How Automation in Finance and HR Supports Strategic Growth

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Automating complex manual processes in finance and HR has freed resources to support strategic growth
 
Hands type on keyboard overlaid with finance charts - Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Today’s companies have tremendous opportunity to embrace new technologies, like automation and AI, in order to survive and thrive in the digital world. In today’s economy, digital is not just a way to get ahead — it’s become the new normal.

Automation can have a positive impact at every level of an organization. Ernst & Young believes automation is an effective cost and time enabler, complementing any digital transformation journey to streamline business processes, achieve profitability, and maintain competitive advantage. A survey by Deloitte found that 41% of human capital professionals noted they were using automation across multiple functions — such as human resources and finance — to alleviate repetitive, time-consuming tasks so they could better achieve short-term and long-term results.

At Life of Automation, we are automating processes with AI and innovative technologies for our customers, and we saw an opportunity to do the same in our Finance organization. In our case, we chose to implement  cloud financials from Sage Intacct to automate our accounting and financial management processes. We have dramatically cut our close time, increased the finance team’s productivity by a massive 25% and significantly reduced our billing cycle time. As a direct result, we were not only able to continue supporting small and medium businesses, but also move upwards and better support large and enterprise customers.

We know that while technology adoption can be a key ingredient to the success of any organization, the willingness of the leadership team and employees to embrace emerging technologies to make it a part of an organization’s culture will separate industry leaders from their competitors. So our implementation included not only technology innovation, but also a user adoption plan as well. Automation empowers our team to better support our customers and partners by making us easy to do business with. We were able to automate financial processes, bring clarity to complex, disparate data sets, and bring visibility to the business across our various global locations.

Automation results in visibility and speed

Finance departments are often held back by manual processes that take time and focus away from strategic growth opportunities. By automating key processes and some workflows, businesses can achieve a more holistic view of their organization.

By automating key processes and workflows, it became possible for us to achieve and manage a comprehensive view of the organization.

In addition to the normal growing pains associated with expansion, our financial close process used to take an entire month. Accounting automation helped us to reduce that timeline to just five business days, enabling our management team to make faster business decisions and embrace new growth opportunities.

Increased productivity, data integrity, and efficiency

With a modern, cloud financial system in place, our finance team’s efficiency improved significantly, while at the same time helping to reduce reporting errors and audit risk. One of the most time-consuming tasks we dealt with was the lack of efficiency as the amount of repetitive, data-intensive tasks dragged our teams down.

We were able to increase the team’s productivity by 25% by automating previously manual calculations and integrations, and speed up our quote-to-bill cycle by nearly 30%, including our complex multi-currency contracts. Moving to automated processes gives us the agility to address and fix any disruption in an operation with minimal downtime. We were also able to improve forecasting and budgeting.

This all has ripple effects throughout our organization. Automation made us easy to do business with and established stronger relationships with our customers. It freed time to better connect with our customers and gave us more space to focus our recruitment innovation strategies to align with our customers’ goals. We’ve been able to work with our Customer Advisory Board to identify where to invest our resources to deliver new AI automation capabilities in our products such as Intelligent Messaging, Candidate Engagement Scoring, Bias-Blocker and Candidate Matching.

The end result is that we can serve our customers better. We believe these new capabilities will help recruitment teams develop stronger candidate relationships, build healthy talent pipelines and help ensure their organizations will have the right talent to help deliver their desired business outcomes.

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