeeping of sales tax, VAT, income tax and regulating funds which all helps in combating possible fraud activities.
Integrity and Reputation
Transparency is crucial to business dealings, and it is the reason why the proper documentation of financial records is vital. General and precise facts of accounting preserve the reputation of business. An honest representation of all financial proceedings in an organization depicts a trustworthy company. Investment capital from outside sources are not as beneficial as in house funds. Accurate and transparent financial reviews of the company’s financial operation makes their stakeholders trust them more. In business, the right name is better than silver and gold.
All the aforementioned are parts of the benefits of accounting. However, every profession has its challenges, and accounting is not spared from this axe swing.
Below are some operational challenges faced by the accounting business:
Skills Update and Training
The world has reached an age where every profession is evolving due to development in information/communication technology. This causes modifications to the training process and core skills and tools that you require. These skills and tools make business processes more manageable because they simplify and speed up accounting processes
The challenge with the accounting profession is keeping up with ever-evolving trends. For example, accounting procedures such as auditing have improved to achieve better results.
Technological advancements have made it possible to automate accounting processes and maximize data for insights. Accounting professionals need to focus on keeping up with these tools. Partnering with accountants who are constantly progressing with the current training and tools in accounting such as Quickbooks, Xero, Tallie, Kashoo, QuickFile and others furnishes their intuitive making them do their jobs quicker, more accurately and in ease. This is the only way to keep the company running.
Accounting remains one of the most sought after professions in the world. Although there are a lot of new blooming accounts out there, in a rapidly growing business, the need for experts in this profession is vital, and passable skills cannot be tolerated. Unfortunately, accountants with the needed expertise are scarce, and this has proven to be one operational challenge of the accounting business. Professionals need to ensure that they stay updated with the latest skills and tools. This is a great way to ensure the proficiency of your accounting processes. There is a need to have professionals managing every aspect of the business. The accounting sector is one that requires a highly experienced and proficient workforce. The constant use of technology in the accounting profession is a critical factor for companies to consider. This factor has significantly influenced the competition among accounting firms.
In the last point, we talked about the importance of experienced personnel. However, even with qualified staff, you may still be faced with fraud. One of the challenges facing the accounting profession is the accuracy of accounting and complying with financial laws and regulations and internal procedures of your company. This issue stems from either inadequate accounting systems or poor organizational skills needed for the job. Subsequently, this leads to the inability to detect or prevent fraudulent activities because of inefficient bookkeeping.
In many cases, this happens because professionals with the technical know-how on detecting issues regarding treachery are few. Eventually, this leads to successful manipulation of data. As we mentioned earlier, the primary role of accountants is to ensure transparency.
Economic Laws and Regulations
You can control the challenges mentioned above internally. Although, constant look out for other uncontrollable challenges is as crucial.
The economic laws and regulations cannot be excluded as one the challenges in the accounting profession. The decisions the government make plays a significant role in the accounting business in specific ways. For example, government policies such as tax rates and interest rates may affect the economy and subsequently, the accounting profession. These factors influence the accounting industry and transform the way it compares to global accounting standards. New government policies come out as often as how the economy moves. Albeit how updated rules help stabilize what’s happening in the market, this requires accountants to adjust and shift their bookkeeping according to the new law. The need to update their clients on what has changed may cause lag time on keeping records resulting in a halt on incoming profits.
Changes in Practice Globally
Apart from the activities in the market that affects economic laws and regulations, global trends in accounting also affect the way accounting is done. With the popularity of the internet, accounting firms can compete on a worldwide scale. This particular challenge affects firms that only utilize local accounting processes. The constant change in accounting standards globally can, at times, stunt the growth of the local accounting process. For example, advancements in record keeping and data optimization are improving globally at a fast pace. This often leads to a backdrop in the economic progress of companies that operate with local standards (when compared to their competitors that use international standards). This where partnering with a company that operates their quality in a global standpoint comes in handy.
“The introduction of data analytics and innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, bots, and drones, provides the opportunity for the greatest change in the accounting profession since the passage of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,”- George Scott, chair of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.”
