While the term automation was, at one point in time, tightly associated with the idea of robotics and advanced manufacturing, it has rapidly expanded into automation in the workplace, including everything from email marketing and customer service to accounting software integrations.
It’s abundantly clear, with this acceleration of digitization, that the future of work will be much different from our current reality. AI, advanced systems, and automation all promise to simplify routine tasks, improve productivity across departments, and refine system processes.
While there is much to be argued about the role automation will play in our personal lives, it is important to understand the spaces in which it will inevitably improve the workplace experience, especially considering that 41% of CFOs are already considering AI and automation initiatives as a future goal.
CFOs Speed Towards Innovative Technology
As technology rapidly evolves, so does the role of CFOs. Straying away from the traditional bookkeeper role, CFOs have now become strategic partners to the business, shifting their priorities from cutting costs to investing in innovative technology and data.
In fact, according to one study, nearly 91% of respondents agree or strongly agree that it is the CFO’s job to ensure that their respective companies realize and reap the benefits of technological investments. At the same time, nearly the same amount of respondents believe that finance must do a better job of effectively leveraging both technology and people in the future.
As the function of CFOs in the future takes shape, new technology and talent will be required to transform the business and guide the strategic decisions needed to stay competitive. For executive decision-makers, the desire to recruit and retain employees with traditional expertise must be balanced with an eagerness to adopt new technologies and transformative processes. With this in mind, workplace automation should be a key consideration for businesses across all industries.
Workplace Automation Takes Center Stage
The coronavirus pandemic caused major disruptions across all levels of business, accelerating workforce trends such as the demand for contract and remote working, the rapid adoption of digitization, and the desire for increased gig opportunities. These changes, in turn, have created a greater demand for streamlined processes that save time.
Using Automation to Streamline Remote Gig Work
According to a 2021 study, over half of employees noted that they would prefer to be remote at least three days a week. But what does this mean for large corporations? Not only will they have to find new ways to meet compliance and firewall requirements, but now they will also be tasked with finding innovative technology that can streamline their payroll and HR systems.
With remote workers, international teams, and gig employees shifting the traditional layout of the corporate workforce, it’s clear that past processes for running payroll are rapidly losing steam. The traditional ACH payments can’t keep up with the changing landscape, meaning CFOs and HR executives will need to look elsewhere to keep their organizations running.
This is where accounting automation comes in. With proper automation, HR and payroll teams can add real value throughout all levels of the business with streamlined payment deliveries, and more accurate data across the board.
Using Automation for Mass Payment Fraud Detection
For many organizations, the costs to detect, investigate and recover losses from fraud have grown exponentially. And while cybercriminals continue to ramp up their threats against corporations, automation has become an increasingly savvy tool used to keep pace and fight against them.
Automation tools can be transformational for institutions across all industries looking to streamline and protect their bottom line. While many different automated processes can be integrated into the everyday workflow, applications that allow your business to note abnormalities while also identifying trends in data are key for detecting and preventing fraud at scale.
As previously mentioned, the shifting landscape of HR has led to a big opportunity for automated solutions to pave the way for payroll teams. If done correctly, automation can limit security threats by preventing sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Whether it's ACH fraud or reverse phishing schemes, accounting automation can effectively mitigate these threats by eliminating the potential for human error.
Using Automation to Address Supply Chain Woes
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on work has steadily changed over the last year and a half, with the global shutdowns in the initial weeks of the crisis resulting in a lasting ripple effect felt across all industries and sectors. As firms embark on the challenge to restore and reinvent their business operations, automation becomes perhaps the strongest possible solution for remaining in sync with the evolving workforce.
According to a 2021 survey, 40% of CFOs indicate that supply chain shortages or delays have increased their overall costs by 5% or more. Additionally, 60% said that their year's sales have either been reduced or will be by the end of the year as a result of supply chain disruptions.
With the pandemic’s impact on supply chains still palpable, firms should invest in automated applications that can fully support integrations across all levels of their supply chain. These integrated applications can provide firms with real-time insights at every step of their process, ensuring that projects are completed efficiently, spending remains cost-effective, and supplier visibility increases.
Best Practices for Implementing Automation
With the landscape of the corporate workforce continuing to evolve, enhanced payment technology and automated solutions are rapidly replacing antiquated and outdated processes. In fact, the size of the global business process automation market has grown from $5.1 billion in 2016 to around $12.7 billion in 2021.
B2B or mass payment transactions have historically been a major pain point for corporations, constantly lagging behind innovative consumer technology. With this in mind, implementing reliable automated technology that can lessen the burdens felt by high-demand B2B transactions and streamline business operations, could make them more efficient and accurate than ever before.
When deciding if automation is a good fit for your firm, an in-depth assessment of your operating environment is key. First, where will automation fit in your customer journey? Specifically, in what ways will an automated tool benefit your customers? Understanding the needs and wants of your consumer base is paramount to ensuring that your firm implements the correct automation solution for your business needs.
To that point, identifying your organization’s pain points and opportunities is a critical element of ensuring the success of automation within your everyday workflows. You can’t reap the benefits of an investment in automation without understanding the key areas that need improvement.
Learn more about seamlessly integrating your accounting software package and ERP system with Moneycorp’s innovative API integration.