Support Learning and Insight

It’s more important than ever to understand the challenges facing financial executives. Support the Financial Education & Research Foundation today.

Technology Adra by Trintech

Move Your Finance Office From Manual to Modern

Sponsored by Adra by Trintech

6 reasons you should automate as many manual tasks as possible.

©ipopba/iStock/Getty Images Plus

As process automation becomes more commonplace in the marketplace, there are numerous studies that support its transformational benefits. Some research suggests that the transfer of repetitive tasks from workers to machines will elevate the skillset and value of the work people do. Conversely, some believe automation will eliminate certain jobs. Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, has an interesting perspective. He believes that automating routine, predictable tasks will help ease the effects of a tight labor market over the next decade. 

Workplace Automation

If your company is like others, process automation has become more adopted. Here are some examples of recent trends:

  • Your human resources department is spending more time finding the best employees and coming up with retention strategies and less time shuffling paper. It uses workflow management software to help onboard new employees, which ensures that the proper online forms are filled out and routed to the right people.
  • The procurement department had to hunt down four different general managers and ask for signatures when ordering new equipment. With approval management software, a simple “click” can start the approval process.
  • Your website uses customer support software to automatically notify customers when orders are confirmed and shipments are on their way.

All of the examples involve repetitive tasks and a series of predictable steps. Does your financial close still have repetitive and manual tasks? Are you leveraging highlighters to match reconciliations in spreadsheets? Does the finance team manually retrieve balances from the general ledger and carry forward information from prior periods? If these scenarios represent aspects of your financial close, your process may be too cumbersome. More time. More errors. Less accuracy.

As your business grows, manual tasks can slow down your effectiveness. The amount of work you’re doing in spreadsheets is overwhelming. Tracking changes is always difficult. The biggest challenge (data accuracy) has not been addressed. Moreover, if there are mistakes in your financial reporting your team’s ability to add value and be aligned to your company’s strategic goals and objectives become hampered.  

What You Stand to Gain from Automation

The goal must be to automate as many manual tasks as possible. Here are six good reasons why:

1. Quality and Consistency: Automation ensures that every action is performed identically, reducing the potential for errors.

2. Time savings: Automation reduces the number of tasks you and your employees have to perform manually, freeing up time to focus on more strategic initiatives.

3. Improved efficiency: Automation reduces the time it takes to perform a task, cuts down on errors and standardizes best practices.

4. Improved governance: Automation minimizes compliance risk because every action executed by the software is logged and thus auditable.

5. Reduced costs: Automation allows you to accomplish more using fewer resources. Do more with less. 

6. Scalability: Automation eliminates manual processes that won’t reliably scale as your business grows.

Technology is not just for tech companies. The cloud has especially been a godsend for small-to mid-sized business. Software solutions that were previously cost-prohibitive are now cost-effective with the use of the cloud. The financial close is the ultimate collaboration project. It requires the management of a variety of resources, tasks, data sources and files across multiple roles. The process has to be highly disciplined and well-coordinated from start to finish. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly communicated. Performance has to be closely monitored for the successful creation of accurate and timely financial statements for internal and external stakeholders.

Ready to achieve financial harmony through automation? See how Adra is helping its customers do just that.