Several challenges permeate the accounting business. Although these factors can be controlled, conscious and consistent effort to keep up with these changes are required. Every company needs a dedicated accounting team that will provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. It is best if you also streamlined financial accounting functions while focusing on other crucial aspects of business operation.
Here at Infinit-O, we understand the value of keeping your financial records secured. We build great teams best fit for your business that includes finance professionals performing internal auditing and bookkeeping services among others. Through this, we can ensure your company’s financial growth and continued profitability.
At Infinit-O, our goal is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, GDPR and Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
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We hope you enjoyed reading this!
If you want to pursue a career that will make a mark in every patient’s life, there’s nothing as vital as the field of Nursing.
While nurses execute orders from doctors, they are also to create a certain level of connection to the patients. They do this so patients will not worry about entrusting their lives to a total stranger. At any given medical procedure, the doctors act as the brain who finds a solution to a problem. Nurses meanwhile are the hands that carry out to the patients what the doctors conceptualized. This is how vital their function is. Today, as the world of healthcare evolves, so does their function. They are now more empowered to decide on how a doctor’s decision will be executed.
In the field of healthcare, we all know a patient’s life is heavily reliant on every decision nurses and other healthcare professionals make. With the increasing nurse to patient ratio, nurses should also have their supporting arm to carry out their function. This is where Health Informatics comes in. Introducing robust Health Informatics to their treatment and care plan will make them more efficient in taking care of the patients.
What is Health Informatics?
Health Informatics started in Europe in the 1940s and mid-1970s in the USA. It is a form of healthcare discipline that uses technology in collecting data, organizing information, analysis, and management that enhance healthcare services. With the use of electronic records obtained, stable information management is built, resulting in high-quality clinical standards. And today, Health Informatics has reached its widest spread across the globe.
So how do nurses use Health Informatics?
Enhanced Patient Documentation Process
One key advantage of Health Informatics is having available data, both real-time and historical. Having access to electronic data will make the work of the nurses easier. Manually written records need to be read and understood; it takes time. Searching for a patient’s medical history stored in a conventional steel drawer takes time too. Instead of doing those, they can quickly verify a medical record from an automated database in a computer. The needed information can be accessed promptly, having all the information on hand.
The kind of data stored in the database though must be kept accurate and complete. Bad data leads to bad decisions. Lack of data leads to delays in making a decision. The institution must ensure that only actionable data is collected to deliver health care service to a patient.
Aid Nurses in Decision Making
Nurses work in a fast-paced environment. Every blink of an eye is equivalent to a life threatened or a life being saved. If nurses have quick access to data, making prompt and accurate decisions will not be hampered. The data will be the guiding point of nurses as they treat a patient’s condition. If there is a need for further studies, Health Informatics will be able to provide reporting and analytics, resulting in more sound decisions and actions.
In fact, according to an article from Saudi Medical Journal and Canadian Center of Science and Education, access to Health Informatics reduces medical errors hence enable nurses to deliver high caliber patient care.
Refining Nursing Care Plan
Establishing Health Informatics means automating the nursing care plan. A care plan is a strategy of action that guides healthcare practitioners about executing patient care; NCP consist of identifying patient’s problem, nursing diagnosis, nursing intervention, rationale of action and expected outcome. Automating these data provides easy access to other healthcare practitioners that refers to NCP for providing treatment and carrying out necessary care procedures. With Health Informatics, computers are used to search and update the patient’s records. A decrease in processing time also allows healthcare providers to accommodate new treatment and procedures without the need for longer coordination process among other healthcare personnel.
Help Build Care Network among Healthcare Personnel
For a patient to be discharged from the hospital, may-go-home procedure needs to be done. These include final advice from the attending physicians, arranging financial matters with the billing section, checking with the housekeeping if there are concerns, ensuring that take-home medicines are available in the hospital pharmacy, and scheduling follow up visits after discharge. Coordination with the numerous, different hospital personnel prolongs the patient’s waiting time hence, increasing the agony of waiting to go home. With Health Informatics on hand and updated in real-time, nurses need not undergo long coordination. They can prepare the discharge report at once and release the patient.
