Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: December 3rd, 2020
Guest post by Parag Patel
Doing business in the digital age comes with many benefits, including technological advances that simplify complex or tedious tasks. One of the best examples of this is automated financial technology. This includes AI-driven automation advancements in bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll administration, financial planning and analysis, and more.
Intelligent financial platforms like these have risen in availability and popularity over the last several years, but many companies are still behind in implementing financial automation as it can be difficult to make big changes to core operations. However, it doesn’t have to be. The following paragraphs will outline five key ways in which financial automation can improve your business, making it a worthwhile investment to consider.
Benefits of financial automation technology
1. Improve productivity
The number one benefit of implementing financial automation is an immediate improvement in productivity. Automating high volume, repetitive business tasks that involve processing data, like bookkeeping, accounts receivable, payroll administration and more will save your business both time and money. Simply put, with the implementation of automated software and services your finance department will be able to process more work, but in less time and with less overhead.
2. Refocus skilled staff on strategic work
With the time freed up by the productivity improvements mentioned above, businesses can refocus their skilled staff on work that adds more value to the company, rather than tedious, repetitive tasks.
For example, instead of having your talented finance team spending time chasing down late bill payments or processing payroll, you can automate these tasks and shift their focus to responsibilities that require more critical and creative thinking and will propel your company forward.
3. Reduce human error
Another key benefit of financial automation is the reduction of human error. It’s a simple fact that the more manual a process is, the more prone it is to mistakes. In the case of a business’ finances, a human error can result in delayed cash flow, time wasted, and distortions to the financial health of the company. Leveraging financial automation technology is guaranteed to improve accuracy throughout your finance department.
4. Improve cash flow
In short, financial automation helps businesses get paid and pay their own bills faster, which means having a more accurate understanding of cash flow each month. Technological advances in the accounts receivable and accounts payable fields are primary drivers for this benefit.
Utilizing automated accounts receivable platforms results in a streamlined invoicing process that reduces compliance and administrative issues that commonly delay payments. On the flip side, accounts payable automation allows companies to process and pay their own invoices seamlessly and in a timely manner.
5. Build better customer relationships
Financial automation inevitably means moving processes online. That translates into customers having access to important information, such as invoices and transaction histories, and the ability to execute important actions, like bill payment, at the touch of a button. This results in a convenient and straightforward user experience which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and, ultimately, better customer retention.
Additionally, as outlined above, automation improves productivity and efficiency. The time and overhead savings you find in your finance department can mean more resources going towards nurturing current customer relationships and taking a proactive approach to new client acquisition.
Taking the first step towards financial automation
If your curiosity into financial automation is piqued but you’re unsure of the next steps, my best piece of advice is to select one area of focus and conduct a cost analysis to uphold your status quo. Having a smaller target for improvement will be less overwhelming than trying to overhaul an entire finance department and the cost analysis will be crucial as you price out different automation solutions.
Oftentimes, businesses start their automation journey with more repetitive processes such as invoice processing and bill payment, rather than more complicated tasks like financial planning and analysis, because they result in a quick return on investment. In fact, an Invoiced study found automated accounts receivable and automated accounts payable technology have the highest adoption rates among financial automation at 49 percent and 47 percent respectively, and also earned the highest satisfaction levels among those using them.
Overall, investing in financial automation technology will save your business time and money, give you a competitive edge and help you create a better customer experience. So the question is not whether you should implement it, but rather when will you take the leap?
Parag Patel is Co-Founder & COO of Invoiced, a leading Accounts Receivable Automation platform. Parag teamed with co-founder Jared King in 2014 to help the popular platform make the transition from breakthrough product to category-leading company. With thousands of clients around the world now relying on Invoiced for billing, collections, and payment acceptance, Parag leads Invoiced’s customer care organization including professional services, customer success, and support.