Coronavirus » As pandemic costs bite big business, could in-house accounts be a major saving?

No matter what the sector or location, businesses everywhere are looking to cut costs as they struggle to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Rolls Royce is among the latest high profile firms to announce major job cuts, with 9,000 roles set to be lost worldwide in a bid to save £1.3bn this year.

Marks and Spencer reportedly must save £1bn this year, while British Airways is shedding 12,000 jobs as the group reports a €535m loss in Q1.

These are just a few examples of the household names who have been forced to make drastic cost savings already due to the instant and colossal impact of the coronavirus.

How can in-house accounts save businesses money?

Organisations will be scrutinising all areas of their operations to see how else they can make efficiencies, while keeping job losses to a minimum.

When times have got tough in the past, such as during previous recessions and when individual industries have been hit by crises, we’ve previously found numerous examples of firms looking to bring accounts in-house to make savings. The oil and construction sectors were among them.

We know customers have experienced an immediate, tangible, achievable and visible cost saving. Indeed, a key reason businesses use our software is to reduce the audit costs by completing year end accounts themselves.

Gerard Nieslony, group financial controller at Foxtons Estate Agents, told us: “Bringing this important accounting task within our control gives us the advantages of lower costs and being able to make amendments easily ourselves. This has been achieved without adding to the burden on our accounting team. Our time is at a premium and IRIS Accounts Production has proved a most efficient way to prepare our statutory accounts, while meeting HMRC’s iXBRL requirements.”

Cutting down on wasted time

As he alludes to, time savings are a clear advantage for corporate finance departments – ultimately meaning greater efficiencies. IRIS Accounts Production makes final accounts preparation a more efficient task, thereby smoothing the workflow.

A key example is eliminating fiddly, awkward, time-consuming work on Microsoft Word or Excel. Finance Directors find the functionality easy and the bringing forward of disclosure very useful. Previously, they would have to do this manually in Word for each set of accounts.

Increased automation – a goal to strive for and something to be embraced, according to a number of speakers at the 2019 Treasury Leaders’ Summit – is a key part of this. And that’s at the heart of what IRIS software achieves.

The time savings are well summed up by Andrew Hughes, financial controller at Heal’s. He described a “measurable difference in speed” in using IRIS Accounts Production, adding “we completed our accounts for review by the auditors around two days earlier than we used to do with Microsoft Word and Excel.”

How else does IRIS help finance departments?

On top of the money and time savings, a number of businesses that IRIS has worked with in recent times have reaped the benefits from increasing control and visibility of their accounts preparation, corporation tax liabilities and company secretarial obligations.

Another critical area is compliance. As the UK’s market-leading accountancy solutions provider, our extensive legislation knowledge is second to none. FRS102, FRS101 & IFRS compliant accounts are handled with ease. We also offer a range of solutions for iXBRL tagging.

Why are some firms reluctant to move to in-house accounts?

There are a few reasons some organisations give typically for not adopting in-house accounts.

Firstly, concerns about extra workload. They ask if their hard-pressed finance team will want to take on the burden of the vital, but essentially routine, task of accounts production. Could their time be better spent on higher value activities?

But, as explored earlier, IRIS Accounts Production is designed to save time through automation at every stage. This brings measurable time-savings, especially if you are reporting on a group of companies.

Secondly, they say they are comfortable how things already are and there’s a sense of reluctance to change the process when delegating to an accountant has worked quite well before. In the coronavirus-scarred business landscape we’re in now though, firms can’t afford to ignore alternative options that could help save money.

Some pose questions over ‘hidden costs’ – such as training and staff time, in addition to having to purchase specialist software. But using IRIS gives corporations control of an essential process, without a huge investment of time and energy. Purchasing the software and training and allocating one day of your team’s time for training will come to less than the cost of using an accountant or auditor.

In short: How does IRIS help finance departments?

We help organisations to effectively manage the following:

  • accounts
  • tax
  • iXBRL
  • company administration

Could your organisation benefit?

Even before the coronavirus pandemic sent shockwaves through the business world, there was an upward growth in finance directors adopting IRIS. Could your organisation benefit from the cost and time savings?

Let one of our team call you. Find out more at www.iris.co.uk/business or call us on 0344 815 5500.

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