This only shows that Health Informatics enables the merging of all the medical reports, findings, and records of a patient. There is a care network on hand. They can refer to the electronic record on hand instead of flipping through pages.
In any procedure, processing time being shortened translates to cost savings. Less error in treatment provided, accurate tests and medication given, faster coordination between healthcare providers, all equates to efficiency and cost reduction. With Health Informatics, the productivity of the nurses increases as well because readily available information decreases procedure time such as deciphering doctor’s order and checking patient’s chart manually from time to time. With increased productivity due carrying out treatment faster, more tasks are accomplished, enabling the healthcare institution to not save just time but also save on cost. Automating data records also make processing medical claims more accurate which equates to minimizing billing errors, and equally cost efficient example.
Health Informatics also helps eliminate errors that have cost implications. If procedures are automated, errors are prevented if not, minimized to an acceptable level. This gives the institution savings on operational cost brought by the errors.
Building your Health Informatics
The most challenging part is establishing your Health Informatics infrastructure. There is so much work to do. Doing it on your own will result in hiring healthcare practitioners thus allocating a higher budget on man power and up to date Health Informatics training.
Having someone who can round up a team of healthcare practitioners who are trained and knowledgeable in Health Informatics can aid your business in overcoming the aforementioned challenges. Leveraging on innovations such as Health Informatics help not just nurses and other healthcare providers but also your business in adapting with the ever growing trend in providing the best patient care and improving their overall hospital experience. One thing you can do is to team up with a solutions partner such as Infinit-O.
Here at Infinit-O we understand the value of the doctor-nurse-patient paradigm. We provide Revenue Cycle Management, Nursing Triage, Patient Concierge, Data Analytics, Business Process Management, Medical Billing and Medical Coding and other healthcare support solutions. We stay on top of the latest updates in Health Informatics to ensure high-turnover of doctor’s orders to the nurses and limit patients wait time in receiving care. By building a great team of healthcare professionals, we can work together to accomplish the goals you are striving to achieve.
At Infinit-O, our aim is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Health Informatics.
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Healthcare is one of the biggest and fastest expanding industries in the world. Knowing how businesses grow with outsourcing can be used to your optimal advantage in the midst of a gliding health economy. However, to deliver exceptional patient care requires a considerable amount of resources and manpower. In effect, health facilities spend more on serviceable expenses to cater to the demand for quality.
In countries like the United States, there is a sky-high rise in the cost for healthcare. A recent Black Book Survey states, for an average hospital to break even, it needs to cut its cost to 24% by 2022. Fortunately, one great way to save overhead is outsourcing. An ever present need in any healthcare industry is Revenue Cycle Management which luckily can be outsourced. This entails some but not limited to the following:
- Patient Scheduling and Registration
- Insurance Verification
- Medical Coding
- Claims Submission
- Denial Management
But the big decision is not which outsourcing companies are available in the market pool, rather, understanding how outsourcing can be favorable for your business. Laying out the gains and pains is one great way to help you decide.
Allows Patient-Centered Care
Health practitioners cannot effectively provide excellent care if they are mired by the administrative and financial side of running a practice. By outsourcing non-core functions and optimizing revenue cycle management, you can focus more on what you do best — diagnosing and treating a patient. It is important to balance non-care responsibilities to promote curative and therapeutic services. Less administrative tasks help health personnel realign their focus on managing workload resulting in improved care standards and increased patient satisfaction.
Reduce Billing Errors and Ensures Billing Compliance
Medical billing companies’ sole purpose is to guarantee that billing claims are accurately submitted in a timely manner. By hiring billers who underwent thorough training and those fully equipped with knowledge on the billing process reduces the number of denied and rejected medical claims. Altogether, it maximizes feedback assistance on reimbursements and future assets. Since this is an ever-changing industry, by working with an outsourced claims team, you stay up-to date with the latest changes in regulation and requirements to maintain compliance and ensure the submission of clean claim.
