5 time-saving tips for finance professionals

Finance teams are constantly under pressure to streamline, create greater efficiencies and cut superfluous costs, often working on the principle of “less is more”. It is ironic then that many finance professionals are occupied with tedious, time-consuming activities. A few prudent decisions can go a long way towards raising productivity levels. Here are five hacks for greater productivity.

Be more efficient in meetings

There is little reason to participate in every meeting on the off chance that your input will be required. Choose only those that offer an ROI for your time. There are few things that are as demoralizing as pointlessly meandering meeting with no clear objective. Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn't believe in taking minutes and looks only to retain the most important information from meetings and Transnet CFO and CFO Awards nominee Garry Pita will schedule five-minute meetings if he feels the agenda doesn't require any more time.

Embrace Excel

Excel has been around for ages and there are many spreadsheet alternatives out there, but many finance professionals still use the venerable program for various processes. The good news is that there are a plethora of short courses out there to raise your Excel game and the program has a virtually unlimited number of shortcuts and functions to keep you from becoming bogged down and wasting precious time.

Keep the drama in check

A team overcome with tension will never be productive one. Ensure that your staff is accountable for their actions and do not fall into the trap of playing the blame game. Confront points of contention when they appear and put guidelines and policies in place to prevent office volatility. Also consider team-building exercises to help employees bond.

Decide to delegate

Effective delegation is a key trait shared by leaders across the spectrum of sectors. Choose to handle those tasks that you alone are able to execute and assign those that you don't need to have on your plate as much as possible. Only focus on those matters that absolutely require your expertise.

Expand your network

For successful finance professionals, a strong growing network is a compulsory currency. Growing your contact list will allow you to add to your store of knowledge and harness the skills of others in times of need. This will allow you to streamline your operations and ask for advice to move through sticky periods.