Your business relies on many different departments to stay functional, such as human resources, production and sales. However, all of these departments rely on your accounting department to receive their paychecks and to keep their expenses within your company’s budget. While you must observe and manage each department, you especially need to ensure that your accountants are competent and that they have the materials they need to do their jobs efficiently. Ask yourself the following questions to figure out if your financial department is operating at its highest capacity.

Do Your Accountants Have Access to the Latest Software?

Accountants perform many functions that computers cannot, but in recent years, new programs have developed that take care of some of their routine jobs. Investing in these programs will save you money in the long term and give your accountants the time they need to address more complicated concerns. Ask them if there are any new types of software that you should purchase or if they have heard about other developing kinds of technology that would be helpful.

How Old Are the Processes that Your Accountants Use?

Once your business is established, it’s easy to get into the habit of using the same processes for years. However, trying new strategies can save your company time and money and keep your employees engaged in their work. Every year, ask your accountants to review the different systems they use, and ask your employees from other departments to evaluate the parts of their jobs that they share with your financial department. Listen to everyone’s feedback, and then work with your accounting team to determine which processes should stay the same and which ones should be updated.

Do Other Departments Respect Financial Deadlines?

Your accountants cannot complete their jobs if other departments do not send them the necessary materials on time. For example, if managers do not send their approval of each pay period’s time logs to the financial department in a timely manner, then employees do not receive their paychecks on time. In order to avoid headaches caused by errors like this one, emphasize the importance of observing all deadlines. Send reminders well before paperwork is due so that other departments cannot complain that they forgot about the deadline.

Without your accounting department, your company could not make a profit. Use the following questions to evaluate this department’s performance in relation to the rest of the company and use your findings to improve your practices.