Although many people see automation as a threat to the accounting profession, it actually provides many benefits to the industry. Automation improves accounting functions and workflows, making jobs easier and freeing up time to add additional value for employers. As a result, automation is pushing the limits of what companies can accomplish, bringing their results to the next level.

How Can Automation Improve Business Performance?

1. Automation for Repetitive Tasks

Tedious, repetitive tasks are being automated to increase efficiency and reduce errors. For instance, invoices can be categorized, payments cleared, expense statements audited, and bank accounts reconciled with little to no human help. Most accounts receivable roles involve automation, such as applications that calculate analytics and assess risk.

2. More Efficient Accounts Payable

Automating accounts payable (AP) optimizes the efficiency of the process. Accounting teams no longer have to create and processes paper invoices, purchase orders or delivery orders, enter them in computer systems, code, and transmit to a manager for approval and payment. Instead, the AP workflow process involves software that analyzes, recognizes, directs, and exports data into an enterprise resource planning (ERP)/financial system. As a result, performance and reliability have increased significantly. Suppliers have full access to payment timing details in real time. Leadership can use artificial intelligence (AI) to create business models for small and midsized markets rather than just enterprise firms. The reliability, flexibility, and adaptability of algorithms allow for automatic management of invoices and other documents with variable structure. AP automation allows employers to identify and interact with suppliers and automatically process invoices. Employers also can note payment deadlines, approval workflows, and approvers. Because AI observes and learns from clerks’ keystrokes, general ledger coding is continuously improved to reduce errors.

3. Turning Accountants into Advisors

As basic accounting tasks continue to be taken over by automation, accountants need to hone their skills for being seen as trusted advisors. After all, only humans can provide judgment and build trusting relationships with clients. For instance, accountants may contribute to the organization through analysis, strategy, creative thinking, and decision-making. Because accounting rules often change, accountants are needed to provide intellectual assessment as to how those changes affect a company’s finances. Their discernment is required to analyze the business to have the greatest impact on benefitting its strategic needs. Accountants also can balance conflicting business priorities and ensure that ethical guidelines are followed. They can maximize revenue and reduce expenses and taxes.

Improve Company Performance with Mercer Bradley

Improve your company’s performance with help from Mercer Bradley. As the leading accounting recruiter in Western Canada, our experts are connected with the talented accounting staff you want to fill your company’s needs.

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