Automation continues to help businesses over the years. AI-powered technology has been streamlining processes, shortening production times, and contributing to businesses’ overall success. In accounting, automation has come a long way from Excel worksheets and calculators. Accountants have been benefiting from programs that make manual and tedious tasks easier and less prone to errors.
While some are quick to say that automation is the “death of the accountant,” many businesses believe that the rise of automation in the accounting industry is more of an evolution, rather than extinction. And true enough, accountants are still here — only faced with more opportunities to utilize their talents and maximize their productivity.
Most accounting processes are manual and repetitive — and they all do their purpose. So, some may ask, “why automate accounting tasks if the manual process works anyway?” Below are notable benefits of accounting automation.
Costs and Revenue
Let’s start with the most interesting — money. Now, one would think that this is counterintuitive since you need to shell out money to acquire the technology needed for the automation. Well, yes, there needs to be an allotment of company funds at first. However, in the long run, automation can help reduce costs. Time is money — and automation gives your accountants more time for more crucial and productive tasks that would bring in more revenue. Moreover, the reduced errors will save you a lot of money, too. And if you were outsourcing manual tasks, automation would allow you to have them done in-house — with more speed and accuracy.
Accounting tasks are prone to errors — and removing human intervention is a sure way to curb, or even eliminate, them. Automation tools are less likely to commit minute computing errors. Accounting programs are able to create thousands of ledger entries in a matter of seconds, without the worry that the data was mishandled. These accounting tools, when maintained and programmed properly, will churn out error-free data, that would still require a good accountant’s verification, but not a full day manually encoding and processing them.
With all the time savings, accountants have more time in their hands to do more productive tasks. One might worry that there will be fewer billable hours because the manual tasks have been automated. But the truth is that accountants will now be able to focus on partnering with their clients and guiding them through their financial decisions. Doing this can help them attend to their existing clients more and gain new ones.
When planned and executed well, accounting automation can successfully streamline processes and eliminate the frustrating and tedious parts of the job. While a huge chunk of their jobs are automated, accountants are given an opportunity to grow as professionals. For one, these tools cannot work on their own and still need the genius of the accountant to ensure that they serve their purpose. And with time on their hands, accountants can shift their focus on strategy, good communication, and management accounting.
Not so long ago, accountants had to skim through filing cabinets in another room — sometimes in another building — to retrieve a file or review a document. Accounting automation allows for easier categorizing of documents and ledger items, which makes it incredibly simpler and faster to retrieve needed information.
File Storage Security
With the receipt of documents done digitally through accounting software, companies and accountancy firms can now be rid of the burden of keeping 7 to 10 years worth of paper files, depending on the regulatory requirements of their region. It also helps that government agencies are starting to go digital in sending documents. Accounting automation tools have safeguards in place to protect and back up your data — and to also keep them from getting lost, stolen, or accessed illegally.
When you automate and digitize processes in your business, you also allow these solutions to be used in tandem. For example, your accounting tools integrate with your payroll platform. This allows you to sync vital information across all tools and applications accurately and real-time — since all data and accounting systems can be stored in the cloud.
Accounting automation ensures that your books are as error-free as possible. Zero errors and prompt closing of books mean you are compliant to rules and regulations that surround your business. You avoid being fined — or worse, your business license to be revoked — when your numbers add up, your books close on time, and your data are error-free.
Businesses and accounting firms can undoubtedly benefit from automation. It can cut down costs, increase revenue and savings, and reduce production time. Documents are easily retrievable and kept safely from theft, loss, and illegal access. Accountants are relieved of manual tasks and given more time for other revenue-generating tasks. And lastly, it keeps your business afloat by helping ensure that you are complying with the government’s rules and regulations.