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Ending The Corporate Finance Blame Game

Managing workflow can be a challenge for any major corporation, and the struggle can yield lost revenue opportunities, wasted spending and financial bottlenecks. But when accountancy firms struggle with workflow management, it’s more than corporate productivity at stake — it’s other people’s (and corporates’) money, too.

Workflow management platform Scalus was derived from the need to automate processes that may otherwise remain forgotten, leading to an interdepartmental blame game, says Scalus Founder and CEO Kristen Koh Goldstein.

When Scalus decided to roll out an accounting edition, Goldstein told PYMNTS that the solution not only had to address task flow but also keep in mind the needs of accounting firms to move money on deadline and remain compliant with financial regulation.

According to Goldstein, the sometimes abstract concept of corporate culture can have a very real, calculable impact on the finances of a business. And with a new generation of accountants in the workforce today — the workers she described as the “historians and scribes” of a corporation — there is greater demand for efficiency.

[bctt tweet=”Corporate culture can have a very real, calculable impact on the finances of a business.”]

“We have a number of accounting firms that have hundreds of clients, and we also work with large accounting departments that have many functional groups,” Goldstein explained. “They have to coordinate sales, human resources and commission payments, and not all departments talk to accounting. We’re enabling the collaboration of these large corporations.”

She pointed to one current client of Scalus with a problem not uncommon in the accounting world. There had been a breakdown in communication between the sales and partner operations teams, meaning the payout for commissions and for partners saw significant friction.

Accountants’ financial transactions involve so many functions and players, Goldstein explained, that Scalus had to go beyond simply allowing the corporation to organize its payments records and documents. “It expands way beyond the general ledger,” she said of the complex needs of accounting firms.

Regarding another one of its clients, Scalus highlighted how communication breakdowns can have a ripple effect in other ways.

AngelList, a portal that connects startups to investors and potential employees, needed a way to ensure that the firm’s workflow automation service meant that its financing and payments processes occurred when they needed to, all while being compliant with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“What we had done at AngelList is make it really easy and inexpensive to show the investment decision controls, as well as cash transfer controls,” she said. “There is a workflow to fund an investment.”

Goldstein identified a key hurdle for this company that exemplified the way corporate culture can have a negative impact on finances. At AngelList, if a large cash transfer was scheduled, unless a higher-up executive double-approved of that transaction, the investment wouldn’t close in time.

It’s a process not unique to AngelList; corporations frequently deploy these double-layered security measures. But when double authentication doesn’t go as planned, it can lead not only to financial losses but also internal conflict concerning who was to blame. Scalus automates these task reminders, taking the emotion out of a situation and instead providing a notice when a task hits its due date.

[bctt tweet=”When double authentication doesn’t go as planned, it can lead to financial losses.”]

According to the executive, this kind of task automation at an accounting firm means money can flow without disruption and lead to a more predictable flow for future deals.

“We show you what’s happened, what’s happening and what should happen,” Goldstein said, adding that accounting corporations and teams need to be proactive instead of reactive in their practices. “So much of what we do daily, weekly, monthly and annually repeats,” she said of the corporate world. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t know what the next step should be, and if it’s not happening, we should do something about it — as opposed to, ‘accounting dropped the ball again.’”

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