Automating Accounting Processes - A Low-Risk First Step

May 29, 2019

For those of you that haven't yet started using automation in their practice, we understand that automation can be very complex and we have a great first step for you. Businesses can ‘feel the fear’ when considering implementing automation. Implementing new tools/processes can raise concerns of an interruption to service if it all goes wrong, as well as the worry that these efforts won’t justify the spend. Here we talk about how there is a safer way to take your first steps towards automation.

Businesses can ‘feel the fear’ when considering implementing automation. Concerns about implementing this new process can relate to the fear of an interruption to service if it all goes wrong, as well as the worry that these efforts won’t justify the spend.

And we understand that fear... these days automation is coming at us from all angles. Email automation, Marketing automation, Sales Pipeline automation, Payment automation, Workflow automation, CRMs, ERPs… the list goes on. A lot of these tools require a considerable initial cost, a sustained and considerable implementation effort, change management projects, as well as ongoing service costs all wrapped up in an annual contract (or even longer).

Automating tasks that are less visible is a great place to start. Start by implementing automation on back-office tasks.  All of the risks listed above will, for the most part, be mitigated and the benefits can be apparent in real time.

Top Tip… Start Small

Our suggestion is to start with a single department, or even smaller, with a single process. Instead of jumping in at the deep end and trying to overhaul a department's activities in one go, break it down into manageable pieces.

We would argue that the best place to start is... the at the start of every accounting firms business process… with your data. Getting your clients data into your accounting software is often seen as a job to be done manually by the ‘new guy’. This is crazy. Your data is probably the most important asset you have as an accountant, and capturing that data quickly and accurately is wide open to human error. The good news is that AutoEntry was built for this very task.



Why automating your data entry is a great place to start

Automating your bookkeeping often gets overlooked for the sexier, so to speak, process automation's in Sales, Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, etc.

Some elements of bookkeeping can be repetitive, especially getting the data into your accounting software. This is a process that every business has to do on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. This translates into a lot of potential gains in terms of time, cost and employee happiness.

This process is not customer facing and so testing this process in the background, away from your customers is safe.


Accuracy of data -  Automating your data entry takes nearly all of the ‘human error’ out of the equation. There will still be some data that requires some verification, and as that data is verified or categorised by a human being, mistakes can happen. In terms of capturing the data accurately and then publishing that data into your accounting software will reduce errors to an absolute minimum.

Dramatically increased speed of processing data - In joint first position when it comes to benefits of  automating data entry, is speed. Scanning, uploading, emailing or taking photos of your documents provide considerable time savings over manual input. There are features within AutoEntry that can then take these time savings to the next level. Fetching for example will capture customers documents from other platforms, categorise them, and then publish them directly into your accounting software. No human beings needed.

Businesses don’t realise how easy it is to get started with software like AutoEntry. It integrates with your existing accounting systems, no need for expensive infrastructure overhauls, it’s easy to use, easy to implement and can be started at small scale until you feel more comfortable to scale it up.

By taking away all the fear and trepidation from getting your feet wet with automation you will be ready to take on larger and more complex automation processes, built on your new found confidence of seeing the success of your bookkeeping automation in action.

People don’t know what they don’t know. It’s a cliché, but often holds true. A lot of Accountants/Bookkeepers out there don’t know what level or what type of automation is out there for their business specifically and they don’t know what it can actually do for THEIR business in particular. So below we’ll look at some of the prizes you risk losing out on if you pass up on bookkeeping automation.



Win... time

Saved time is the most obvious benefit of bookkeeping automation. But just how much time can you save? 30 hours to be exact, potentially more.

What do 30 hours mean? It means, if you’re an accounting practice that spends on average between 5 to 10 hours per month on a client, you could add an additional 3 to 6 clients to your client list with the time savings afforded to you by AutoEntry.

If you are a business, that’s 30 hours more to work on growing your organisation, instead of face down in your books.


Win... Productivity Gains

We wrote about happier staff as a result of data entry automation in a previous blog post (The Unexpected Upside From Automating Your Data Entry). The truth is, if you take away a mundane, repetitive task and replace it with something more challenging that gives them the opportunity to grow, employees are likely to be more focussed, eager to work harder and willing to give more of themselves to the company. Combine that with the time savings mentioned above and you are looking at potential productivity gains of at least 80%.

How you capitalise on these gains is entirely up to you, but a staff day out or a Friday afternoon off every now and again will go along way to push rising employee motivational levels through the roof.


Win... Revenue Increases

This is the one every business owner wants to see but never quite sure what they can expect. With AutoEntry, you can achieve revenue increases of 50% or more by working smarter. AutoEntry is quicker, more accurate and simply easier than manual processes. If you’re an accounting practice, this allows you to expand your bookkeeping services to increase revenue. And if you’re a business, you can save time on non-revenue generating activities and spend it on fine-tuning value-added services that will increase your income.



Conclusion

So if you want to take home the figurative speedboat, car or exotic holiday, choose AutoEntry. By embracing data entry automation to bring on cost savings, revenue increases and productivity gains, you might just be able to literally get all these star prizes without entering a silly game show.


Automation is the future Automation is in your future; the worst move you can make is standing still. Sign up here to get started with your no-strings-attached Free Trial.