I first heard this at a Xero conference I went to quite a few years ago and it really struck me back then and is now almost a mantra in my practice.
Now this is so important to understand as this has completely changed the game in the past 5-10 years. The old data entry roles are now redundant and savvy businesses have used technology to either slash overhead costs in their practice or they’ve re-invested these savings in growing & improving their practice.
Why waste time on data entry when you can access a system that will automate that process for you? And we are not done yet, technology is still rapidly changing the way we do business and those businesses that can’t keep up will be left behind.
Go back to the job description, here is your answer. Take advantage of the technology that is here now and automate as many manual processes as you can.
To help demonstrate to you why it’s so important that you leverage technology in your practice, I want to share with you my story.
At my company Lucent Advisory, we went completely paperless about 7 years ago. I had to work this out by looking back at our finances and it was the year that our printing and stationery costs dropped from about $10K per year down to about $2K! One of the other big changes I noticed at the time was how much time we used to spend sorting and filing bits of paper into folders and then looking for them again. I even had a customised stamp made up and we’d stamp our invoices and initial each supplier invoice with received, approved, code, entered and then paid before we’d file it away in the permanent AP folder! Can you imagine how much time that used to take! And how many times that same piece of paper was handled.
What I didn’t appreciate at the time that I do now, was the real win in the technology advancements was not as much time savings, but the increased visibility I now had over what was going on in the business. I now had all this information at my fingertips so I no longer had to micro-manage my team or wait until month end or year end to find out how the business was performing; I could now see in real-time exactly what was going on.
One example that really stands out to me going back to our Accounts Payable processes was prior to this technology shift, I had to sift through that AP folder and approve every bill or invoice that came in and sometimes they came via the post and other times via email which I would then have to forward on or print out and file in the folder. So much unnecessary noise and time wasting for me as the business owner.
Now we use a piece of software called (Approval Max)
Now get a weekly email with all the invoices I need to approve and I can view the invoice on screen and approve it with the click of a button. The time and date is stamped so we can look back on who approved it and when, and I have even set up rules now so that only invoices from certain suppliers or a certain dollar amount come to me for approval. I have been able to delegate a lot of the approval process to my practice manager knowing that the invoices I do want to see will automatically be sent to me for approval.
That’s not only time saving for myself and my practice manager, but now I have control over the AP process in my business without checking, stamping and signing every single invoice.
Automating Accounts Payable processes can seem like a daunting process at first, but the ongoing financial, time efficiencies and visibility benefits to you and your business is exponential. We believe in the capabilities of automation so strongly we have a dedicated team to help businesses make the switch.
Fraser, our manager of Outsourced Services and the team can take you through the transformation process, help to train your staff and offer ongoing support.
Get in touch today to discover the best automation tools tailored to your business.