With finance teams continually being asked to do more with less, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to find better tools that are tailored to address their specific challenges. The good news is that technology can enable organizations to operate more efficiently, collaborate more effectively, and make more informed decisions, as well as become and stay compliant with new lease accounting standards.
But the market is flooded with vendors who tout debt and lease management capabilities, and generic, one-size-fits-all solutions may not meet the niche needs of public sector organizations. At the end of the day, the success of your technology initiative can come down to choosing the right vendor and solution for your organization and your specific use cases.
Continue reading to learn 3 key areas to consider when evaluating debt and lease management technology platforms and help you ultimately make the right software choice.
Debt and Lease Repository
Your debt and lease management solution should provide a central database that serves as a single source of information for all debt and lease obligations. At a minimum, you should look for a vendor who can provide your team with an organized view of your historical and current debt services and lease contracts that can be filtered, sorted, and expanded for future detail and analysis.
A benefit of using a modern fintech solution rather than relying on spreadsheets is the ability to create high quality data visualizations through charts, graphs, and dashboards. Spreadsheets often have limited charting capabilities and can be painstaking to create, especially when those same charts and graphs have to be produced on a recurring basis. Using a software that can provide visually-appealing dashboards can save your team time and resources and help internal and external stakeholders better understand and consume the data.
The right solution will provide your team with easy and quick access to high-quality financial reporting. Audit reports, payment records, continuing disclosure, and debt and lease schedules may involve very manual processes that can take days or even weeks to complete. Look for a solution that can scale your reporting efforts and help you meet and maintain GFOA ‘Financial Excellence' reporting standards.
Payments and Schedules
Prudent debt and lease management involves knowing what payments are coming due, when, and who paid them. These detailed records are vital to the accuracy of your financial reports, but can be inaccurate when relying on spreadsheets to produce this information due to invalid and broken formulas lurking in your data. A software solution should be able to provide your finance team with detailed, accurate debt and lease schedules and provide automated reminders of important dates, deadlines, and tasks.
Ease of Use
The right solution should be easy enough for new users to grasp quickly, while providing advanced tools and resources for team members who need detailed and thorough data analysis and recording keeping. A modern interface with clear navigation will help your team use the system efficiently and effectively.
Cloud-based solutions give users the freedom and flexibility to access important financial records from any internet browser, on any device, from any location. This functionality can be a great benefit for remote finance teams who may not have access to hardware and servers physically located at a central office location.
An important question to ask when evaluating software vendors is around user access. Debt and lease management often involves many internal and external contributors. You will want to look for a solution that enables unlimited users to be added to the system, with permission-based access so the right individuals only have access to the portions of your data that is pertinent to them. Consider which external guests you interact with on a regular basis, such as Financial Advisors, Auditors, CPAs, Lawyers, or Board Members, and ask your provider how these individuals can get access to your database.
There are several options for debt and lease management software that will suit an array of budgets. Keep in mind, if you encounter a vendor that only offer a portion of the features you deemed as valuable to your organization, you may want to consider other vendors that provide a more holistic view of your debt and lease portfolio. Some solutions may only specialize in either debt or lease management; consider choosing a provider who offers a consolidated solution for debt and lease management in order to fully leverage benefits such as increased efficiency, improved transparency, and more informed decision making throughout the organization.
How DebtBook Can Help
DebtBook is powerful, easy-to-use, cloud-based debt and lease management software for finance teams in local government, higher education, and healthcare. Our software helps these teams effectively manage their debt and leases in the cloud, driving efficiency, collaboration, transparency, and informed decision-making within their organizations.