Change is normally looked at in a negative light. People become stuck in their ways, develop routines, become accustomed to certain things but the truth of the matter is that sometimes change is good. Finance is the oldest department known to man. The concept of trading something for another dates back as far as homo sapiens’ existence, but why do our current finance processes have to stay in the ice-age as well?
Within finance departments, this conundrum is evident in tedious processes such as data entry and reconciliation. As of 2018, a Mckinsey survey revealed only 13% of CFO’s are using automation software in their department. Why is this the case? 100’s of hours per employee are wasted on repetitive tasks with 40% of workers claiming at least a quarter of their workweek is spent on data entry. The evidence is there, it is indisputable, so why has nothing changed?
The Benefits of Automation
Automation is fraught with benefits and the numbers don’t lie. Of those who adopted automation software, they enjoyed a 91% increase in the capacity to handle volumes, an 85% increase in new revenue sourcing, and a 91%increase in employee attention due to tasks being less repetitive and more interesting.
CFO’s are aware of the technologies available to assist their departments but never cared to adapt due to the hardships of implementation. But now, for the first time, finance departments are being forced to revamp operations and processes due to the current economic landscape, and the time for change is now. Time is of the essence, with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on multiple industries, and the need for fast decision making and even faster reporting processes is the catalyst.
Past issues with Adoption
Finance deals with information from every and all departments, it is the information nexus, the mitochondria of the business cell. It consists of multiple moving parts that are manually sewed together to create a tapestry for management in an attempt to derive actionable insights. This process of data consolidation and interpretation is timely, fraught with inaccuracies, and not sustainable in the years to come. Data is flooding in by the terabyte and this is only increasing. We have more data than ever before, so how can the method used to decipher the data stay the same?
The struggle is real for finance teams trying to keep up using spreadsheets and manual methods so what is holding them back? Some of the main concerns as explained by Businesswire when researching the adoption of new technologies included data privacy, deployment, lack of relevant skills and talent as well as employee resistance. But do employees know that automation will eliminate up to 40% of grunt work, also known as transactional account work?
The Technologies Revamping Finance
The proof is in the pudding and here are the technologies you need to know about to catapult your finance department and business into the 21st century.
UI path is a robotic process automation software helping companies to keep their compliance operations costs low and meet their regulatory requirements in half the time. They do this by helping businesses capitalize on RPA investments allowing them to break free from previous limitations. UI path uses intelligent technology instead of manual efforts to achieve compliance productivity as well as leveraging the digital workforce to reduce manual errors allowing finance teams to focus on investigation and analysis.
Monday a team collaboration software allowing finance teams to easily stay informed with updates, deadlines, and eliminate the need for copious email threads. Utilizing this collaboration software provides all members of the finance team the ability to understand accounts in real-time and provide stakeholders a 360-degree view of the department’s progress. It is now easy to track problems, who are dealing with them, and whether or not they have been resolved.
DataRails is an augmented intelligence platform designed to uncover actionable insights by preparing and analyzing financial analytics for real results. Their platform takes existing excel spreadsheets and integrates with other platforms throughout a business such as GL, ERP, and CRM data. It takes this data and transforms it into to create a clear visualization of business health to assist in decision making across an organization.
Quickbooks is an accounting software changing the way expenses, invoices, reports, and more are tracked and executed. It provides a cloud-based platform to organize financial data from across the company into one unified interface. It provides resources for inventory management, accounting reports, and project profitability assisting accountants and bookkeepers alike.
It is time to adopt technology and leave time-consuming, manual processes behind. Embrace automation, revamp processes to expedite operations, and be the first of the 87% to give you and your organization a competitive edge now and in the years to come.