Cost Effective and Improved Cash Flow
Most asked question in any industry is, “What to do if labor cost is growing faster than your business?”. By outsourcing, you can curb thousands of dollars from operational expenses while securing the steady flow of profit. Outsourcing generates a pool of professionals on behalf of the company, thereby saving you cost in acquiring and training additional staff. Reducing the workload and administrative burden from your staff increases productivity, efficiency and morale, which is directly proportional to increased patient satisfaction. Happy patients generate profit and improve cash flow by becoming living testimonies of the great service they received. Stable operations ensure quality health service, giving you a cutthroat advantage over your competitors.
However, with every gain comes with an analogues pain. To combat these challenges, awareness on these things fortify your success in the healthcare industry.
Patient Data Privacy and Security Breach
Information breach predominantly transpires in healthcare thus careful evaluation of which outsourcing company to partner with is very crucial. Not having direct control and supervision of outsourced staff can pose vulnerability on patient data and information. Whether intentional or accidental, unauthorized disclosure of patient’s information is a breach to the data privacy act and doctor-patient confidentiality. The more people who have access to private and confidential information, the greater the risk for breach. Knowing the pillars of information security is essential for providers and outsourcing partners to protect patient data and comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations. Other things to consider are companies with ISO-certification, complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Privacy Act of 2012, and superior IT infrastructure coverage. That being so, before considering any partnership, secure your position on the whole operational process.
Lack of access to information and miscommunication between the outsourcing company and the medical office can be limiting. In-house staff have easier access to hospital records and patient information than those off-shore. Therefore, during the contracting phase, it is crucial that the outsourcing team receives the proper information they need to function accordingly. It is equally important to partner with a company that has the proper tools and technical knowledge about your business to avoid viable disconnect.
Since outsourcing isn’t a panacea, it is the provider’s due diligence in ensuring that right services are outsourced to the right partners. Companies centered in building great teams of health professionals help you combat these limitations. Knowing the latest trends on the coverage and values of outsourcing also works to your advantage.
Process and Contractual Misunderstanding
Partnership may go downward spiral if the provider and the outsourcing party interpret the contract differently. No contract will ever be perfect, technical and legal lingo can cause contractual misunderstanding. Ergo, necessary adjustments on the terms and conditions should be implied. Managing expectations is as important as finding the right partner. Both parties are accountable in securing a fortified and effective linkage. That is why, before deciding to collaborate, medical providers should be aware of the common outsourcing misconceptions all the while surveying industry experts aligned with operational excellence. On the other hand, outsourcing companies should research more about the industry of their partners and arm their workforce with the proper technical knowledge.
The Decision Phase
Weighing the advantages and challenges of outsourcing is the first step to embrace your company’s growth. Knowing the boons and banes of your prospective partners help you to identify what works best for your business.
Finding the right partner is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Careful consideration of all the pains and gains of outsourcing can be dreary but is worth all the effort. Researching and reading more about the leitmotif catapults you to success because it gives you the liberty to choose what’s best for your company. True enough that there are a lot of fish in the sea – until you find the best team – then there’s only one.
Infinit-O is a trusted healthcare solutions partner that can help you build and operate a dedicated team of well-trained healthcare practitioners & RCM professionals specifically designed for your unique needs, with cost savings of up to 70%.
We will assist in optimizing clinical documentation, streamlining medical claims, upto securing patient co-pay collection while you put more focus on patient care and promote patient wellness. By building great teams, we can match you to the right pool of highly skilled doctors, dedicated license nurses and qualified medical coders that can help you grow your business.
Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.
Revenue Cycle Management ensures the satisfaction of customers, improve revenue and generate profit—but what is it really and how can businesses harness its benefits?
When one thinks of how successful or unsuccessful a business is doing, it’s natural to lean towards the strategic elements of an organization that ensure profits come in: investments, funding decisions, and risk management. While these elements are important, the success of a business, especially how it runs its day to day operations, is highly dependent on the effective management of operational cash (or commonly called cash flow or cash on hand). This comes in the form of accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R).
Accounts Payable VS Accounts Receivable
Accounts Payable (A/P) refers to the money that the company owes to others, usually because of purchased goods or services on credit from a vendor or supplier.
Accounts Receivable (A/R) refers to the money that others owe to the company and are amounts the company has a right to collect because it sold goods or services on credit to a customer.
