Knowing that process automation solutions exist is half the battle. The other half involves determining which one is right for your organization, and providing justification beyond the benefits is critical.
Finding the solution that best aligns with your needs begins by spending some time examining your own process and department. These seven questions will help you think through the most critical areas:
- What is the number and magnitude of aged reconciling items over 180 days?
- Based on previous audits, what recurring issues do you have?
- What are the top ten most time-consuming reconciliations?
- How much time do your accountants spend on the monotonous matching of debits and credits?
- How well do you manage your close process?
- What are the drivers of overtime?
- What do you spend each month on off-site storage?
Direct Cost Savings
Automation generates savings across the board. Accounts that are automatically reconciled or auto-certified free up hours of accountant’s time that can be reallocated to value-adding activities like strategy and analysis.
Here are three areas that return significant direct cost savings.
Reduction in Audit Costs
The added visibility provided by a finance automation platform allows auditors to review and perform evaluations remotely. This eliminates the need for costly on-site visits from both Internal and External Auditors and time spent by accountants making copies of supporting documents.
Reduction in Storage Costs
In order to be compliant, clients need to keep their reconciliation records for 7-10 years. Physical storage costs can certainly grow while electronic storage remains cheap, reliable, and accessible.
Reduction in Paper & Printing Costs
The cost of paper, toner, maintenance, and the need for additional printers can really add up. With a cloud-based solution, you no longer need to print your reconciliations each month.
Vendor Evaluation Criteria
Once you’ve examined your current state and the potential ROI, develop a Request for Information (RFI) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) to gather information from vendors. These steps will help to identify the existing functionality and how the vendor’s software will meet your needs:
- Determine the key factors that will influence your selection of a vendor—try to keep these under ten
- Based upon your particular needs, assign weight to these factors.
- After reviewing the RFI/RFP responses and viewing a demo of the product, give the vendors a score based upon each of your key determining factors
- Compare your scores for each vendor and select accordingly
Experience Efficiency & Transparency
When you finally select and implement the right technology for your organization, your teams will begin running more efficiently. As you move toward automating all of the most time-consuming, repetitive tasks, you will have clear and consistent processes and transparency into the financial data throughout the accounting period.
Best of all, your accountants will finally be unleashed to focus on the more complex, judgmental aspects that drew them to this profession in the first place.
Read this white paper to learn more about how the right process automation platform can help your organization create a competitive advantage.