Back-office as a Whole — How to Benefit From Integration
A Complete Guide on Correct Back-Office Management
While in the previous section, we've talked about the importance of back-office and different aspects of it. In this section, we must focus on how these processes correlate with each other and why it's vital to treat back-office management as a whole and not separately.
First, let's take a close look at some of the problems of current back-office management.
Sore Points of Current Back-office Management
No Exact Measures to Track the Performance Most back-office processes are so multi-faceted and involve multiple touchpoints. That's why it's so hard to track everything at once. The departments that manage these processes are the cornerstone of a business but you can't measure the lack of lawsuits, while the marketing team (front-office) shows generated leads. In the end, it's quite hard to measure the performance of the back-office and have a clear picture of its state.
All Departments and Processes Exist Separately While back-office processes are deeply connected, all departments still exist separately and in most cases, they speak on different levels. Even if all departments do their job correctly, there are several corner cases where they collide and some processes stay in the shadows. The problem is increasing when a company hires outsourcers that are not interested to be involved in the processes deeply, in order to have more clients (this doesn't mean that they do their job badly and you can't blame them really). Lack of Automation Even in the digital era, there is a lack of instruments for back-office automation. Sure, we've shown quite a lot of instruments for accounting or tax automation. However, each tool is responsible solely for one task, therefore it exists in isolation without taking other back-office functions into account.
Data is Separated All data regarding the back-office processes is collected, controlled, and managed separately by each department. While it must be unified as it influences other processes.
In the end, company management doesn't have a clear picture of the current state of the back-office and there is no solution that unites all processes together.
Now, that's we indicated the problem, let's take a practical look at some processes that involve several departments in charge of back-office processes.
Example: Conclusion of a Service Agreement
First, let's take a look at a service agreement — a contract signed between a contractor (internal or external service provider) and the client/end-user, which outlines the level of services that the client expects from the service provider.
These agreements actually establish the expectations of the customer based on the performance of the service provider and the quality that is expected of them in different ways. There are important metrics that these agreements usually specify.
A service agreement is the most basic, most common, and most used type of contract there is. Let's take a look at how such a common and easy thing influences the back-office.
How a Service Agreement Influences the Back-office
As we can see in the example above, a simple service agreement greatly influences and involves almost all parties involved in back-office operations. Now, let's take a closer look at the process when a company hires an employee, as no company can operate without people.
Example: Hiring an Employee
Accounting is the core of your company's financial management. So, in the next section we'll plunge into the bookkeeping process. Let's go!
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