Ten ways to automate your finance team

18th Sep 2020
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Automation does not remove humans from the process – it empowers them. To automate your finance department is to let the machines carry out the tedious and repetitive work. With less time executing manual processes, your finance team can focus on the activities that matter most to your organisation, driving the productivity to meet your business objectives.

With this in mind, here are the top ten ways to automate your finance department.

1. Bank Integration

Arguably the single greatest benefit of financial automation, integrated bank statements automatically generate cashbook journals based on the statement text. In turn, these transactions are automatically reconciled with the bank.

For payments, a bank integration removes the necessity to upload a BACS file to your bank, saving time and increasing security. As the system knows what it’s paying, it automatically posts the cashbook payments and reconciles those invoices on the supplier ledger.

2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR technology reduces the amount of manual data entry required for purchase invoices. If purchase orders aren’t being used, smart systems apply machine learning to predict GL analysis, based on former behaviour.

Where necessary, OCR technology goes one step further and reads the company registration number on an invoice. By doing this, a supplier is automatically set up with an out-of-the-box integration with Companies House.

3. Expenses Module

With a modern expense module, a finance department doesn’t need to manually enter each transaction into the system. Furthermore, mobile-friendly systems enable managers to approve expenses on the go and let end-users easily and efficiently submit their expenses by taking a picture of the receipt.

4. Cloud-based Integrations

With a ‘true cloud’ finance system, everyone uses the same server. You only need one integration between two systems to serve thousands of customers and users. For cost-effective, reliable integrations – think cloud.

5. Re-occurring Invoices

Automated re-occurring invoices are not limited to sending out the same invoice each month. Even if you invoice the same customer, but bill them in a different amount, smart systems generate draft invoices thus filling out 90% of the work. As a result, you only change what is necessary.

6. Workflow

Automatically send the right information to the right people with a supplier and purchase order workflow. Electronic approvals give your organisation oversight of the entire approval process. Plus, purchase order accruals can automatically be made at the point the goods are received by the organisation.

7. Automated Debt Chasing

Debt chasing may always require an element of human intervention, but automated reminder letters help sort the wheat from the chaff.

8. Automated Re-allocations

Month-end tasks often involve routine reallocations. However, a task that is the same each month is always a candidate for automation, and monthly reallocations are no different.

9. Automated Prepayments and Accruals

When posting a transaction, a modern finance system can automatically prepay and release invoices. Additionally, it can automatically accrue invoices received after month-end, but before the period close. This level of automation removes the need to manually prepay and accrue transactions each month.

10. Automated Upgrades

With ‘true cloud,’ every user sits on the same server, so everybody receives software updates instantly and seamlessly with zero work required on the client-side. With a highly configurable system and no custom code, you get a cutting-edge accounting system that’s always running on the latest technology. Spend less time crossing your fingers whenever there’s an upgrade.

Summary

It’s important to remember that digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. As organisations change, technology adapts. The most successful employers are those who continue to invest in the technology that enables them to achieve their business objectives. By choosing to automate your finance department, you are choosing to unlock your employees’ full potential.

Find out more about how Xledger can help you maintain the same efficiency in the office - anywhere, anytime. Request a demo and we'll go through the functionalities in Xledger that are important to your company. Your demo will take 20 minutes.