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The New Roles of a Small Business Finance Team

4 min read

The Great Resignation has left many large companies struggling to fill gaps in their team. Yet, it’s had the opposite effect for many small businesses that are now taking advantage of a larger talent pool. It begs the question: why are skilled workers leaving large companies to join small ventures? The answer rests in career fulfillment. No longer content with being cogs in a wheel, knowledge workers are looking for roles where they’re appreciated. This is especially true for finance professionals.

It’s easy to think of a small business finance team in terms of day-to-day job duties: balancing books, reconciling accounts, invoicing clients, etc. But the reality is that these tasks are a far cry from what today’s financial professionals actually do. Today, the role of a small business finance team has less to do with clerical and administrative tasks, and more to do with charting the path toward growth.

These days, accounting professionals aren’t content with data entry and number crunching. They’re looking for an opportunity to flex their financial knowledge in a way that begets real results for the business. As a result, they’re taking on roles with more substance and importance, and they’re helping small businesses compete in a big way.

It’s up to small business leaders to not only create opportunities for professional growth, but to attract and retain knowledge workers by shaping roles they’re excited to step into.

Casting Off Old Roles and Responsibilities

The fintech landscape grows larger and more sophisticated with each passing year. Today’s programs and platforms are intuitive enough to automate much of the everyday transactions and inputs that finance teams used to handle manually. It’s allowed finance professionals to shift time and effort away from menial tasks, to focus on initiatives that yield substantive results for the business.

No longer stuck entering data, finance professionals can focus on analyzing it. Instead of auditing records, they can use them to plan. The new focus of the small business financial team is to leverage data, insights, and expertise into better decision-making and outcomes for the business. In doing so, finance teams have embraced several critical new roles.

New Role 1: Strategists, Advisors, and Stewards

Bookkeepers and accountants have a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of business finance. That knowledge is grossly underutilized when they’re confined to data entry. Instead, these professionals are better-suited in roles as financial strategists, advisors, and stewards.
In this new role, finance workers can leverage a fundamental understanding of the practice of accounting into a variety of benefits for small businesses, including:

  • Review integrated financial data to discern trends, patterns and insights.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve the financial health of the business.
  • Creating forward-looking plans that account for large expenditures and CAPEX.
  • Input on operational decision-making that can affect business finances.
  • Create and monitor relevant financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Operating at a high level, finance teams offer small businesses tremendous potential as strategists, advisors, and stewards. They help chart the path to growth.

New Role 2: Fintech Architects and Enablers

Fintech is one of the key drivers in freeing finance teams from the dregs of data entry. As such, financial professionals need to be the architects of their own freedom by embracing fintech solutions. That means building a highly automated tech stack.

In this role, finance teams need to be purposeful in how they engineer a fintech stack. It needs to be solutions-driven, exhibiting the following traits to create efficiency:

  • Software needs to reduce the need for manual input, to free up time.
  • Synergy is critical across all software and services in a fintech stack.
  • Data integrity is paramount, and finance teams need to trust insights.
  • UI needs to facilitate a seamless UX, to decomplicate the tech stack.
  • The stack needs to grow in tandem with the business and its needs.

Fintech doesn’t automatically improve a small business’ finances. The finance team needs to architect and manage a fintech stack that functions cohesively, with minimal intervention.

New Role 3: Business Relationship Builders

As newfound contributors to the business’ financial operations strategy, the finance team also becomes central to anything involving cash flows. In an age of relationship-based payments, that means finding ways to foster trust through transactions.

Especially for small businesses seeking success in the global marketplace, financial teams need to step into a role that focuses on building relationships. Examples include:

  • Exploring payment and funds transfer solutions that transcend borders.
  • Maintaining tax and regulatory compliances across all operating territories.
  • Fostering transparency and honesty in business relationships.
  • Proactively identifying and resolving barriers caused by currency differences.
  • Architecting solutions that circumvent the challenges of the SWIFT system.

Though they might not be communicating directly with clients and partners, finance teams nonetheless have a role in helping the business build strong, healthy relationships.

Embrace the Shift to Strategic Accounting

These new roles—as financial advisors, fintech architects, and relationship builders—all role into an important philosophy that small businesses need to embrace if they want to grow: strategic accounting.
No longer defined by tedious tasks and menial data entry, today’s small business finance teams are powerhouse problem-solvers. Growing businesses need to embrace their potential to create value and put them in a position to focus on identifying opportunities. It’s not just what small businesses need; it’s what modern finance workers want.

Ready to learn more about the shift to strategic accounting? Check out our white paper, What your Finance Team Wants, and then book a demo with Veem to get started building your high-powered finance team.

 

 

* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.