Finance Blog

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Buried in Finance Approvals? Here’s Your Ticket Out.

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Who doesn’t get annoyed by long email chains dragging on well past the bottom of your computer screen? Trying to find specific information in the string is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Even worse—think about your inbox flooded with unwieldy email threads, unfortunately not uncommon for a finance department team member or a manager dealing with approvals for various budgets and expenses.

Are you looking for a method to the madness? Believe it or not, a solution is at your fingertips. Finance process automation can take the chaos out of email accounts and eliminate time lost to mundane, repetitive tasks so more of the workday can be spent completing specialized tasks software can’t perform on its own.

How Does Finance Process Automation Work?

Workflows surrounding financial processes are cumbersome and often require substantial communication, especially for budget and expense approval.

A cloud-based automated software system brings all the dialogue and notifications required for approvals and reimbursements onto one streamlined system, accessible via a mobile phone or a computer anywhere an Internet connection is available. Procedure policies are clearly outlined by predefined workflows. Conditions are set in place to send each form to the correct manager at the right time under the specified settings, according to the amount of the request. Core business processes run like a well-oiled machine instead of generating overloaded email inboxes and subsequent delays.

Problems with Manual Approval Processes

When manual processes shifted from paper to digital mediums, the ease of sharing and updating documents improved, but the volume of communications channeled through email exploded. In a 2018 survey, 55% of workers said excessive emails get in the way of work. Email is costing us time to innovate. Also, the path of approvals via email can be ambiguous; rerouted emails delay critical tasks, resulting in further company losses.

Non-compliance, usually a result of vague internal standards, needlessly depletes company funds for rework. Constant interruptions, often for approvals, drag productivity down 40%. When data is transferred from multiple forms to emails and spreadsheets, numbers are likely to be mixed up and costly time is spent juggling all the data. Also, hunting down internal documents consumes an average of eight hours a week. Delays stemming from manual processes cripple business advancement.

As a company grows, problems surrounding manual processes multiply—data entry to overflowing spreadsheets surges and more emails are required for more approvals, increasing chances of missed or delayed requests. Finance team members’ repetitive tasks grow to fill the majority of their workday, leaving little time for strategic work.

Automation: A Sure Solution

When financial approvals travel through an automated system, requests and approvals go to the right person every time. Parameters can be set for requests under certain amounts to go to supervisors, while more expensive requests go to top management, ensuring no one is needlessly interrupted. Every employee involved in the process can track the approval rather than onerously troubleshooting bottleneck issues.

Workflows are traced via tailor-made, real-time visual reports on an interactive dashboard, providing analytics to improve efficiency. Integrating an automated workflow system with finance software cuts down on data transfer from requests and approvals to balance sheets. Both communication and collaboration improve, and central finance-related tasks such as journal entries, account reconciliation, and financial statement preparation can be completed in record time with finance software integration.

A straightforward drag-and-drop interface enables users to create workflow tasks and form fields effortlessly. Approvals can be made through a mobile app, speeding up decision making. Compliance with company policies naturally falls into place, thanks to predefined workflows and consistent processes; security of data is guaranteed, including backups to prevent data loss.

Processes Ripe for Automation

To cut down on approval request chaos, you can automate each of these processes today in less than 15 minutes each!

  • Budget Approvals
  • Expense Approvals
  • Invoice Approvals
  • Travel Requests
  • Asset Purchases
  • Capital Expenditures
  • Cheque Requests
  • Employee Reimbursements

An IT expert isn’t needed; intuitive pre-programmed apps are available for download but remain customizable for your business’s needs. For the more tech-savvy, an original app can also be created from start to finish.

Think Ahead, Stay Ahead

Still tempted to just “get by” with the current email system? Trying something new can be a little nerve-wracking, but innovation and scalability are crucial for business expansion and success. A 2017 study reported two delayed approvals per week could result in 100 late projects per year!

Protect your business from becoming another negative statistic, wasting excessive time, money, and effort. Before bottlenecks and delays hinder company growth, increase the volume of high-value work and gain an edge over your competitors by automating financial processes.

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