It’s no secret that automation is becoming an ever-important tool for businesses and their teams. Although the conversation is generally dominated by marketing and sales automation, some clear use cases are emerging for financial automation, making it a worthwhile exploration.
As companies expand and teams grow, manually keeping track of transactions, payments, and expenses becomes more challenging. Having a financial automation workflow can help alleviate many of these problems, enabling finance departments to dedicate more resources towards more pressing work.
If you think about the day-to-day work that financial departments are doing, this takes on more importance. Running through a typical to-do list for someone working in the finance department, it’s clear that automation can cross many of those things off in a fraction of the time it might take. It gives team members more time to focus on what’s needed without getting bogged down in administrative and manual processes.
This is the main reason why financial automation is becoming a fast priority for companies. It’s not just that it can save time (although that is a pretty big bonus!), but it’s also because it’s versatile enough that teams can apply it across various business functions.
Here are just a few areas where financial automation plays a massive role for departments.
One of the most challenging functions for finance departments is expense tracking and reconciliation. Finding receipts, matching them to transactions, and general expense tracking can be a time-consuming process.
Not only does it add to the administrative burden, but it also makes it difficult when trying to allocate revenue accordingly. Trying to budget while tracking and reconciling expenses becomes challenging and leads to more inaccuracies in future calculations.
Financial automation offers freedom from many of these time-consuming functions and removes much of the manual work that goes into it. Instead of chasing employees for receipts and missing transactions, the entire expensing process can become more streamlined.
For example, teams can use financial automation to create a seamless documentation process for expenses, allowing employees to add receipts to their requests. On-demand payments become easier to process and handle especially if teams can customize the workflow based on business needs. It also reduces the amount of time needed for bookkeeping and reconciliation overall while still giving team members complete oversight and control.
Between managing expenses, as discussed above, and outgoing payments, there are many ways that financial automation can ease the process. Finance departments often get stuck trying to track recurring payments, dormant accounts and streamline finances for the business. Subscriptions and payments are a significant part of day-to-day work that financial automation can reduce.
There are a few ways to do this, both from a granular level and a broader perspective. Looking at transactions and payments granularly, a financial automation solution can collect digital receipts for recurring payments such as SaaS subscriptions and match them to the correct form of payment. These receipts can be automatically imported and then routed to the relevant transaction quickly and hassle-free. That’s at least one item off the to-do list that can be automated!
On a broader level, financial automation brings a level of control that is otherwise difficult to establish. Because there is a lot of room to customize, departments have more freedom in creating automated notifications for transactions and payment reminders and what revenue is being spent on. Going back to the earlier point, combined with the expense intelligence financial automation provides, departments are better equipped for bookkeeping and financial reporting.
Another essential way financial automation helps businesses is through the sheer amount of data it provides. Rather than running manual reports and piece together unclear financial situations, departments have intelligence across spending and expenses like never before. This is a significant benefit for simple business functions and more complex issues that may arise.
Financial automation solutions can be incredibly useful for identifying duplicate payments, zombie subscriptions, and tracking employee expenses and spending. This form of payment intelligence helps companies uncover potential ways to save without exposing the business to failed payment risks.
Moreover, this type of solution is constantly collecting data, making it a crucial tool for finance teams looking to understand revenue streams and spending better. Through financial automation, companies can dive deep into spending patterns, suspicious transactions and look for ways to consolidate spending.
Through this type of financial data, companies have viable insight into spending and how to reduce it – not just in the short-term but also for long-term gain. Financial automation can spot gaps and areas of improvement far faster, making it an efficient solution that yields tangible results.
Ultimately, financial automation is an investment into the future. It isn’t something exclusive to large corporations and can be applied to small and medium businesses. As more companies move towards this trend, capitalizing early on is one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage.
Because with a financial automation solution, you start seeing results quickly. The data and intelligence it yields can help with data-driven decision-making that helps companies save money and gain more efficiency across financial functions.
Financial automation gives companies and their teams the freedom to scale operations and grow faster without losing sight of the bottom line. With the right systems in place, companies can achieve an automated workflow for finances that allow for better oversight and control.