How CFO Services Group Overcame Tribal Knowledge With Effective Documentation
Manny Cosme is the president and chief executive officer of CFO Services Group, a management accounting firm. Part of his responsibilities is to help small businesses streamline their bookkeeping and accounting needs. Doing these tasks was easier in the early stage of the business. But as the company grew, capturing the nuances of each client became difficult, especially in the absence of a standardized workflow.
Manny began documenting his processes in a Microsoft Word document to provide his staff with all the information they needed, but the documentation was ineffective in enhancing their performance. Convinced that there was a better system to cater to his business needs, he embarked on a Google search for the solution.
His effort paid off as he found SweetProcess. Manny shares his experience of using SweetProcess to train his employees and simplify the operations at CFO Services Group in this case study.
About CFO Services Group
CFO Services Group is a financial institution that offers accounting services to small businesses and nonprofits. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization services clients across the United States with the best strategies to manage their finances.
Founded in 2012, the team at CFO Services Group adopts a customer-centric approach to protect the interest of their clients.
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The Challenge of Managing Growth
The backend accounting work is a lot to handle for many businesses. Manny and his team do all the accounting paperwork for businesses allowing business owners to focus on their areas of expertise. Employees at CFO Services Group must have access to the right information and expertise as the slightest error could cause huge financial damage to their client’s businesses.
As the organization grew in client size, it became more difficult to transfer expert knowledge to newly hired employees. If team members weren’t asking questions about what to do, there was a high chance that they were doing the wrong thing.
“When we were a smaller business, and there’s only a handful of us, it was so much easier for me to train someone and explain to them what to do, and then I’d be able to go back and double-check work. But as we grew, that became harder to do. I was looking forward to somewhere I could just put information so they could read it, train themselves, and then have checklists that they can use to do their own quality control work,” Manny explains.
There was also the challenge of offering standard customized services to cater to the specific needs of businesses for the highest value.
“We do bookkeeping for small organizations and businesses. As much as we like to standardize most of the work that we do, every client has some little nuances. It was becoming difficult to capture those nuances and then transfer that knowledge to someone else working on the account, so that was one of the major emphases for looking for a system that we could just document all this stuff,” he further reveals.
Implementing SweetProcess as a Better Option
Having identified the documentation problems in his business, Manny was clear that he needed an effective workflow software to document his processes and train his employees more efficiently. So, he took it upon himself to search for the right tool and stumbled upon SweetProcess in his search.
“I did a Google search for an operations manual and it popped up and I said, ‘Oh, it’s interesting. Let me check this out.’ That was a few years ago and I have not looked back since.”
Before discovering SweetProcess, Manny was convinced that there was a solution better than the Microsoft Word document he was using to document his processes. SweetProcess proved that he was right all along. According to Manny, SweetProcess was amazing.
“I was like, there has to be a better system for this. When I looked at SweetProcess, it literally did everything that I wanted. I was like, this is amazing. This is exactly what I need to just make this process so much easier.”
The Benefits of Using SweetProcess at CFO Services Group
SweetProcess is an essential part of the business operations at CFO Services Group; they use it for almost everything. Manny has earned himself the title King of SweetProcess because he always references the system.
“My team jokes that I’m the King of SweetProcess because [in response to] everything that they say I’m always like, ‘Did you check SweetProcess first? It’s probably in there,” Manny says.
Let’s look at some specific ways Manny and his team have benefited from using SweetProcess.
1. Employee Onboarding and Training
Onboarding new employees has never been easier at CFO Services Group. Before using SweetProcess, the team would spend a long time trying to bring new employees up to speed. But it’s a totally different story today, thanks to SweetProcess.
“It’s so much easier. We can actually train a new employee within two weeks now, from the time that they start day one. It’s just them shadowing and looking at what we’re doing and then week two is them doing it on their own using SweetProcess as a guide. By the end of week two, everyone has been trained.”
The employee training feature in SweetProcess isn’t limited to text. The team uses other options, including videos, to create training materials.
“Being able to add videos and video tutorials and whatnot is really helpful. And of course, being able to create past lists from processes is super, super helpful,” Manny reveals excitedly.
2. Effective Task Management
Employees perform different tasks in the overall workflow. The ability to delegate tasks and provide team members with the specific information they need, instead of having them look through an entire document, saves time. Manny leverages this feature in SweetProcess to better manage tasks among his team.
“One thing is being able to give people access to certain parts of the OPS manual. I have an administrative team, a sales and marketing team, and an accounting team. Not one person needs access to all this information. It’s overkill.”
SweetProcess also helps Manny give his team members just the right information they need. He can control the information that goes out, especially when it’s confidential.
“Being able to give people specific access to certain information was not only helpful to them, but also to me as a business owner to protect my proprietary information. No one has access to the entire piece of the puzzle other than me,” Manny states.
As an administrator, Manny can also grant team members access to edit their own processes, set review dates, and update the policies, processes, and procedures.
3. Comprehensive Documentation
The most effective processes are actionable with a step-by-step guide on how to get things done. Manny learned this the hard way when he was documenting his business processes in Microsoft Word documents. Since the system wasn’t specifically designed for documenting processes, it lacked the features for clarity.
“Before we went to SweetProcess, I was doing some documenting in a Word document. I had started to put some of this together, but of course, the challenges we started running into were like, who’s editing this thing? How do we know it’s been edited? Now, this thing is like 30 pages long, and it’s hard to find information,” Manny recalls.
SweetProcess has made their documentation much easier. It offers templates for creating the most comprehensive business processes, guiding users through each step.
“Let’s say we go into a webinar, for example, and there’s a checklist that says this is how we’re going to set up the webinar, and then after the webinar, this is the information we’re going to get. This is how it’s going to be passed over to the sales team, who then goes into prospecting, so all of that is laid out now. We have the assurance that these things are getting done. There’s no waste there,” Manny says.
4. Centralized Knowledge Base
Having a go-to resource for any piece of information they need to perform their tasks is every employee’s delight. It saves them the stress of not knowing what to do and running after other people to seek help.
Being able to create a knowledge base in SweetProcess where employees can find whatever information they need has been Manny’s biggest game-changer in using SweetProcess. He has more time on his hands to oversee the entire operations of the company because his team members can find the information they need to be efficient in their jobs.
“Running 16 employees with several different departments, I don’t do the day-to-day accounting work anymore. Now I manage the entire company. And so there are a lot of processes that we have for every single aspect of the business. Just knowing and ensuring that things aren’t going to slip through the cracks, and not only in our bookkeeping work but also in our CFO or our sales and marketing work,” Manny says.
Streamlining Your Operations Systematically
With first-hand experience in streamlining business operations, Manny is in a position to advise on how to go about it. So if you are looking to streamline your operations, Manny advises that you check out SweetProcess first. This is key because using the right software makes the task a lot easier. Once you implement SweetProcess, begin documenting your processes one after another.
“Take all those processes that you have in your head and start documenting them one by one. It took me years to build this thing that we have now. Start with one, and you will become addicted to it, and you will want to build out every process you have.”
Are you Ready to Improve Your Business Operations?
Getting your business from its current position to where you want it to be is a matter of taking the right action. When Manny noticed that documenting his business processes in Microsoft Word documents was doing more harm than good, he implemented a better system—SweetProcess. That single action has improved his operations and enhanced his employees’ performances.
If you are experiencing any difficulties with your current business processes, then documenting and streamlining them is the solution. SweetProcess is the right software for the job. It offers a 14-day free trial that allows you to understand how it works before you subscribe. You don’t need a credit card to sign up for the trial. So why don’t you check it out?