Financial Automation Has Helped Finance Teams Stretched Thin During Staffing Shortages
Labor shortages and rising wages have forced U.S. organizations to invest in financial automation services at a growing rate. A recent Federal Reserve survey of chief financial officers found that at firms reporting hiring problems, “33% of businesses are implementing or exploring automation because of their hiring difficulties.”
In recent earnings calls, executives from various businesses confirmed the increasing trend of implementing automation to combat labor shortages as the staffing crisis shows no signs of slowing down.
In December of 2021 alone, over 4.3 million workers quit their jobs, closing out a record-breaking year during which over 47.4 million people voluntarily left their positions for better work.
Over one in five employees, on average, is actively looking for a new job. This shift is partly due to how COVID-19 has impacted their thinking about work and company leadership.
Modern employees are more likely to value health-minded positions that grant them control over their workday, the ability to manage their time and health challenges, and the capacity to build stronger work relationships that align with shared priorities.
They’re also more likely to seek out flexible positions that offer a hybrid working model — one where they can work remotely some of the time.
Companies that don’t offer flexibility will likely experience the worst of the ongoing crisis despite intense efforts to recruit skilled labor, as more than 11 million jobs remain unfilled and over 74% of businesses are reporting problems filling open positions.
Those companies that use automation services are expected to experience dramatic increases in operational performance levels.
Financial Automation Has Paid Dividends in Productivity
Advances in machine learning for financial automation have empowered companies to allocate more time for higher value-added tasks while reducing costs by simplifying, accelerating, and automating financial processes.
Businesses that currently use automation for financial management, bookkeeping, and accounts payable processes, while being short-staffed, continue to run smoothly.
Based on interviews with companies that implement automation solutions, they report savings of around 70% of finance operation costs, faster turnaround times, and fewer errors.
Highly automated accounts payable departments process eight times as many invoices per full-time equivalent employee as their peers with little or no automation.
Companies that haven’t implemented automated financial solutions should seriously consider integrating the technology into their business—especially as financial teams are being asked to work longer hours than ever before.
Supportive leadership and a company’s level of automation can make a major difference between employees being productive and workers feeling disconnected and frustrated.
Accounts Payable (AP) Automation Removes a Key Bottleneck for Employees
Over 80 percent of accounts payable professionals have added two additional working hours per day. These staff members are more than twice as likely to leave their organization than those who are not burned out.
It is estimated that almost one-quarter of the typical accounts payable professional’s day is wasted on tasks that should be automated. A typical accounts payable manager spends more of their workday on transaction processing than on the managerial tasks they were hired to perform.
Most of the day is spent on manual, repetitive tasks such as keying invoice data, pushing paper, fixing typos and other mistakes, chasing down information, and responding to calls and emails from suppliers and stakeholders about the status of invoices and payments.
Companies that are currently considering making the switch to financial automation should create opportunities to gain team feedback on what tasks should be automated and what tools should be used.