5 Processes to Automate in the Finance Function

Automation is an essential component of smart financial management for businesses. Here are the financial processes that CFOs should automate in 2023.

Automation is a word that tends to get thrown around a lot these days, and even though it is a popular buzzword, it is a practice that CFOs in particular should take seriously. After all, there are many financial and organisational processes that you can automate right away to ensure higher operational efficiency, less risk of human error, and better financial allocation across the board.

Automation relies on making smart decisions and investments in the right automated tools and processes. As a financial leader or a CFO of a company, your top priority is to minimise financial waste while improving efficiency. To that end, let’s take a look at the five key processes you can automate to take your business forward in 2023.

Accounts payable invoicing

The first and most obvious automation you can work towards is accounts payable invoicing. Accounts payable invoicing is a business automation example that can significantly reduce manual labour and oversight when implemented for non-PO invoices, for example, as well as supplementary processes. Everything from service invoices to reimbursements and release orders can be managed automatically.

Unfortunately, invoice management in general remains a manual process in many SMEs. This repetitive process not only increases the risk of error, but consumes time and human resources - which could be directed towards more complex and important tasks.

Easily capture and manage vendor data, automatically validate and approve invoices, automate accounting entries and ensure everything gets paid on time by implementing automated accounts payable invoicing.

Payroll automation

Nobody should manage payroll manually anymore. It’s 2022, and that means that you can find various automated tools and software solutions that allow you to set all payroll-specific processes on autopilot. These processes also include deductions or data reconciliation across different systems 

As a CFO looking into automation, focus on automating repetitive processes first. The payroll process can be a cumbersome one as your company continues to grow; As you bring more people in, especially if you’re acquiring remote talent nationally and internationally, you need an automated system to calculate salaries, benefits, taxes, and PTO and deductions.

Threat and fraud prevention

Many CFOs, especially those in the banking sector, are particularly interested in fraud prevention, efficient and effective credit scoring, and other key processes that allow them to effectively measure and monitor customers and new loan applicants. 

If this is you, then you should look towards internal automation for better and more secure applicant assessment. 

When potential applicants look into bank account bonuses and perks and open new bank accounts, they share valuable data that CFOs and their teams can gather automatically. The key automations here are digital fingerprinting, automated credit scoring, and fraud prevention.

Combined, these automations allow CFOs in financial institutions to gather vast amounts of data. For example, you can verify the identity of applicants through ISP and IP verification, and examine the applicant’s lending and purchasing power through automated scoring.

Asset and company portfolio management 

Portfolio allocation and management is a key process CFOs handle that can be taken to a new level through AI-driven automation. 

Artificial intelligence and deep learning systems provide better and more accurate reports for investment opportunities, allowing you as a CFO to make better decisions for buy-side investments as well as sell-side investments.

By accelerating your automation knowledge and investing in AI-driven systems, you can automate everything from risk assessment to forecasting and investment modelling. All of this automation allows you to create a data-driven, safe investment plan for your business. There’s no reason not to let artificial intelligence lend a helping hand when it comes to managing the company’s investment portfolio.

Document automation and organisation

Automating documentation is not going to make your business run itself, but it will significantly reduce time waste and automate menial tasks. 

Automation tools that use artificial intelligence can, for example, instantly create new documents and templates with custom information that’s relevant to your company and your specific financial requirements.

That way, you can generate invoice templates automatically, as well as financial statements and reports, among many other types of financial documents. 

This type of automation aids in document organisation as well. The good part is that you can manage all your documents online with tools that come with intuitive features like eSignatures. Automating documentation management this way ensures all documents are safely stored in the cloud and are organised according to custom or template parameters.

What’s next?

Automation should be a big part of your 2023 strategy, particularly if your goals are to minimise financial waste in your organisation and elevate efficiency in your sector. 

Nowadays, it seems like there is a piece of automation software for every process and need, and it is up to you as the CFO to recognise the need for automation in different areas of your sector and create an implementation plan.

Consider these automation tactics as the key prerequisites for a more efficient and streamlined financial operation. As a long-term solution, investing in automation allows you to allocate resources towards expansion and a more robust growth strategy. 

This article was written by Nikola Sekulic, a seasoned brand developer, a writer, and a storyteller. 


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Guest Author, from the GENCFO community.
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