As a startup owner, you've got enough on your plate. Managing business finances can be time-consuming and stressful, especially when balancing other responsibilities.
Lucky for you, technology has made it simpler than ever to automate accounting processes. Through automation, you can save time, reduce the risk of errors, and make more informed business decisions using real-time data.
A recent study shows 82% of accounting professionals agree that automation is making a significant impact on the industry. They predict automation software will be the future of accounting.
Ready to get on board? Read on to discover how to automate accounting processes for better business results.
What Is Accounting Process Automation?
Simply put, it’s using technology to streamline financial tasks that accountants would otherwise do manually. Instead of relying on spreadsheets and paper-based systems, you can leverage accounting automation software to handle repetitive tasks like data entry and report generation.
When you automate accounting processes, you improve efficiency, reduce business costs, and gain greater insight into your startup’s financial health.
Accounting Processes That Startups Should Automate
Now that you know what accounting process automation is, it's time to consider what manual processes you can eliminate for more efficiency. Here are our top 4:
1. Financial Reporting
Financial reporting is critical not only to understand the health of your business but also to keep investors updated. But it’s traditionally manual, time-consuming, and error-prone. The time it takes to build these reports creates a gap in understanding where your money is going at any given time. There’s no big-picture view of your cash flow.
Automating your financial reports helps by increasing financial transparency and data integrity and giving you more real-time insights into your finances.
For example, you can standardize routine steps in building your reports, such as recording transactions, reconciling accounts, and comparing financial reports to budgets and forecast expectations. All of this while keeping data integrity.
2. Expense Management
Without an airtight expense management system, you're likely losing money. From late payment fees to duplicate payments and other costly accounting errors, the costs of not cleanly tracking your expenses add up.
Expense management automation can streamline the entire process by allowing you to submit, approve, and process expense reports in a few clicks. You can easily track expenses by department or project and monitor budget usage whenever necessary. With appropriate software, you can save valuable time and effort for your employees and even lower your expenditures by timely spotting data patterns and trends in your financial records.
3. Accounts Payable
Automating accounts payable (AP) is an effective way to simplify vendor payment management and relationships, save money, and better understand your cash flow.
The best AP automation tools let you streamline manual tasks by allowing AI to do most of the work. For example, simply uploading an invoice and using AI to auto-fill and store your vendor information – payment details, accounting classifications, and all! Or setting automatic approval flows and payment schedules so you can let AP run in your sleep.
4. Bank Reconciliation
As a busy startup, it would be easy to put off account reconciliation when there are so many more "immediate" demands on your time. However, regular account reconciliation is essential to maintain clear, accurate, and audit-ready finances for your startup.
Automated bank reconciliation makes the process more efficient, minimizes manual intervention, and reduces the risk of human error and inaccuracies. Automation helps ensure that your finances are always accurate and up-to-date, empowering your finance department to focus on other essential tasks.
Automated bank reconciliation also creates an audit trail that's easy to follow, reducing the risk of non-compliance with financial regulations.
Why Automate Accounting Processes?
As shown above, your business can significantly benefits when you automate accounting processes. But we're giving you three more reasons just to drive it home:
1. So you can spend time running your business – Day-to-day finance tasks are going to distract you from actually diving into the data and leveraging it to run your business properly. Automated accounting software gives you the time (and money) back that you desperately need.
2. For peace of mind – Automating accounting processes improves accuracy and transparency by giving you a single view of your entire financial operations. With manual errors and compliance issues out of the way, you’ll be more at ease with your finances.
3. So you’re never in the dark – Waiting until your bookkeeper updates your records at the end of each month delays your ability to see what’s really going on with your business. When you automate processes like updating your books daily, your ability to make quick, data-driven decisions increases with real-time visibility into your finances.
Reap The Benefits Of Automation In Accounting
Automation can take your startup to a new level. Outpace the competition by taking repetitive and tedious tasks off your accounting team's plate and helping everyone focus on the bigger picture — your business strategy and execution.
Explore how you can automate accounting processes to make your team thrive today.