Many business finance and accounting processes can be complicated and time-consuming. These processes are required to ensure the proper tracking and management of business funds. In the past, there was no other option other than to do these complex tasks by hand; times have changed, and technology has become intelligent enough to automate many of these processes. Automation can reduce errors, make things quicker, and save finance and accounting specialists time. In this article, we take a look at some of the finance and accounting processes that can be improved with automation.
Paying employees on time is a basic requirement for businesses to retain their employees. Businesses that fail to do this will have very high turnover rates and struggle to employ new staff members. As companies grow and take on more employees, manually paying everyone becomes time-consuming and almost impossible. Automated payroll ensures that employees’ basic needs are met; they’re paid on time and the correct amount of money. This allows the finance department to spend more time on strategies to improve the business’s financial situation.
Managing a business requires the finance and accounting team to take care of accounts payable. This is money that the company owes to suppliers for goods and services. Often suppliers will become frustrated with a slow accounts payable team that doesn’t pay them on time. This can strain relationships and eventually lead to suppliers only providing goods and services to businesses if they pay upfront, completely removing the credit period. An automated accounts payable system will ensure each supplier is paid on time by streamlining the entire process. In addition, it can help to manage cash flow in the business by not prematurely paying suppliers if the company needs to hold onto the money to pay other essential costs such as payroll.
Month-end financial close
The month-end financial close is an integral part of an accountant’s job role. When each month ends, accountants need to ensure that all of the payments are allocated correctly, and all financial transactions are accounted for accurately. Many stakeholders put pressure on the accounting team to deliver the month-end financial statements quickly. This information can be used to help with the planning and forecasting for the following months. By automating month-end financial close, businesses can respond more quickly to stakeholders’ need for up-to-date financial information. If the accounting team rushes, this process mistakes are more likely to occur. Automation can reduce the likelihood of mistakes and allow more time for accountants to scrutinise the numbers and come up with strategies to improve the business’s financial situation.
Procurement is the department in a company that deals with purchasing goods and services for the business. A lot of paperwork is involved as part of the procurement process, including the invoice process, purchase order process and approval of invoices. Many of these processes can be automated to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This is especially important if the business has a large and complex procurement department dealing with several suppliers. When automating procurement, employees can focus on maintaining and developing relationships with current and new suppliers rather than being consumed with large amounts of paperwork for every individual purchase.
One pivotal part of a business is managing an order from the time the company receives it right up until the product or service is delivered. This process will vary depending on the business and the products or services that the company provides. Automated order processing will provide the same streamlined experience for each customer. This can be highly beneficial and encourage customers to return. In addition to being consistent, automated order processing is often designed to be transparent for the customer. Automatic updates detailing the stage the order is currently at can be built into the system. This can reduce the number of customers calling up to find out information about the status of their order. In addition, most customers expect this level of service when buying from a large company. When they don’t get the service they’re used to, they may leave a poor review online, which can discourage other customers from making a purchase.