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Number crunching cyborgs. Why your finance team needs automating.
Within this post: Finance - Accountants - Automation
What’s an extroverted accountant? One who looks at your shoes while they are talking to you instead of their own.
Never known for their outgoing personality or rock and roll lifestyle, accountants are known to be, well let us be polite, a little dull. Why? Well, you have to be a special sort of person to want to trawl numbers in a spreadsheet, you have to be a special sort of psychopath to enjoy anything in a spreadsheet - all those columns and rows, endless, the stuff of nightmares. Though I know that the stereotype has been changed slightly over the years.
The reason I know that accountants are supposed to be dull people (dull - but well-paid people) is due to instances I have seen in the movies, and well, I have met a few who are good people actually - some of them. How do you know when you have met an accountant? On your school run, the likelihood is that the head of the PTA at your kids’ school is probably an accountant. You have to be the anally retentive type to be an accountant and PTA head, a pure control freak. You can automate most of the finance team, but the humble accountant will clutch to a spreadsheet like this stereotype has done for decades.
Also. We nonfinance people do not know our EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization **SNOOZE!) from our FICO. I mean what the FIC-ing FICO is it anyway? Even financial administrators do not know what any of this means and they work alongside accountants all the time. Accountants work while others party, they do long hours constantly trying to reconcile accounts - so rad. Their hours run into weekends and when they are not putting their DVDs and CDs into alphabetic order, they are working again. They just have to find where that $28.46 went.
Do not think the DVD and CD references have been glossed over. The accountant is so wrapped up in work that they probably have not noticed the changes in tech.
If I am fair, accountants can be very good at their job, sometimes too good when it comes to advising people to stash cash in offshore tax havens, but nonetheless, the legit ones are pretty good. All they want is efficiency from their team members, because that is what they are, well-oiled, efficient machines. This is where automating the finance team's processes comes in. The only way to describe it is that automation is levelling the playing field within the finance department, like when Lance Armstrong was held up for PEDs - automation is a PED for the finance team.
What is automation for finance?
Make your life easy, automate it. Having central spaces for documents makes things so much easier. Gone are the days where invoices are printed and sat on a desk getting lost beneath other invoices also getting lost. Not only this but filing away paid and executed invoices is also unnecessary. Does your business have a room dedicated to archived invoices saved for a rainy day... that never comes. Online storage is so much easier.
How about just having a solution to creating invoices and streamlining that process? Finance teams can use the exact same tech stack as the rest of the business. For example, take Contractbook > CRM > Quickbooks. The extraction of data from the CRM into a contract via the sales team then becomes a triggered invoice ready for the finance teams to manage post signature. Renewals, renegotiations. Everyone is on top of the game.
Why is it important?
Automation means there is one source of truth, as mentioned above, everyone uses an all-in-one solution like Contractbook and hooks it up with all of the existing apps. Integration means that there is transparency right the way through the company, each stage of the process is managed.
What about the repetitive nature of the finance department. As mentioned above, accountants are a rare breed, they thrive on repetitive tasks, maybe they are the only humans that are already automated, like a number-crunching cyborg. We digress. Repetitive tasks anywhere mean boredom, stagnated processes, and hindered performance. That all equates to errors and missed opportunities and these in a legal sense mean a high level of risk attached to contracts.
By automating your processes in the finance teams, and aligning them with other areas of the business it is possible to be fully in sync right the way through your organization. The pain of miscommunication is taken away, make sure the right people get the right information. Eliminate manual errors by automating your entire recurring billing and invoicing operations from lead to ledger. Handle complex recurring billing scenarios as you scale. Remove developer dependencies by gaining complete control over your billing and invoicing logic and keep all your tools in synch with streamlined contract automation.