By adopting software that automates tedious accounting processes, accountants and bookkeepers can streamline operations, cut costs, and reduce tasks that waste time and cause frustration.
While old-school processes and spreadsheets get the job done, they tend to be time-consuming and often do not provide visibility into your spending. And when these processes are slow and menial, it can add to the tasks that you already juggle with. Constant sifting through paperwork also makes the entire process error-prone. For example, even if your supplier invoices have no calculation mistakes, you can still make mistakes while manually transferring information from the invoices to your accounting system.
According to PwC’s Finance Benchmarking Report 2019-20, 30-40% of time can be reduced with finance automation and behaviour change. Automation software helps to unlock the full potential of accountants, bookkeepers, and finance teams. These tools take away the most manual parts of their daily work. For example, help with the number crunching and tracking and removing the less efficient aspects. This leaves more time for data analysis, strategy, and human interactions, especially with clients. With accurate, updated data on hand, they can become the trusted business partners and advisors their clients need.
The most tangible benefit of adopting automation is the amount of time it saves. By adopting automation you can either reduce the time spent or eliminate manual data completely and hence will have more time on your hands.
For accountants, automation is the greatest time-saver, especially during financial closing. If your team has been using these tools properly, your information should be updated across the board. The majority of the data should have been checked, copied, and can be easily exported to your accounting tools. Manual tasks that originally take days or weeks can be done within minutes.
With time savings, you can do more important and value-adding tasks.
Automation tools open up more time for you to do what you should be doing - to guide and advise your clients towards better financial health. And you can now do this more frequently, for more clients.
For example, you can fully focus on preparing your client’s business plan, cash-flow projections, budgets, and trading forecasts and also provide insights like key cost areas and methods for cost reduction.
In a survey of more than 1,100 C-level executives and finance professionals globally, an estimated 70% mentioned that they made a significant business decision based on inaccurate financials. 41% blamed this on manual data inputting and 56% highlighted the issues of no automated controls and checks and labor-intensive data extract processes
It is only human to make mistakes. Machines do too, however, machines are less likely to commit small computing errors. Automation tools can process thousands of entries in seconds, with a reduction in real risk that the data will be mishandled.
Manually keying in bills and supplier invoices limits the real-time visibility of expenses—the insights that are gathered after extracting data from various sources could be from days to weeks ago because of the time required to consolidate the data. To be updated on when and where your client’s spending goes, your team would need days to go through the records and generate reports. To make quick, informed decisions to guide your clients on their spending, you should be able to analyse and visualise data as early as possible. Managing these manually affects data accuracy and limits how much visibility you have.
Secure file cloud storage and data retrieval
Especially with cloud technology, every single document is accessible to you no matter where you are. There’s no need to rifle through the filing cabinet or go down the hall to a storage cupboard.
You can now take all your important data with you everywhere you go and retrieve them since they’re stored securely on the cloud. If you need to quickly check your invoices or need a quick rundown of how much has been spent. Better yet, if you manage multiple accounts, these tools allow for easy management across different clients so you do not have to flip through thick files to find what you need for each of them.
The more you can digitize company processes, the better you’re able to use these solutions together. For example, by having your automation tools integrate with your accounting platform, which also receives information from your spend management software, and so on.
This reduces the need to transfer information from one tool to the next, eliminates errors through double entries and you can easily access accurate data in real-time across all platforms.
Automation tools save you time, avoid costly errors, and keep all important data at your fingertips. Besides making quicker decisions, these reports allow you to better advise your clients to find cheaper vendors and negotiate better deals and discounts with them. It also becomes much easier to track all of your client’s business spendings.
Take FoodRazor’s invoice management and digitisation technology as an example, it greatly reduces accountants and bookkeepers workload by automatically processing and managing supplier invoices. With that time saved, they can now focus on providing actionables and advice for their clients especially with the spending reports and dashboards that are readily available through the software.
When used efficiently, automation tools can truly eliminate all of the tedious and frustrating parts, leaving room for better strategy, good communication, and advisory.