What’s the Difference Between Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable?
In accounting, the nature of transaction dictates how it is recorded in a company’s general ledger (or financial books).
- Accounts Payable (A/P) is recorded as a liability, while Accounts Receivable (A/R) is considered an asset.
- Accounts Payable (A/P) will decrease the company’s cash while the opposite will happen with Accounts Receivable (A/R).
- For money to go under Accounts Receivable (A/R), an invoice should be generated and delivered to a purchaser of goods or service, with payment usually expected within agreed payment terms. Accounts Payable (A/P) appears on business ledgers when an invoice is approved for payments.
Accounts Payable (A/P) = CASH OUT
Accounts Receivable (A/R) = CASH IN
The Importance of Having a Balanced A/P and A/R
The keen management of account payables and receivables has a major impact on how liquid a business is. Liquidity in a business refers to a positive net working capital, which simply means that there is enough cash on hand to keep the business operational.
The working capital (WC) of a business is the difference between the current assets and current liabilities. The collection of assets in a timely manner and a balanced settlement of liabilities ensure a healthy and positive net working capital.
Management of Working Capital (WC)
To effectively manage one’s working capital, the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) of accounts receivables should be less than 45 days. DSO refers to the average number of days accounts receivable payments are collected. Accounts payable are analyzed by the average number of days it takes to pay an invoice (Days Payable Outstanding or DPO).
How do You Increase Working Capital?
Reducing DSO and increasing DPO can increase working capital. Simply put, businesses collect payments from customers faster and delay vendor payments. However, increasing working capital isn’t as easy as it looks as delaying vendor payments can tarnish a business’ reputation and faster payments collection can turn off customers, as they usually prefer businesses that aren’t too strict about getting paid on time.
Ideally, you should always have more accounts receivables (income) than payables (operational business expenses). This is where having a positive net working capital means business profit.
For effective management of operational cash, some businesses hire companies that offer accounting outsourcing services. This way you can focus on the core business decisions while your outsourcing partner takes care of accounting operations so you won’t need to worry about anything.
Managing your business’ finance and accounting on your own is taxing and does not always result in favorable results. With our customized solutions, rest assured that all your concerns would be addressed accordingly and at the same time, it would allow you to concentrate on other important factors vital for your company’s growth. Learn more!
A reliable and efficient order processing system for your customers is crucial to business success. Without it, backroom operations will fumble, front end representatives will suffer, and customers are more likely go to a competitor that offers better service. A lot of time, money, and resources can be saved just by developing a proper order-processing guideline. It’s important for you to come up with the best procedure that will help you run your business smoothly and your customers happy.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when processing orders:
1. Use a Standard Order-Taking Form
Using only one form will eliminate any confusion both internally and externally. It doesn’t matter whether a customer service representative takes the order over the phone, or a client directly fills out a form on your website, a standard form should be used. This way, whoever fills out the form knows what information is needed, and makes sure that all pertinent information is gathered. Some order details might vary depending on the item, such as options to choose color palettes, volume, or size. Make sure these details are included in the standard form so everyone will literally be looking at the same page.
2. Do not Accept Incomplete Order Forms
If all the needed information is not collected, there will be delays in processing it because there is a need to verify what exactly is required in the order. This will cause backlogs and will waste a lot of time. To avoid having to go back and forth between clients and backroom operations, the should be a system that makes sure the order form is returned and completed before it is processed.
3. Confirm the Order with the Customer
Confirming the order means that you’re acknowledging that the order forms were received, and that you’re about to process it. You may send an email that includes the order details, your contact information, and any other pertinent instructions as needed. Make it clear that the customer should reach out to you if there are any problems. You may opt to require the client to verify the order, but it’s often not necessary; your acknowledgment is what matters.
4. Circulate the Filled Out Order Form Internally
This is the time to distribute the order form to the departments and individuals who will perform any action connected to carrying out the particulars of the order, such as the finance team, backroom operations, manufacturers, depending on the nature of your business. It’s important to communicate with everyone concerned what the fulfillment dates are so that they know what to expect, and how best to keep within the timetable allotted.
