The best accounting automation solutions utilize the growing stores of process information to drive continuous improvement.
Daily detail is collected on the everyday workings of the accounting group, and distilled into reports that reveal the process improvements that managers need to make.
But managers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this kind of visibility. New reporting tools, such as visualization with drag and drop capabilities, can be useful to accountants — including preparers, reviewers, and approvers — in their daily work.
Solutions like these make it easier than ever for accountants to look into their own processes and spot anomalies that might be holding up a time-critical action.
For instance, a preparer who is working on account reconciliations becomes aware that invoices from a regional office have been slow to arrive over the past few months. Rather than waiting for the invoices and working over the weekend, the preparer produces a report on the spot to identify the tardy cost center. A few phone calls later, the problem is resolved and the process is, in a sense, healed.
With traditional reporting tools, that same preparer would have been reluctant to attempt such a feat. They were slow to use; they often required the accountant to back out of the accounting application to start up the report generator; they operated on data that was not fresh and thus possibly not accurate, and they were generally difficult and unwieldy for anyone who wasn’t experienced in their use.
They can handle massive volumes of data — as in hundreds of millions of rows. And because they are faster than the old methods, by 20 times in some cases, they encourage preparers, reviewers, and other non-reporting experts to think creatively, rather than getting caught up in how to back out of one application and open another.
Best of all, they contribute to a process-mindset on behalf of the accountant. This can lead to new proposals to department heads for innovative ways of further improving the department’s automated processes.
Read UHY's story to discover how they are taking advantage of the reporting that’s now possible with the inflow of real-time accounting information.