Seven Benefits of Finance Automation + One bonus perk that may prove to be the most valuable of all
The benefits of finance automation are manifold and include improved efficiency, accelerated productivity, reduced costs and increased profits, improved scalability, increased employee value, higher employee satisfaction and better data. But there is another benefit that goes beyond the income statement and direct to your company’s balance sheet: automation can increase the value of your business.
First, let’s walk through the more readily apparent benefits of automation in finance systems. These will contribute to what may be the most important reason to automate your company’s financials.
“Automation software tools provide several benefits to businesses,” said Keith Rathbun, managing director of Supporting Strategies. Rathbun’s firm provides accounting services to small businesses. He reflects, “After 25 years in the corporate world I am now finally seeing these (automation) tools, that were once only available to huge companies with huge software budgets, now available to small businesses.”
Rathbun also cited that many of these new tools are cloud-based, “which provides flexibility in who and where these processes can be performed and helps capture additional information on financial transactions that would normally require manual intervention.”
The Benefits of Finance Automation
Today’s most widely used finance automation tools are based on robotic process automation (RPA), which works by linking data between internal systems and/or through front end connections that receive inputs and translate them into software data entries. These systems read and write information the same way humans do, but with far fewer errors and much faster. Corporate finance departments are using RPA-based tools to reduce manual tasks by training software to interpret and input data into systems that manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, expense management, and other activities that once required human workers.
We humans are fallible creatures. We can be distracted by our coworkers or attempts to multi-task while making mindless data entries into systems. We can misread digits or mistype them. Software is far less prone to misread information, greatly reducing the number of potential errors in data entry. With RPA, systems only have to be programmed once and they run on the same set of rules every time.
Automation leads to cost savings in many ways. Increased automation means fewer human employees are required to perform manual tasks, and software is frequently a less expensive long-term alternative to paying employees to perform the work. Further, the increased efficiency and error reduction that comes with automation, errors are reduced. Not only are you less likely to make errors, stakeholder satisfaction will be increased through quicker and more accurate communication about their product(s) or engagement.