Working Together: Accounting Automation and Humans
Written by Amanda Bower | Published: May 16, 2023
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Automation is all the rage these days, and it can be a potent tool for both businesses and their employees. This ten-letter word is used to mostly instill fear in people and get everyone riled up about things like machines stealing jobs.
But as automation has played out, one thing is crystal clear: humans can leverage automation to get work done faster and better. Accounting automation is an excellent example of that.
Many financial experts today are already on board with accounting automation. More than half of accountants say automation helps them work more effectively, while data tells us that almost 75% of accounting tasks can, in fact, be automated with software.
When it comes to the health and success of your business, just about nothing matters more than your finances. So why would you leave the state of your finances up to chance? Why do things slower and with a greater chance of errors?
Instead of shying away from accounting automation, businesses should wholeheartedly embrace it. But the thing is, automation doesn’t work on its own accord. Instead, it needs to be leveraged and utilized by humans who are knowledgeable and skillful in accounting.
Here’s a rundown of how this technology can benefit you.
What Falls Under Accounting Automation?
When we’re talking about accounting automation, what exactly are we talking about? Accounting automation is a broad term that refers to using software or technology to execute financial operations effectively. These tools have many potential benefits. For example, they make it easier to get accounting done and maximize the chances that it’s done effectively.
What are some ways you might see or utilize accounting automation? Examples include data entry, bank reconciliation, invoicing, and financial reporting. Accounting automation can also be used for more advanced functions such as predictive analytics.
You might already be using accounting automation and not even know it. If you input data into a CRM or other business system that automatically calculates data or executes tasks, that’s accounting automation.
Five Ways We Use Technology at hiline
While every business and accounting firm does things differently, here at hiline, we’ve mastered the art of using automation to provide our clients the highest level of service. We’re not afraid of what automation can do: we know how powerful it is. That’s why we leverage it to automate monotonous work on our end, so our financial experts can add value to our partners from a strategic finance standpoint.
But we’re not ones to gatekeep. Here are five ways we use automation technology here at hiline:
- We integrate data into our systems. One of the most effective ways a business can take advantage of accounting automation is with data integration. When data is integrated into software or other systems, you have an incredibly streamlined result, making everything run smoother, faster, and more accurately. For example, our payroll software is integrated with our accounting software, meaning that data is shared, and everything from cutting checks to tax season is streamlined.
- We use RPAs. RPA, or robotic process automation, is a type of automation that deploys software robots. These little robots act like humans and can handle repetitive, low-quality tasks that drain human resources. Instead of using highly skillful and qualified people to handle tasks like filling out redundant forms and manually inserting data, you can use an RPA. Data tells us that using an RPA typically allows employees to have more human interactions and to focus on more meaningful tasks.
- We produce standardized reporting (so you don’t have to). Financial reporting is crucial to your business and can allow you to understand the state of your business today to make the best decisions for tomorrow. That’s why we use technology to produce standardized reports for your business. Plus, we take it a step further: with the help of accounting automation, our experts can conduct in-depth analyses—including written financial statement analysis, financial planning and analysis, and suit economics analysis.
- Our services aren’t in silos. When you run a business, you know that tax, accounting, and payroll processing needs are separate but often bleed into one another. Yes, your accounting impacts your taxes, your payroll impacts your accounting, and so on. So to us, it only makes sense to provide these services in a way where they’re connected through automated tools and processes. When data is connected, everything can run more smoothly.
- We make sure the crucial stuff is a no-brainer. When it comes to your business, certain tasks simply aren’t optional. Take billing, for example. You don’t want to be sitting around waiting for a payment or spend valuable time combing through invoices. That’s why clients have access to billing automation when they partner with us.
Trust us, we here at hiline use accounting automation to our advantage in many ways because we see just how valuable it is. For us, automated tools aren’t something to fear: they’re a huge asset because they ensure repetitive tasks are done as quickly and accurately as possible while freeing up our experts to handle bigger, more mission-critical tasks.
Accounting Automation Allows Humans to Use Brain Power Where It Matters Most
We get it: automation can be scary or, at the very least, confusing. Still today, data tells us that 37% of Americans are worried about being displaced by automation. In comparison, 85% say they only approve of automation in jobs that are “dangerous or unhealthy” for people. We’re here to tell you: automation can be powerful, especially when it’s applied to your accounting function by knowledgeable accounting experts.
Here are some more of the reasons why accounting automation can make a real difference in the quality of the accounting services you receive:
- It gets you the most bang for your buck. When it comes to accounting services for your business, time is money. And whether you’re handling your accounting in-house or partnering with an outsourced accounting firm, don’t you want your financial needs handled as quickly and efficiently as possible? When accounting automation tools are in play, accounting tasks can be handled more seamlessly, and the people doing these jobs don’t need to spend a ton of time on tasks that can easily be automated.
- It frees up your accounting experts to focus on what really matters. If you’re partnering with an expert outsourced accounting firm, don’t you want them to maximize their impact? Think about it: you have the value of these accounting and tax professionals in your pocket, and you can really put them to work. Why would you want to waste this incredible resource on mundane tasks that can simply be handled through automation? When your accounting partner is leveraging automation, they’re freer to provide robust and in-depth strategic services to your business, which can really pack a punch.
- Your work is as accurate as possible. Your business’s accounting and financial needs need to be 100% accurate every time. Paychecks can never be late or have mistakes, your tax filings can’t have errors, and you definitely can’t have miscalculations in your monthly reporting (which you’re making crucial financial decisions based off of). When you or your financial partner are utilizing the power of automation, the risk of errors is vastly reduced and, in some cases, completely eliminated.
- All of your core tasks are handled. Accounting automation is designed to tackle many of your business’s crucial yet repetitive accounting needs. If you or your accounting partner is utilizing automation properly, you’ll have a whole slew of responsibilities taken care of, which previously might have devoured your time. For example, automation tools can easily handle data entry, categorization, reconciliation, and analysis in one fell swoop.
Accounting Automation Lets Your Accountants Help You Make Better Financial Decisions
By now, we know that automation isn’t here to replace us: it’s here to support us and improve how we work. This is clearly the case in many industries, but it’s especially apparent in accounting. Accounting automation is a vital tool that your outsourced accounting partner should leverage, so they can work smarter and provide you with the best services possible.
We know so much about accounting automation because we’ve already embraced it and use it to deliver world-class virtual accounting solutions to our clients. Here at hiline, we provide our partners with the valuable in-depth services they deserve and leverage automation to add immense value to our service.
Interested in partnering with hiline to take your business’ accounting, tax, and payroll to the next level? Read more about our cloud accounting services here.
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