Local government finance teams increasingly face complex tasks, cumbersome processes, and shifting accounting standards and requirements. Their roles have become even more challenging in the unpredictable world we currently find ourselves, as municipalities take on more debt to accommodate budget shortfalls and attempt to navigate uncertainty while supporting their communities.
Another big challenge for accounting and finance teams today is a labor and hiring shortage. According to a survey from Accounting Today, “The Great Resignation was far and away the most urgent issue on the radar of this year”. Laborious manual tasks, inefficient workflows, and limited access to critical data and documentation for analysis are among some of the top complaints and reasons for turnover from many finance professionals. Now, organizations need to consider what tools and resources they can invest in to attract and retain top talent.
With these matters in mind, finance teams of all sizes are looking for new ways to be more efficient, increase optimal productivity levels, and scale their team. If your organization is struggling with scattered data, information silos, and limited accessibility, it might be time to make the switch to a modern FinTech solution. Enter debt and lease management software. This type of technology adds tremendous value to organizations, providing powerful functionality developed specifically for the needs and challenges of accounting and finance teams in local governments and higher education and driving increased productivity by automating resource-intensive or painstaking manual tasks.
But with a vast array of debt and lease technology solutions and providers available, how can you be sure you are making the right choice for your organization and finance team? The following guidelines and tips can help you and your team evaluate debt and lease management software vendors and choose the best solution for your specific pain points and needs.
How Will a Debt and Lease Management Software Help Your Organization?
The right debt and lease software should increase data transparency, promote collaboration with internal and external team members, and help you simplify the many tasks related to debt and lease management. When evaluating vendors in the market, the solution should be able to help your organization do the following:
- Automate debt and lease management. Debt and lease software can help you automate management of funds and reduce the human error that is often associated with manual data entry.
- Access your data from anywhere. With cloud-based software, you can access your financial data from anywhere, eliminating the bottlenecks that come from relying on limited access and disorganized spreadsheets.
- Prevent data loss. Cloud-based software regularly backs up and protects your data, so you never have to worry about data loss or a malware breach.
- Collaborate with all necessary parties. A solution that provides unlimited users and role-based permissions will ensure everyone on the team (both internally and externally) is on the same page. It will also reduce the stress of audit season by providing your auditors direct access to your debt and lease repositories.
- Accelerate financial reporting. The right debt and lease software will help you produce accurate financial statements with insightful analysis and data visualization.
- Comply with accounting regulations. A modern debt and lease software should be designed to meet current and changing accounting standards and help your organization stay ahead of future regulations and compliance.
Keep the Following Questions in Mind as You Select a Software Vendor
Finance teams in the public sector have unique needs, pain points, and challenges. You want a vendor who understands these differences and developed their solution with industry-relevant scenarios and use cases in mind.
- Do they have a background in public finance?
- Are new features and functions built in response to shifts and changes in the industry?
- How will the company and the product adapt as lease accounting standards evolve?
Features and Functions
- New technology should allow your team to save time on manual data entry, produce reporting that you will have confidence in, and help the organization implement and maintain compliance with new lease accounting standards.
- Is the platform intuitive, even for those who may not be tech-savvy?
- Will I have 24/7, anywhere, any time access to my data?
- Will I have an unlimited number of user licenses to share with internal and external team members?
- Does the solution enable transparency and collaboration?
- Does the software meet financial reporting standards?
- What are your policies around data security, access and reliability, and encryption?
No two companies are the same. The contract terms should meet the needs of the buyer and be based on factors such as size and complexity of the organization. Further, you should be able to access feedback from current clients on their experience.
- What projects do you wish you could do but don't have the capacity?
- How is the solution priced?
- Do you have client relationships that can be referenced?
- How did other clients use the software to solve similar pain points and challenges?
- Are there case studies, testimonials, and reviews readily available?
Making the transition from spreadsheets to cloud-based software is by no means an easy task and can be one of the largest challenges in acquiring new technology.
- Do you have a team to assist with data migration?
- How hands-on or hands-off is the implementation process?
- What are the steps involved in implementation and how long will they take?
Onboarding & Training
Onboarding and training are critical to successful product adoption and engagement, as well as to attaining ROI on your software investment.
- Do you offer a formalized onboarding program with ongoing training and support?
- Is training ‘one-size-fits-all’ or tailored based on the end user and level of experience?
- What resources and support are readily available?
The Total Package
Navigating the fintech landscape can be overwhelming. As you evaluate lease management software for your organization, keep in mind your team’s biggest challenges and make sure the solution aligns with your current and future needs.
- Does the vendor demonstrate an understanding of our organization, our challenges, our needs, and our goals?
- Will the vendor be able to meet our intended outcomes and expectations?
- Does the vendor have the experience, knowledge, and innovation to meet current and future needs as the industry evolves?
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.
As the new standard in debt management and the only consolidated solution for debt and lease management, DebtBook is trusted by finance professionals nationwide.
DebtBook prides ourselves on our 5-star rated Client Success team. Our team of qualified experts can help you to get out of spreadsheets and into our cloud-based solution quickly and efficiently.