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How custom roles speed up workflow and improve cash flow

CFOs are always on the lookout for new ways to maximize efficiency within the accounting department. But, if you search for “accounting productivity tips,” you’ll be bombarded with more than 30 million results. How are you supposed to process all of that information, let alone implement it effectively?

If you’re serious about saving time and improving cash flow, you can’t rely on quick hacks to reach your goals. Instead, you need advanced solutions that yield tangible, sustainable results.

Enter custom roles: an industry-leading feature from QuickBooks® Online Advanced that enables accounting departments to delegate information with ease and confidence. Your growing business demands teamwork to keep operations running smoothly. But, it also demands a customizable framework to ensure team members have access to only the information they need to do their jobs effectively.

Coming up, you’ll see how putting the right information in the right hands is a vital step to propelling your business forward.

What exactly are custom roles?

In order to streamline your finance operations, you need to share the workload – not drown your team with information. For example, if your sales rep needs access to invoices and estimates, but you don’t want to grant them access to expense reports. With custom roles, you have the flexibility to mix and match permissions for individual users as you see fit.

Rather than locking users into static permissions, custom roles adapt to the needs of your business so each team member has the access they require, even as you grow. What’s more, custom roles lets you delegate and manage up to 25 users so you can stay productive and focused on tasks that matter.

Custom roles, predefined roles, and QuickBooks roles

The roles you implement in your business will depend on the size of your business, employee turnover rate, and other variables. Based on these roles, you can give users full, partial, or limited access to create, modify, delete, or print data.

Let’s take a look at the three types of roles available through QuickBooks Online Advanced and their corresponding levels of customization.

Custom roles

Custom roles are created from scratch by account administrators, and can be adjusted, as needed. Here, you can mix and match access to a robust suite of information, including items like:

  • Expenses
  • Sales
  • Estimates
  • Invoices
  • Employees (if payroll is enabled)
  • Reports
  • Account management

Predefined roles

If you would prefer not to create custom roles from scratch, predefined roles are a smart alternative. Predefined roles are designed for instant implementation; however, they can also be edited.

Think of it like a recipe you find online: You have a framework to give you inspiration, but you might want to add your own twist based on your taste.

You can choose from two predefined roles, including sales manager and expense manager. You can also customize them so you start with some existing permissions. It’s as easy as selecting the role from the Role List tab and selecting Edit to review or change as you please.

Keep in mind, any adjustments you make to a predefined role will apply to all users who have that role title.

QuickBooks roles

If your business doesn’t need as much granular control, standard roles are still available through QuickBooks roles. These are preset roles that cannot be edited, including:

  • Company admin
  • Standard user
  • Reports only
  • Time-tracking only
  • Take-payments only

QuickBooks roles can be a starting point to see which roles need to be customized as your business grows, and to what degree.

Custom roles streamline accounts payable workflows

One of the biggest obstacles for CFOs and their finance teams is simply locating relevant information. At times, it can be a digital version of looking for a needle in a haystack. The logical solution is to grant certain roles (i.e., AP manager, expense manager) access only to the data they need. However, there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all approach to information access management in the digital era of accounting.

Fortunately, role customization addresses the nuances of accounting, while also streamlining operations. Previously, administrators would have to go into each user and manually set task limitations. Now, custom roles enables them to assign multiple people to … you guessed it … custom roles.

What’s more, finance teams can create their own set of user permissions to sync with roles within their business. When a new employee starts, managers can quickly assign them the permissions of the custom role, instead of going into each individual’s account and selecting all the appropriate tasks they’ll need to access.

Custom roles also ensure that each team member has clearly-defined responsibilities and permissions within the organization, which keeps your workflow organized without sacrificing security or integrity. By giving your team members access only to what’s essential for their unique role, you set them up for success.

“We’re able to tweak QuickBooks Online Advanced to make sure each user’s interface is successful so they don’t get caught up in things they don’t need to be thinking about,” says Andy Pyle, director of operations at SevenGen, an occupational health consultancy. “Ultimately, it keeps us streamlined. Nobody sees all the work, just the final product. And, that’s where we want to be.”

Custom roles close gaps to improve cash flow

Custom roles don’t just boost productivity – they can improve your bottom line as well.

In the case of NorthBridge Incorporated, which grew from zero to 700 employees in four years, custom roles helped the right team members pull the right data without being distracted by a barrage of unnecessary numbers.

Custom roles also transform the way businesses manage expense reports. Let’s say an executive meets a client for lunch. Rather than cramming the receipt in her pocket to be dealt with who-knows-when, she can immediately upload a picture of the receipt. In turn, team members with access to expenses can manage that receipt in real-time, saving time they would otherwise spend sifting through piles of crumpled receipts.

By slashing tedious work, you also slash excess spending and accelerate your business’s capital cycle.

Unique businesses require unique systems

Your business is unique, so you need (and deserve) a custom approach to finances.

“Give the right people the right access to the right information” sounds great in theory. But, without a framework to make that happen, the idea of increasing productivity remains just that: an idea.

Custom roles from QuickBooks Online Advanced gives you the freedom to grant limited access to a larger number of people. A thoughtful, strategic application of this new feature will equip you with a heightened sense of control, which inevitably keeps your cash moving in the right direction.

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