A potential investor is waiting on a financial report from you. But you've got to pull sales records from your CRM, statements from your banking app, and sort through paper invoices. It will take some time—and you’re not even sure you have everything to build a complete financial report.
For many startups, this is a common problem. Your financial data exists in silos. Finance information is fragmented across multiple systems, each with different logins. This slows you down and makes you question the accuracy of your data.
Unifying your financial operations (FinOps) onto a single platform gives you the power to make confident decisions, submit financial details to investors faster, and improve performance and profitability.
This article will cover financial operations, what it means to unify them, and the significant benefits this approach can provide for startups.
What Are Financial Operations?
Your financial operations span nearly all departments within your business, but each of these teams work individually on various tasks. Data handled by different teams in multiple places can lead to confusion, disagreement, or conflict. Each department may have different goals or be affected by cash flow differently.
The most efficient way to improve financial operations is by unifying your departments under a single platform. Providing each team access to the same data eliminates uncertainty and streamlines tasks.
What It Means To Unify Your Finance Operations
When you unify finance operations, you can see your budgets, operating expenses, and cash flow all in one spot. Everyone works exclusively from this platform, so you don't have to remember logins for multiple systems.
Below are some of the features and capabilities of implementing a single financial platform:
- Visualize financial data – Integrate your payroll providers, bank accounts, credit cards, revenue, bill pay functions, and even bookkeeping software in one place, making it easier to visualize your big-picture financial situation.
- Calculators – Automate calculations like burn rate, runway, and zero cash date.
- Invoicing – Sync vendor information, payments, and bills across accounts and generate invoices automatically.
- Transaction management – Track, categorize, and automate everyday, repetitive transactions with AI-powered transaction management.
- Operating expense reports – Understand where your money goes with daily OpEx reports generated automatically.
- High-quality reports – Access visually appealing reports in just a few clicks, making sending information to your investors easy.
The scope of your financial operations may be broad, but the unique operations you can unify are countless.
Now let’s explore why unification can have such a significant impact on startups.
Why Startups Need A Single FinOps Platform
As mentioned, when startups unify their FinOps into a single platform, everyone has access to the same information at the same time.
Here’s how accessing data on a single platform can change your startup’s financial game:
A Single Source Of Truth
Staying on the same page with your team is challenging when financial data is spread across disparate programs.
Consolidating to one platform gives you a single source of truth. Before, your team may have debated how much money you made on subscription sales last month. But now, if your sales total is available to everyone on the platform, you can agree on the number and make sales projections for your new product launch next month.
Speed Up Decision Making
Time is money. When you spend extra time tracking down financial data, you have less time to focus on revenue-generating tasks. However, with a FinOps platform, your data is consistently organized and updated, allowing you to make quick decisions.
Need to make a big purchase? You can quickly determine how much is left to spend in your budget without confusion or disagreements.
Clarity And Transparency As An Organization
Having high-level financial visibility gives you as a founder (and others in your organization) clarity and promotes transparency.
Offering your team visibility into how well your startup is doing financially is essential for confidence in the workplace and helps ensure everyone works towards the same goals. Likewise, providing transparency to your customers and investors about your profits instills faith and can help improve trust and rapport.
A unified financial platform can support these visibility goals.
Streamline Manual Processes
Financial teams can spend a lot of time entering data into spreadsheets. Using AI-integrated financial platforms helps streamline and automate manual processes.
As these manual processes become smoother and faster, human collaborators benefit. You can now accomplish two hours of data entry in minutes by scanning receipts that automatically populate into your financial operations platform.
You’ll also have more time to focus on innovation and problem-solving based on the data output.
All Financial Tasks And Platforms In One Place
A single location for all financial tasks and platforms is more than a convenience. It’s a necessity for startups that plan to utilize financial data efficiently.
When your financial tasks are spread across platforms, you are bogged down with multiple windows open trying to access cloud storage, local databases, and email attachments containing scanned PDF documents.
Fortunately, a unified financial operations platform helps you manage each process (from invoicing to budget forecasting to revenue tracking) from a single access point.
How To Bring Your Financial Operations Under One Roof
The goal of bringing your financial operations under one roof is a worthwhile one – you solve issues such as varying sources of truth in your data, longer decision-making, less financial visibility, complex and error-prone manual processes, and disparate access to financial documents.
However, solving these problems won't happen overnight. Unification of your financial operations data on a single platform may require the following actions:
- Transferring data
- Providing team training
- Planning for flexible growth time and learning opportunities
- Collaboration with technical advisors on your unified platform to confidently learn the new system
Each step you take toward bringing your financial operations under one roof unifies your FinOps.
But we almost forgot a step! Talk with a financial advisor to see how a financial operations platform can work for your startup.