Finance Bots: How to Improve Back-Office Efficiency Through Automation

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The term “future office” may bring up ideas of automation taking over monotonous and labor-intensive duties. But the future has here. The advancement of technology such as cloud-based apps, software platforms, and enterprise resource planning systems, which assist businesses in achieving peak operational efficiency, has made automated offices a reality.

According to McKinsey, corporate finance departments have cut costs by about 30% over the previous decade by deploying automation solutions in areas such as procurement, accounting, and payroll. These breakthroughs have revolutionised financial functions and reduced several inefficiencies.

When I founded and grew my own consulting business, Pylink, I took full use of automation as a financial analyst and software developer by building up bots for finance chores. However, many finance departments have not, therefore they continue to waste time and money executing fundamental duties.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the issue. PwC discovered that finance departments must increase their efficiency and insight through automation and process optimization, which may cut costs by double digit percentages for several core operations. According to PwC’s research, automation could save individuals 40% of the time they spend on management reporting, 27% of the time they spend on tax accounting, and 23% of the time they spend on credit management, general accounting, and invoicing.

Deloitte has found similar conclusions: using Ayehu research, it estimates that intelligent automation reduces business process expenses by 25 to 40%. According to Gartner’s analysis, a firm with 40 full-time accounting staff members may save over $870,000 per year by automating operations and reducing unnecessary effort to correct human mistake.

In this post, I’d want to offer some simple automation tactics that I’ve utilised for my firm and clients—quick fixes that might be effective for businesses of all sizes.

Smaller businesses might benefit from off-the-shelf products like as QuickBooks. To improve productivity, I recommend leveraging programming languages like Python to custom create your solutions, including business bots. Python is more adaptable than Excel since it is highly intuitive and has a big standard library of tools as well as access to finance-specific modules.

In my recent Toptal post, I demonstrated how simple it is to use Python to create customised cash flow models for businesses. If you’re interested in learning the language, I recommend you read it. However, in this post, I’ll offer you an overview of real applications ranging from time tracking to payroll to email that a developer can quickly and simply create for you if you don’t want to go into the code yourself.

How My Company Uses Bots for Finance: Simple, Efficient Payments
Allow me to highlight the value of bespoke automation by using an example from my firm as a case study. Despite the fact that Pylink is a tiny company, my team and I encounter significant complexity when it comes to payments, including the following:

We work on multiple projects on an hourly basis and must measure the time spent on each assignment.
Our clients come from many nations and pay us in various currencies.
While we have an in-house software engineering staff for some projects, we outsource others to developers from across the world.
We have three firms in terms of tax optimization: one in the UK, one in the EU, and one in the EU as an individual freelancer.
Each of our businesses has its own bank account in a variety of currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, and HUF.
We have recurring costs in several currencies, such as taxes, wages and benefits for full-time staff, office space and supplies, and software.

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