Five reasons why finance teams need to embrace automation
Automating some financial processes has long been a goal in business, and today it’s essential if you want to keep up with the competition. But just what is it that makes it so invaluable? What can it bring to your business that you don’t already have? When you take the leap and introduce financial automation software (link to financials) into your workplace, you’ll start seeing the benefits straight away – including the following:
Improved data integrity
As a rule, the less human interaction there is with your data, the less likely it is that errors will be made. When a piece of data is entered incorrectly into an automated system, it’s easy to track it through that system and resolve the problem, quickly identifying any further calculations it has affected and any reports that are inaccurate as a result. Standardisation of both input and output means that you’ll notice more quickly when something is wrong. Easy synchronisation of financial software with other systems you use reduces the risk of data corruption.
By reducing the need for manual processing, finance software significantly reduces the amount of time that employees need to spend on routine tasks and frees them up to make better use of their abilities. Routine activities such as managing payroll, sending and receiving invoices, and drafting MTD reports can be done automatically, while other procedures can be streamlined. Expenses software, for instance, needs manual input and approval but makes calculations and keeps files organised by itself.
Because fewer individuals need to interact with the system, it’s easier to prevent the leaking of sensitive data. This not only makes the company less vulnerable to corporate espionage, but it also helps to protect the privacy of employees, customers and clients. You can control exactly who has access to data at different stages of processing, and you can monitor which devices are used to access it. For instance, if several people are working on a project, you can have a pretty good idea as to who accessed the project financials within a given period.
Makes faster approvals possible
Manually entering inter-company approvals is a task that’s frequently lengthy and time-consuming, and requires all of the employee’s attention and focus. In companies that use manual processes, extremely long email chains often need to be checked and approved, with every action properly recorded. Automated processing helps companies by cutting down the time this takes, using keywords and fact-checking AI to verify that everything is correct. While record-keeping remains important to ensure the quality of the work, it requires no additional effort.
Using automatic financial processing enables every part of your financial management system to be connected, which helps you see the big picture in your company. This makes it easier to follow trends and identify areas where improvements can be made. It means that you can quickly identify who was responsible for any oddities in the data so you can direct queries appropriately, and it makes every aspect of auditing faster and easier. It significantly reduces the risk of fraudulent activity going unseen. More transparent processes are appealing to shareholders, reassuring them that everything in the organisation is above board.
Now that you understand why automation is so important, you won’t want to lose any time incorporating it into your business systems. It will enable your finance staff to shift their focus away from administration and onto the areas that really make a difference to your business: monitoring markets and competitors, identifying opportunities, and finding ways to make your money more productive. Their analytical skills will come to the fore and you’ll find out what they’re really capable of. With boredom commonly cited as a reason for changing jobs, this is likely to result in a happier, more engaged and more loyal workforce.
Although all new software requires a bit of adjustment, automating your financial processes is one of the easiest changes you’ll ever make. With improved data integrity, efficiency, security and transparency all on the table, it’s a change you’ll be very glad you made.
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