Many companies are known for their logo, brand promises, cool product offerings, or incredible growth.
Behind these client-facing marketing messages lies the driving force of their business: the finance office.
The impact of an efficient, well-functioning finance office is significant internally and externally but is not always publicly acknowledged. Improvements in the back office increase revenue, decrease employee turnover, and improve workplace culture.
However, many businesses and their employees brush the importance of the finance office off because it lacks the glamor and visibility of other business functions and tends to include more tedious, mundane, and manual work.
While other business departments have quickly adapted to the digital transformation happening across the enterprise, finance has remained stuck in the past. A large majority of the corporate departments—from sales and marketing to human resources—have utilized innovative technology solutions to their advantage by dedicating the time they have saved through digital adoption to focusing on higher-level priorities.
Finance teams consistently waste time and resources on tedious, mundane tasks that would benefit from embracing digital solutions. If the finance office wants to drive growth for the company, it needs to start embedding automation.
Finance professionals face challenges in the back office daily. The overarching trend is that repetitive, manual work is ruining corporate finance. Our 2022 State of Automation in the Finance Office report showed precisely this.
The report found that while time spent on repetitive tasks is the top finance office challenge for professionals, time spent checking and updating data is a close second. One of the biggest obstacles the finance office has worked against is siloed and unstructured data.
To drive growth for the company, the finance team needs easily accessible data from all business departments. Accessing this siloed data, often riddled with human error resulting from manual input, leads to inaccuracies and inefficiencies in the finance office that uses this data for analytical and predictive insights.
Further, finance teams slow to implement technology into their processes are only falling more and more behind. Employees have begun to lose interest in routine jobs with repetitive work they have been stuck doing, like a person trapped in quicksand, executing the same task daily.
Long to-do lists include activities such as updating accounts, replying to questions, following up on payment status, paying bills, or processing invoices rather than activities that advance the business’s financial position, such as process improvements or visibility into cash performance.
So, the question is, what could be done?
Companies that understand the finance office requires constant improvement are the most successful ones. Without ongoing change and re-evaluation, finance teams will become stagnate.
CFOs and finance executives need to find solutions that get employees excited again. The solutions designed should increase the finance team’s speed, efficiency, and accuracy. Employees must be challenged to think critically and creatively to address high-level company issues.
It’s time to turn the finance office into a smart office.
Automation is the future of finance. The State of Automation report showed that the finance office is not sufficiently automated. Advanced technology has the potential to change that. Intelligent automation replaces manual and time-consuming finance, accounting, accounts payable, and accounts receivable processes.
When looking for an AI-based SaaS system, there are some things to remember when evaluating which system will be best to automate tasks.
Your automation system should:
Financial teams that embark on the journey to automating the repetitive, manual tasks will recover thousands of hours in lost time that were previously spent error checking, performing follow-ups, and entering data. AI and machine learning transform a finance office into a smart, autonomous financial back office ready to drive growth and increase value for the organization.
After surveying more than 650 finance professionals, it is safe to say that automation is here to stay. Learn more about Auditoria.AI’s 2022 State of Automation in the Finance Office Report by downloading the eBook today.
Auditoria promises finance teams that they can finally have an intelligent, autonomous finance back office ready for reality. Don’t let your finance back office be stagnant. It’s time to identify your back office's challenges and start embracing the future of automation in the finance office.