Closing the automation gap in finance is key to running an efficient business capable of scaling. Growth in your business, by product diversification or acquisition, creates additional work on your team. If the system is designed around manual tasks and spreadsheets, your company won’t reap the rewards or experience the profit growth you expect. Closing the gap allows finance teams to transform from error-prone clerical workers to strategic advisors capable of providing data and insight in real-time.
What is the automation gap?
The automation gap is the space between what can be automated within your current system and the actual processes your staff is executing. The gap essentially represents the manual processes your team completes in order to run your business effectively. As companies experience growth, the automation gap generally increases and can overrun a finance department.
A great example of how the right system can close the automation gap is Sage Intacct’s multi-entity management capabilities. By automatically consolidating multiple companies and automating closing entries, when you grow by acquisition you no longer need to manually track the activity in spreadsheets and manually consolidate the books! With Sage Intacct, finance teams can rapidly close the books and reduce errors along the way allowing them to provide meaningful information to your management team faster.
Growing through product diversification is great but that also means companies need to understand how that impacts their compliance standards such as ASC 606. Once you understand your compliance requirements, you then need systems in place to uphold them.
When your current software doesn’t automate this for you, companies typically lean toward a spreadsheet as their process. Managing compliance in a spreadsheet is not sustainable over the long term as you experience continued growth and create new products.
Processes built around spreadsheets are extremely manual and the responsibility of managing and maintaining them typically falls on one or two employees who truly understand how the document works. We often find that the documentation and instructions of the process are nonexistent meaning all of that process knowledge leaves the company when the employees leave your organization.
Managing complex processes using spreadsheets is not without risk. It’s not a question of “if” there is an error, it’s a question of “when” the error is going to occur and how big of an impact is it going to cause.
Companies are trying to close the automation gap by hiring talent. However, hiring high-level talent that can create and understand complex spreadsheets comes at a premium. Continuing to hire employees at top salaries to perform these tasks is not sustainable over the long term. This also contributes to creating a company culture where the focus is on clerical work rather than strategic work.
Why is closing the gap important?
90% of the decision-makers are under pressure to make decisions faster but only 28% trust the data in their reports. This is largely due to the almost guaranteed mistakes that happen when a company relies on manual processes instead of working with a system that closes its automation gap.
Current CFO’s have more responsibilities than ever to strategically lead their companies with real-time data. Reacting on three-week-old data that is almost guaranteed to have some error within the report is no longer acceptable or the norm.
Are you unsure of how to discover your automation gap and implement a solution to close it? The rinehimerbaker team can help you evaluate your current processes, identifies your opportunities, and build a plan on how to close your automation gap.
If you would like to find out more, click here to watch the full Closing the Automation Gap Webinar. If you are ready to discuss closing your own gap, please fill out the form below to speak with a representative at rinehimerbaker.