The Art of Automating Your Processes

automate expenses

Let’s face it – every finance department out there is in the same boat. We’re all pressed for time, trying to reduce costs and maximise output.

The real art is to balance the traditional way of cutting overhead and generating revenue with new ways of automating tedious and costly Business as Usual processes. Automating these tasks will not only reduce costs, but also boost efficiency in your finance department as well as your organisation overall.

Here are 3 reasons why you should focus on investing in automation:

  1. Your systems aren’t talking to each other?
    Are any of your finance systems integrated with each other? The most common answer to this question is that only a couple of them are integrated; each system normally requires a separate workflow. This lack of integration is a common occurrence in most finance departments, and some employees even manually create spreadsheets to act as the glue binding all systems together.The lack of integration between your financial systems is costing your organisation more time and money than you think. Do you recognise this scenario? Charlie Parker, an employee in a large company, goes out and buys a printer for $210 on his corporate credit card. A couple of days later an invoice appears for the same purchase in the AP department. However, the AP department does not know of this purchase, as it has not yet been reconciled in the company’s Expense Management System by Charlie. This results in the invoice being paid – twice. Investing in better system integration is really a no-brainer!
  2. Whoa! It takes 5 minutes to do what?
    Your systems are definitely in need of an overhaul if small and simple tasks actually take longer than necessary. Let’s say, for example, an employee of yours has bought a coffee whilst on a business trip – total cost $5 – and it took a total of 5 minutes to reconcile this expense in your Expense Management System. If you have stumbled upon similar tasks, this is definitely a red flag for change. Most commonly, the lack of user friendliness and simplicity in your finance systems is a root cause in simple tasks taking much longer than necessary. This means that the automation process in place just isn’t good enough.A key criteria for choosing great IT finance solutions should be to look at how user friendly it is, as this make tasks easier for your employees, resulting in time reduction.
  3. You have how many spreadsheets?
    All organisations do it – including ourselves. We’ve all got a spreadsheet hidden somewhere on our desktop! Ultimately, the need for producing spreadsheets comes down to our brilliant organisational and structural traits, but also because the finance system that you have in place just isn’t giving you the sufficient data that you need, resulting in manual data entry and yet another spreadsheet. Finding a system that has automated reporting capabilities, coupled with the data that you need, is vital. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your valuable time on extracting data into yet another (unnecessary) spreadsheet. We’re always curious to hear about any great stories that you have about automation of systems in your organisation. Share stories in the comment field below.


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