The Future is Global
The future for many organisations today is global. However, there are more challenges to operating on an international scale than there have ever been. From the increasing pressures of cyber attack to the requirement for more stringent data protection for the purposes of legal compliance, businesses operating across jurisdictions face these issues from multiple angles, and on a much larger scale. While tackling this can seem overwhelming, there are three key challenges that are the most crucial for international businesses to focus on first.
The issue of financial control
As businesses expand, especially when that growth is across borders, it can be difficult to maintain financial control over operations. Where there are financial controls in existence they may be local and operating manually with little or no sync up with a central system. This can lead to inconsistencies that make it difficult for the business to maintain oversight of financial operations, to identify and tackle fraud, to ensure legal compliance across the business and to keep track of assets.
Maintaining a full perspective
As organisations expand, operations can become oddly localised. Different financial systems may be in use in each location and different data sets being employed by geography or product line, with no link up between them. The major issue here is that it becomes impossible to get full oversight of the business. And without that perspective those making decisions for the organisation as a whole are not doing so with the benefit of the full picture. Without a centralised way of analysing and reporting on activities, operations and data, each part of the business may be doing this differently with the result that decisions are being based on incorrect analysis and bad stats.
The need for legal compliance
Perhaps the biggest headache for an international company is the multiple legal systems that global operations encounter on a daily basis. With so many different sets of laws to take into account, many businesses leave it up to local offices to ensure compliance with local requirements and this can create significant exposure for the entire enterprise. It can also be incredibly expensive, necessitating a legal department in each location or local legal support that always comes at a cost.
What’s the solution?
All three of these major challenges can be met by a single, centralised financial system that provides an infrastructure around which the business can build. Thanks to developments in cloud computing, international businesses can introduce a single system that is accessible across the organisation and which rolls up financial management and analysis into one single, central process. Data can be shared across the organisation, consistently and in real time.
The flexibility of newer financial systems enables local configuration to take into account different jurisdictional requirements, whether that is with respect to legal compliance or processes such as supplier invoice approvals. A single centralised system enables compliance and strong governance to be established within the foundation of the business and auditing and financial control are simple and easy to administer.