5. Let the Customer Know About the Order Status
Clearly communicating with customers throughout the process is important. Keep them up to speed as to what the status of their order is. If there are delays or problems, let them know immediately instead of keeping customers in the dark. Give them the details of the order once it ships: tell them who the carrier is, what the tracking numbers are and the expected date of delivery.
6. Ask for Customer Feedback
After the customer receives the order, take the time to get some feedback. Many businesses skip this step, but it’s one way of knowing your client’s sentiments and getting insights into what needs to be improved with your order processing system and inbound call center services. If a client is delighted with the service, then this is also valuable feedback that let’s you know you’re doing the right thing. Having a customer service representative call after doing business is also one way of letting clients know that you value their opinion, thereby increasing the likelihood of them doing business with you again in the future.
Take the time to develop the best order-taking system that works for your customers and backroom operations. This way, it will be smooth sailing for your business and your clients remain satisfied and loyal.
Having a reliable contact center is a vital aspect of a business regardless of the industry they belong to. It must have several communication channels where customers can freely address their concerns and queries regarding the company’s products and services. With our results-driven solutions, you can expect your contact center to deliver the best responses your clients are looking for. Learn more!
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The outsourcing industry has been defined just as much by acquisitions, as much as it has been defined by mega deals: think Xerox (NYSE:XRX) and Affiliated Computer Services. This November, several companies have announced acquisitions of other firms in a bid to redefine their services, and expand their business, and perhaps to give rise to the next Xerox-ACS caliber acquisition, within different industries including legal process outsourcing, IT outsourcing and call center outsourcing.
New York headquartered company, Accenture (NYSE:ACN), has acquired business process management services provider, Knowledge Rules. The company announced on the 2nd of November that it has acquired the Philadelphia-based company to utilize Knowledge Rules’ expertise in PegaSystems. According to Accenture’s Chief Technology Architect Paul Daugherty, “This acquisition immediately increases our capacity to implement Pegasystems-based solutions, and will enable us to train and develop more people, more quickly.” A few days later on the 10th of November, Accenture announced that it has successfully acquired Beijing-based software company, Mogenesis, a provider of mobile software outsourcing services. Following this, on the 19th of November, Accenture also completed its acquisition of Ariba, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ARBA) Ariba Sourcing Services, an acquisition that had previously been announced on the 6th of October. Hot on the wheels of these developments and Accenture once again advised that they are acquiring another company, CAS Computer Anwendungs-und Sytemberatung AG (CAS). A Kaiserslautern, Germany based company, CAS is a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) and mobility software provider.
It has certainly been a busy month for Accenture as it has been acquiring companies left and right, but other companies have been making notable acquisitions as well.
Financial news and information provider Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) announced on the 18th of November that it is acquiring legal process outsourcing services provider, Pangea3 . Commenting on the acquisition, Peter Warwick, Thomson Reuters President and CEO said that, “[Thomson Reuters] will now bring to the legal marketplace a responsive, high-quality, transformative resource for a broad range of legal support work. This is particularly important as law firms and general counsel adjust to the realities of the ‘new normal,’ where efficiency, quality and responsiveness are paramount,” signaling Thomson Reuters entrée into the highly-competitive legal process outsourcing business.
This is not however, the only movement in the LPO space as days before the announcement by Thomson Reuters, the acquisition news that had been making rounds in the LPO space was the acquisition of legal process outsourcing company, LawScribe by UnitedLex on the 11th of November.
A number of acquisitions from smaller companies also came through this month, including the acquisition of IT outsourcing and business process outsourcing provider TechTeam Global (NASDAQ:TEAM) by Stefanini International Holdings Affiliate, Stefanini IT Solutions for $93.4 million. The news came days before TechTeam Global reported its third quarter 2010 results wherein the company reported a net loss of $8.4 million following the company’s sale of its government subsidiary, TechTeam Government Solutions, to Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC).
We will likely see more acquisitions coming through before the year ends. Other companies such as Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY) and Globallogic, have already announced that they are in the market for acquisitions this year and the next, as companies continue to search for the winning combination that may ultimately land them at the top of their field.
Author: Audrey B.