6 Tips to Help You Navigate Your Finance Automation Journey
The Finance Organization is finally having its technology moment. Up until recently, its tech stack lagged behind sales and other key areas, but the COVID-19 pandemic — and now the effects of the Great Resignation — has put significant pressure on organizations to focus more attention on automating finance and accounting tasks through the many digital finance tools now available to them.
But even though the desire to automate is there and budget dollars are finally earmarked for it, many companies still find the journey to finance automation difficult to navigate. In fact, during the webinar Best Practices for Automating Back Office Accounting Operations that featured Tesorio, 81% of participants said digital transformation was going to be either extremely (24%), very (33%), or moderately important (24%) for their finance organization in 2022.
This is not surprising when you consider the hours they still spend using Excel each week:
· 0: 1%
· 1-5: 21%
· 6-10: 23%
· 10+: 55%
Or when you see how many tools are currently in their finance tech stack:
· 0: 33%
· 1-5: 52%
· 6-10: 9%
· 10+: 5%
For all those struggling with finance automation, try using these six tips, identified during the webinar:
1. Start the Journey Early.
According to Mark Simon, VP of Strategy at Celigo, a company is never too small to question whether there is a better way to perform business processes and consider automating them. He also notes that just the act of automating helps you refine your business processes and ultimately build stronger organizational muscles.
2. Identify Your Pain Points.
Knowing which processes to automate first often stymies companies. One way to counter that is to look at where your most valuable people spend the most time and how that accumulates in a day, week, or month. Another way is to focus on what will make the most impact on your cash inflows and outflows. Young companies tend to have more cash going out than coming in, so automating accounts payable and payroll might be an ideal starting point. For companies that are quickly growing their customer base, automating accounts receivable can help manage that growth without the need to add more finance staff.
3. Think about Integration.
“There is a proliferation of SaaS applications and they’re amazing,” says Simon. “But if you don’t integrate them, you create a new problem for yourself because your data is siloed in these individual systems.”
4. Automate for Outcomes.
“You don’t want to just take the old, offline processes and force them into a digital tool in order to automate,” Tesorio’s CEO Carlos Vega told webinar participants. Instead, think beyond a particular workflow process and focus on what you’re ultimately trying to achieve through that process, i.e., better cash flow performance, and then automate for that goal.
5. Challenge Assumptions.
Don’t be afraid to question current processes. Being an honest critic helps push you to figure out when and how to improve through automation.
6. Consider Implementation.
Choosing digital finance tools that can be easily and quickly implemented by the very people who will be using them helps speed up your digital transformation. This is especially important for companies that are short on business system resources.
Want to find out how Tesorio’s cash flow performance platform could enhance your finance tech stack? Request a demo today.