Finance Automation Can Save Your Department by Kicking Out Chaos

Jeremy Francis

October 18th, 2018 finance process  

Accounting and financial process management are arguably two of the toughest professional areas in terms of job pressure and work-related stress. Keeping up with the ever-flowing stream of data and numbers leaves even the best accountants tired and dreary.

Why?

Because managing the daily flow of expenses across an organization requires a lot of know-how, mental ability, pressure-handling capabilities, and commitment to 13- or 14-hour days on a regular basis. Bookkeeping and other financial responsibilities today involve much more than complicated math; accountants need to stay on top of changing international financial standards, floating exchange rates, multiple spreadsheets controlled by multiple stakeholders, as well as strategic executive decisions that need to be made instantly.

Finance process automation is the answer, and organizations across the world are realizing the need to automate financial process management.

What Is Finance Automation?

Finance automation is the use of automation technology to process finance-related business tasks with minimal manual intervention. Logic-based decisions and approvals can be taken over by finance automation, as can calculations and ledger maintenance.

Finance automation helps free up finance department executives to make key strategic decisions that require human experience, intuition, and decision-making abilities.

Another benefit is that automation has been known to improve accuracy. Considering that two-thirds of 751 accounting professionals (according to this survey) rely on error-prone spreadsheets, it’s time to automate financial processes.

The Traditional Approach Isn’t Working

Outside of automation in finance, operations are usually run following the R2R model, a process that covers tasks from Record to Report. With traditional accounting systems, tasks like balance sheets are a pain to execute to perfection. Each line represents hundreds or thousands of transactions, which are recorded manually on spreadsheets by harried executives.

What’s more, the bulk of this gets done towards the end of each month, making it a massive workload with very, very tight deadlines.

The end results are prone to the sloppiness of manual error, misfiled reports, and calculations going haywire because someone made a basic mistake on the monthly expenses spreadsheet.

The Role of Automation in Finance and Accounting

Finance automation doesn’t mean having to hire robots in place of accountancy graduates! This exaggerated example is actually a big misconception that finance automation is somehow a threat to jobs. In fact, automation serves as an auxiliary solution, helping bring efficiency and productivity into an existing financial system.

In addition, finance processes can use a number of insights into decision-making. For example, insurance companies can incorporate details like credit scores and loan history to decide how risky a particular client is, and make automated payout decisions.

There’s no denying the major role that will be played by automation in finance. Here’s what business experts interviewed by Business Insider have to say:

David Reilly, CTO at Bank of America, believes that finance automation will “change how we insure property, loan money, invest money, deliver technology, write research reports, and what professionals in financial services do every day.”

The CEO of online lender MoneyLion predicts that “what was once a sit-down conversation between a client and their personal private banker might now be accessible through a mobile app to broad audiences, 24/7.”

Key Candidates for Finance Automation

Here are some great examples of automated financial systems when you break them down into processes.

Budget Approvals

Approvals are usually time-consuming. Studies show that almost 20% of any week is wasted in looking for internal information. That’s 8 hours, or a full workday.

Finance automation here means using rule-based logic to automatically make decisions based on parameters you set. Finance automation for budget approvals can route each approval request, and send stakeholders mobile notifications for approvals.

Purchase Orders

Purchase orders are ripe for financial services automation too. Business users can use an automation-powered solution to generate these orders from any location. This will speed up the entire process across the organization. Both initiators and approvers can look up orders whenever they need to.

Like we’ve said here, the best systems can generate instant reports as well, allowing you to track, monitor, and analyze your business costs on the fly.

Capital Expenditures

CapEx, or Capital Expenditure, covers the whole range of expenses a company shells out to improve itself. These are mostly driven by the competition levelling up, or new tech trends that you need to stay ahead of. With both of these cases, speed is vital.

Finance process management takes care of this speed by optimizing and streamlining processes like capital expenditure approvals.

Invoice Processing

A lot of automation efforts are aimed at taking cumbersome paper trails off your hands, and replacing them with consistent, everyday efficiency. And that’s exactly why invoice processing takes to automation like a fish to water.

By automating tasks like recurring payments, periodic billing, and accounting, you take a load off your entire finance team’s shoulders. Since entire workflows are automated, you get to boost revenues through accurate insights. You can watch the exact metrics you need, and streamline all the necessary processes.

How KiSSFLOW Brings Automation to Finance

KiSSFLOW is a workflow automation tool that makes it easy for business users to create apps and automate financial processes.

You can use KiSSFLOW to implement automation in financial processes like Purchase Orders, Purchase Requisitions, Invoice Processing, Travel Request Approvals, Asset Management (Fixed & Other), and Budget Approvals.

KiSSFLOW is the ideal way to wade into the finance automation waters and see how effective it can be for you. Try KiSSFLOW for free and see how much financial chaos you can crush!

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