Updated 29 November 2019. Impact is what defines a business and finance and accounting is no exception. Research shows that more than 50% of C-level executives are looking at automation and Artifical Intelligence (AI) to have the highest impact on their finance and accounting processes in the next three years.
Finance and accounting are core functions in every organisation. Every business, no matter the size, needs to have someone who can efficiently monitor its financial standing. But manual processes have employees spending over 30% of their week on repetitive tasks, whereas automated functions such as invoice processing can boost productivity by one hour a day.
Corporate expectations are higher, so businesses are partnering with business process outsourcing providers to streamline operations, control compliance and regulatory risks and reduce costs. Within the finance department, automation can bring accuracy and speed to repetitive tasks such as:
- Onboarding & offboarding
- Benefits administration
- Accounts receivables/payable
A common misconception about automating back office outsourcing services is that employees will lose their jobs to robots. But teams backed by AI can focus on higher value tasks. Bots can carry out automated processes only after they’re trained to do so by humans. These machines can generate intelligent data, but ultimately, data needs to be interpreted and analysed by people to truly make the data useful—developing new KPIs, promoting business growth and boosting customer experience.
Get this: a movement is happening and it’s changing how the future of finance processes will look.
It’s no secret that organisations are faced with constant pressure to decrease business activities that are not value-enhancing in order to reduce costs and drive efficiency. And truth be told, this means having to relocate back office or support activities (which have overhead costs that must be added to the cost of carrying out primary activities) to offshore locations. One of the first processes that is passed on to offshore service providers is finance and accounting (F&A).
In every organisation, the F&A function provides the tools, knowledge and information used to outline current and future business practices. By simplifying and standardising their F&A processes, more and more companies are finding out that they can shorten the cycle it takes to close their books. They are also realising that they can develop better benchmark and baseline financial processes to help them meet regulatory requirements. And mind you, all this can be achieved within a business outsourcing model.
So, why are you still holding on to your F&A? Word to the wise: it’s time you let an offshore service provider take care of your accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, management reporting, etc., and here’s why:
The main reason so many companies are attracted to F&A outsourcing usually boils down to cost savings that are driven through economies of scale and lower-cost environments. Think of it this way—an accounts payable operator can add volume at a low marginal cost. It also can’t be underscored enough that companies benefit immensely from overhead cost reduction and savings on compliance-related expenditures.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to access skills and talents that are not available in your in-house staff? Outsourcing your F&A can help address your staffing issues and labour shortages. Furthermore, you’d be able to reassign your existing in-house financial personnel to higher value activities.
Technology plays a key role in enhancing F&A processes, and outsourcing can give you direct access to state-of-the-art technology that helps improve processes and productivity. Take a cloud-based accounting system, for example. This can enable increased access and visibility, allowing your finance team to approve invoices and payments and submit checks electronically. Clearly, a cloud solution can save significant time during an audit. And without having to maintain on-premise servers and equipment, savings are also acquired in terms of space and funds.
- Service quality
Does your company have core skills in finance? If it doesn’t, all the more reason for you to consider F&A outsourcing as this will reduce the risks associated with ineffective in-house processes. Through outsourcing, you can leverage a dedicated financial service with clear metrics, such as savings and service-level agreements. Rest assured that your F&A efficiency and performance are tracked and continuously improved, leaving your company free to focus on its core competencies.
A well-oiled F&A performing its duties efficiently brings in additional benefits that add value to the company. Let us help you streamline your processes, maintain compliance and cut costs. Leverage our outsourcing strategies and transform into a high-performance organisation, today.