- Accounts Payable and Payroll – Automating PO requisition, invoice processing and payroll eliminate paper and procedures without compromising operational protocol. By simplifying and accelerating the invoice review and approval process, companies reduce errors and save time and money.
- Travel and Expense Management – The cost for hotels and flights add up, particularly when employees are left to their own judgment in procuring them. But what’s under even greater scrutiny is the resulting chain of paperwork and approval requirements that drain operational resources productivity. Automated solutions address both of these issues, enabling companies to aggregate spend to achieve greater value from providers and eliminate time spent processing expense reports.
- Food Ordering – Many companies have no idea what total amount of food is being ordered and for what business purpose. By consolidating and automating the food ordering process with an online ordering and billing system, companies can benefit from a single ordering portal, consolidating charges for the entire company into one invoice and requiring critical business information, such as business purpose and budget or billing code, at the time of purchase. These systems can also enable the enforcement of rules and budgets, so companies can proactively control spend in an area that may not be mission critical.
- Human Resources – A study by Aberdeen revealed that one of the most common things keeping HR departments from evolving into a more strategic functional area is “too much time spent on tactical HR activities.” Perhaps even more important, access to critical data about the workforce is difficult, if not impossible, to come by with traditional processes. Combine that with the critical nature of security and compliance in an HR department, and the urgency for automation in this area skyrockets. By reducing tactical activities, you’ll free up time to focus on development and retention efforts that add to the firm’s intellectual capital and directly impact growth.
Command Brings Control
If the work of accountants provides a lens that can focus companies on areas of greatest potential cost savings, solutions that automate and consolidate business processes effectively increase the magnification of that lens.
Automated solutions provide invaluable insight into the core of business functions, giving our organizations a true, real-time sense of spending, policy adherence and potential abuse. With crystal-clear visibility into those processes, companies can not only improve current operations, but better conduct the kind of organizational planning and forecasting that lead to enhanced competitiveness in the market and enable growth.
Automation also provides the benefit of making employees’ lives easier – and their work more efficient – in the day-to-day. By moving employees’ focus from mundane, repetitive, “processing” tasks to more strategic functions that help grow the organization, such as enabling accounting teams to focus on benchmarking, analysis and reporting instead of manually tracking expense reports – we not only improve their sense of value to the company, we free up the intellectual capital of the organization’s most valuable asset.
With automation, CPAs can transcend the role of number cruncher to become a more strategic advisor, pointing out areas where tighter controls will create efficiency and lead our clients and companies to stronger growth. It’s time to take a step beyond making sure the numbers add up, and use the tools that are out there to make sure those numbers grow.