Among all the business operations that faced drastic changes due to the pandemic, Finance teams were among the worst affected due to the increased distance and lack of communication among employees. Despite all the added hardships, Finance teams evolved to help keep their companies afloat. Unfortunately, this meant that they’d have to take on a lot of additional responsibilities.
As a business owner, you might be wondering:
How do I enable my Finance team to achieve office-level productivity from home?
We’ve crafted this quick read to help you answer this question. We also delve into the various process improvements your Finance teams can pursue and how automation will ease their workload while adding a layer of efficiency and accuracy to it. Let’s begin.
What are financial process improvements?
Any improvement made to any existing financial process or workflow is known as a financial process improvement.
Listed below are some of the most commonly pursued process improvements:
- Automation of laborious low-impact tasks with technology.
- Improving data accuracy by eliminating human intervention for data entry.
- Ensuring financial goals always correlate with business needs.
- Ensuring broken workflows and processes are optimized to boost productivity during remote work.
What financial processes usually benefit from automation?
Accounts Payable and Receivable
- Enables your Finance teams to manage invoices from a single tool.
- Lets your teams set up automated reminders for recurring payments instead of reminding vendors through emails.
- Teams can easily store and retrieve expense receipts within a secure cloud platform, ensuring they’re always audit-ready.
- With an expense management software, your Finance teams can effortlessly collaborate with all other employees despite the physical distance in between.
- It drastically reduces the number of back and forths between your employees and Finance teams for clarifications regarding expense reports.
- The robust policy engine of an expense report software enables Finance teams to create custom business rules per your organization’s needs. Additionally, this ensures that all submitted reports comply with company policies.
- An expense software gives Finance teams complete control and visibility into expense management and ensures that no fraudulent reports get by. This keeps expense fraud at bay.
- Lets your Finance teams set up automated calculations for repeated payments like salaries, commissions, raises, benefits, and more.
- All new employees are added instantly to the payroll system, and all approvers get real-time notifications of all actions.
- A payroll processing software makes your entire payroll workflow an easy one-click wonder.
How does automation improve your Finance team’s productivity?
“The average employee spends 70% of their time every day doing tasks that can be automated” – Gartner Report.
If employees resist automation, it’s most likely because they think that automation is after their jobs. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception that business leaders must resolve to help their employees understand that automation tools won’t replace them but rather help them do their tasks better.
We’ve listed four significant ways in which automation can enable your business to scale despite these testing times. We’ve taken the example of expense management automation for this. Let’s dive in!
- Enables executives to make financially backed decisions
All available data from various sources like cash flow statements, income statements, or overall expense management helps business leaders better understand the company’s financial situation on a real-time basis.
This gives business leaders and Finance teams the correct information to pinpoint all the various risks that threaten the organization’s financial situation. In addition, this enables businesses to create mitigation measures before any of these predicted risks become apparent.
- Boosts data accuracy by reducing manual errors
While Finance teams may ignore simple data entry errors, remember that numerous such mistakes are going to cost your business large sums of money in the long run. Furthermore, this could jeopardize your organization’s financial health if left unnoticed. This is where an automation tool like an expense reimbursement software comes into play.
By automatically extracting data from receipts using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, the software automatically auto-fills relevant fields into an expense report, eliminating all manual or intentional errors. In addition, the software comes with a detailed digital audit trail that documents all actions taken on an expense report. It also has a real-time policy engine that checks and ensures only compliant, error-free reports get by—all this and more, with no additional time or resources wasted on mundane tasks.
- Keeps expense fraud at bay through automated compliance
Expense management is a dicey game. While some employees may unintentionally make simple errors, others may use this loophole to make a few extra bucks. In addition, some employees have been seen using fraudulent methods such as duplicate or fake receipts or misrepresented numbers to increase reimbursements. This will increase the workload of your Finance teams and make it difficult for them to weed out all of these reports manually.
Thus, businesses can consider using an expense software to overcome these challenges without exhausting Finance horsepower. This would free up time for your employees and ensure your business never comes under the IRS radar for anything fishy.
“Automation tools enable organizations to save around $878,000 every year.” – Gartner Report.
Businesses can turn any week-long process into a one-click wonder through automation. When processes like payments, data entry, and expense reporting are automated, Finance teams are left with enough time to dedicate to other high-priority tasks. They can also benefit from 100% control and visibility into all things expenses, automated compliance, and more!
As the remote landscape continues to change, business leaders need to reevaluate whether they’ve empowered their Finance teams enough to let them scale.
To be on top of company-wide expenses, your Finance teams would need to know all the upcoming changes in national and international laws while also having insights into real-time financial data.
Remember that while multiple software can help you with automation, ensure you test-run various choices before you pinpoint one that perfectly suits your Finance team’s needs.