5 minute read
There is not a single company in the world whose vision (its purpose) is “to ensure the timely entry of data into our accounting systems” or “to ensure the timely preparation and payment of payroll and the calculation and remittance of source deductions”. So why on earth do entrepreneurs and business leaders deploy their most valuable and often most expensive resources – themselves and their teams – on repetitive and demoralizing data-entry tasks? We call this type of work “busy work” – and it is killing your business by stunting your growth and opportunity – so you should automate it as quickly as possible.
Organizations of all sizes now have access to affordable data-processing power that used to only be available to big companies. Smaller companies that embrace technology to automate their business processes have an amazing opportunity to seize market share by re-focusing their workforce on their customers and on sales growth.
The benefits of automating busy work (compared to people doing it):
- Employee satisfaction and retention. Working on value creation is way more engaging than working on busy work;
- Productivity. Technology is way faster and way more accurate at processing data than people ever were. Furthermore, people are way more productive when they are engaged at work, and very few people find busy work engaging;
- Scalability. Technology can scale with your company, no recruiting or training required;
- Reliability. Technology does not call in sick or take holidays. It works 24/7 and on weekends too!
- Better business decisions. Business leaders who have access to real-time financial information about their companies, who have transparency across their organizations, and who can collaborate with their teams in real-time can make way more informed decisions.
I don’t want to fire everyone
Very good – I don’t want you to fire everyone either. Technology creates opportunities for people to focus on what they are good at by taking the busy work off their plates. The development of robots, machine learning and artificial intelligence is expected to create 58 million net new jobs, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) report “The Future of Jobs 2018”. Yes, some jobs will be displaced but new opportunities will abound just like we see every time new technologies are developed (think horse and carriage vs steam engine, hand written manuscripts vs the printing press).
- Data Entry Clerks
- Accounting, Bookkeeping, Payroll Clerks
- Administrative and Executive Secretaries
- Assembly and Factory Workers
- Client Information and Customer Service Workers
- Business Services and Administration Managers
- Accountant and Auditors
- Material-Recording and Stock-Keeping Clerks
- General and Operations Managers
- Postal Service Clerks
Where do I start? It’s a bit overwhelming…
A challenge for business leaders is that there are lots of software alternatives. Despite what the latest QuickBooks Online advertisement may be telling you, diving into accounting automation is anything but ‘quick’. Full-time attention is required just to understand all the alternatives, let alone deploy and manage them. What happens if you make the wrong choice and a software change is required a year into deployment? Besides that, shouldn’t you be focused on your customers and on generating sales?
You might ask, “so just how many accounting technology solutions are there”? Who knows, but here are some interesting points:
- The top accounting technology experts in the world predict that today’s rate of technological change is the slowest that we will experience for the rest of our lives;
- At Account-Ex in Boston this year (one of North America’s premier accounting technology conferences), the exhibitors’ list was just shy of 100 software companies;
- As of the day of writing this, QBO lists over 450 integrations in its app store;
- Xero’s app store has over 600 listed integrations.
(These are just the ones listed, there are a tonne of other direct integrations that aren’t showcased in the app stores. Also, this doesn’t include applications which are linked through 3rd party applications like Zapier and Cloud Cart Connector… so the actual numbers are huge.)
The thought of automating your company’s busy work is overwhelming, the status-quo is a lot easier to manage – at least in the short term… Curious business owners may demo one option and quickly discard it as inefficient because they can’t get it to do what they want it to, or they can’t get it talking to their other systems. Your business will suffer with status-quo thinking and you don’t have the time to test all the alternatives.
Is there another option? Yes.
There are a few technology-based professional service firms, like Achen Henderson CPAs, who work very hard to understand automation and technology alternatives. We automate our client’s accounting and business systems, so they can focus more energy on creating value in their companies. We are experts at it and we will have you up and running in no time.
My head hurts, should I automate?
If you are having trouble deciding if automation is right for your company, have an honest conversation with yourself around the following questions:
- Why does your company exist? What does it do? How do you get it done?
- Are you and your people spending most of your day driving sales and interacting with your customers? Or are you spending most of it on busy work?
- What do you wish you could do in your business, right now, to increase sales – if only you had the time and/or resources?
Not sure where to start? Let’s chat. We’d love to discuss your business and your opportunities.BOOK 30-MINUTES OF FREE ADVICE WITH OUR FOUNDER