September 24, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic turmoil is changing the way we live and work. Business continuity is being threatened at unprecedented levels. Combined with the current complexities organizations are now facing, maintaining business continuity requires a new approach to common challenges.
Our current blog series is reviewing crisis recovery and business continuity in the professional services industry. Last week we discussed alignment with new client needs. In part five, we address the efficiencies and impact of the back office and address this question:
Are you improving back office efficiencies to drive best-in-class performance and agility?
Enhance back office efficiencies
The efficiency of back office operations has been challenged across numerous areas of the business amid growing complexity—and the. These new situations require new consideration. Despite problematic issues, it is important to prioritize back office performance as it directly influences financial results.
Managing a newly remote workforce, evolving client needs, and shifting evolving government mandates and regulations are all examples of issues impacting organizations. To meet these challenges—and achieve success in such a chaotic environment—professional services firms must operate more efficiently—and think more innovatively.
With the right planning and technology, organizations can integrate all their tools and processes together to improve work and optimize new practices that help sustain the business.
[ Download the best practice guide: Crisis recovery and business continuity in the next normal ]
Technology plays a significant, if not serious, role in the back office. There is clear delineation between professional services businesses that use innovative software and technology and those that are lacking.
In a recent report addressing professional services back office efficiencies, Aberdeen listed three specific back office areas to consider: business planning, back office accounting, and project management infrastructure.
Business planning—Organizations can improve planning and forecasting with standard processes for activities like approvals and holistic visibility across teams. Aberdeen’s report above also highlights that professional services automation (PSA) software users versus non-users are more than twice as likely to have standardized processes for new requests for products and services across all lines of business.
Back office accounting—Automation across reporting, billing, auditing, and compliance yields more efficient back-office accounting. Again, the differentiation between PSA users and non-users is very clear.
Project management infrastructure— To drive elevated project management productivity and efficiencies, organizations should look to improving the back office. In the same report, Aberdeen once again validated technology and automation as a key difference maker in this area.
In our final post of the six-part series next week, we’ll close out by discussing best practices around strengthening digital security.
If you would like to discover more about recovery and continuity in professional services, we invite you to download a best practice guide: