Don’t neglect accounting and finances in field service management plans

Field service finance management has historically been a complex and taxing process.

Integrating financial data and functionality between field workers and employees in the field can be invaluable.

Field service finance management has historically been a complex and taxing process. Connecting service records generated in the field with finance teams back at the office is instrumental to eliminating errors and ensuring organizations get compensated for their work in a timely and accurate fashion. In the past, however, establishing these types of interconnections have proven incredibly difficult because there is a considerable delay between when field service workers log customer interactions and when accounting teams get billing details.

All of this complexity only covers the customer-facing end of finance management, and doesn't even delve into the need to gain full visibility into supply chain and vendor processes. All told, field service management processes incorporate a wide range of processes that rely upon one another, creating an operational climate in which filtering relevant data to finance teams is critical. Finding success in this area hinges on first understanding how major accounting problems impact field service and what can be done about them.

"Gathering key service data in digital formats allows for simple transmission between teams."

Considering the complexity of field service financials
The need to coordinate data between a wide range of user groups creates an operational climate in which many field service businesses make simple mistakes that hold them back from success. A report from Capterra pointed to organizations neglecting to actually bill for work, accidentally ignoring sales tax and being unable to track time spent on customer visits as common problems facing field service firms. These may sound like basic, core parts of the business that no organization should struggle with. In reality, however, many field service firms are contending with paper-based processes that depend on users taking on clerical tasks that segregate field operations from financial tasks.

With paper operations forcing users to go through multiple steps to get information to finance teams, the potential for basic errors rises. Using field service management software empowers organizations to digitize their day-to-day processes. This sets a foundation for immediate data sharing between teams within a field service organization, creating an operational climate in which workers can share information with relative ease and, as a result, reduce the likelihood of errors.

Using field service management to connect teams
Gathering key service data – ranging from time spent on client visits to billing requirements – in digital formats allows for simple transmission between teams. Leading service management systems can:

  • Integrate accounting and field data systems across applications to keep teams connected.
  • Incorporate human resources functionality into the financials module for simplified management.
  • Include reporting and business intelligence tools into financial systems to gain visibility into how operations and financials align.
  • Allow field workers to process payments, file invoices and update inventories directly through a mobile device interface.

When critical functions like work order management, billing, inventory management, scheduling and payroll all exist under a common app, organizations can more easily integrate data across all of these channels. This creates an operational climate in which organizations are able to connect their field and finance teams to gain greater alignment across the organization.

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