Business Automation Solutions, Tips & Best Practices

Financial Automation
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Saving time, reducing manual errors, and increasing productivity- they all sound great, don’t they? Business automation solutions provide these benefits and more. 

You likely have an idea about what business automation tools do, but you may be looking to know if and how they’d work for your business specifically. 

We’re going to look at what workflow automation tools can do, as well as see how easy they are to implement within a business of any size. 

Coming Up

What is Business Automation?

What are the Benefits of Business Process Automation?

What are Examples of Business Process Automation?

How to Automate Business Processes?

How to Choose Business Automation Solutions?

What are the Best Business Automation Solutions?

Final Thoughts

What is Business Automation?

Business automation is technology and software that streamlines workflows, processes, and tasks. Through automation, businesses can reduce their reliance on key people, as well as manual efforts to get repetitive, data-heavy, and time-consuming tasks executed. 

With this saved time, human resources can allocate their attention towards value-add and strategic initiatives, rather than manual data entry and similar duties. 

Business automation solutions can be applied across an organization to improve:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Compliance 
  • Sales 
  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Human resources
  • Supply chain management

There are a variety of business automation solutions to choose from, but all of them tend to work through a combination of artificial intelligence, data analytics, and software applications. 

The best process automation software can integrate with your existing tech stack and be deployed without the need for a dedicated IT team.

What are the Benefits of Business Process Automation?

94% of employees say that they perform time-consuming and repetitive tasks within their job. That’s a lot of time that could be better spent. 

Business automation solutions can help remedy this wasted time, along with other benefits, including:

1. Increased Productivity

Since business process automation eliminates repetitive and manual tasks, employees can focus on other responsibilities while the tasks are still getting done. Automation solutions also complete tasks faster, so there’s an uptick in efficiency. 

2. Cost Savings

With the reduction of manual labor, staffing expenses also goes down. Additionally, less errors translate to less rework and time spent remedying mistakes, which cuts costs. 

3. Better Decision Making

Business automation solutions are equipped with advanced analytics, so that you can make your data usable. With data-driven insights, you have what you need to make more informed decisions in a timely manner, as well as spot opportunities and trends. 

4. Improved Collaboration and Transparency

Teams can collaborate with ease with cloud-based automation software, no matter where they may be located. Stakeholders and managers have better internal control to check in on the status of processes, even while they are occurring.

5. Decreased Risks

Businesses can better manage internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance. Business automation solutions also standardizes processes and reduces mistakes, which means there’s less risk of error and non-compliance.

What are Examples of Business Process Automation?

You can apply business process automation across departments and functions. To get an idea of how business automation solutions work in practice, let’s take a look at a few examples:

1. Finance and Accounting

Finance and accounting is well-suited for automation software because the nature of the business is data-heavy, time-sensitive, and requires repetition. An example of business process automation for this realm is reconciliation. 

Reconciliation happens (or should) take place at least every month during the month-end close process. The best reconciliation tools will connect your data systems, perform transaction matching in seconds (rather than days), and then notify your team if any discrepancy is found. 

Additionally, you can complete processes faster with 90% errors, all while removing key person dependencies. At the same time, you’re able to improve compliance, gain detailed insights for informed decision making, and easily access audit trails/reports.  

The software is highly useful in the case of a high volume of transactions with the use of multiple payment processors (i.e. Worldpay, Stripe, Amazon, etc.). 

2. Sales

Customers go through quite the journey from prospect to active customer. In order to get them there, the sales team starts with leads and builds the relationship. 

Business automation solutions in sales can help to tag a new lead as an opportunity and move them through the funnel to be contacted. You can use tools to automate lead nurturing and strengthen the communication through automated emails. 

3. Customer Service

The easier you make it for customers to get in touch with you for answers and support, the less likely they’ll be to churn. An idea for automating this service would be to include a chatbot which can answer frequently asked questions for customers, without the need for human intervention. 

How to Automate Business Processes?

Starting to automate business processes should be exciting, not daunting. We’re here to share the road to success so that once you choose the right tool, you’ll be ready to automate with confidence.

1. Process Identification

Before you can change something, you need to define what it is you wish to alter. This is what process identification means. 

You’ll want to take stock of your current processes and make notes of where inefficiencies lie. It’s best to focus on repetitive processes that tend to be frustrating and time-consuming to complete. 

2. Set Goals

Before you deploy process automation software, define what your specific goals are. This is important because it helps you to monitor and gauge the success of your automation solution. It also allows you to analyze processes to continue with process improvement down the line. 

3. Choose Software

This step is critical because it will define how your processes flow and how your employees interact/adopt the solution. Choosing a solution will be based on a few different considerations (which we will touch on in the next section). 

But, a few things to think about here is: how scalable the solution is, how easy it is to use, and what features the software has. Automation software can help you boost productivity by 85x and reduce errors by 90%, so there’s a lot to gain! 

4. Test and Deploy

Start small and test out process automation workflows before going big. This allows you to rectify or adjust the process workflow as needed before making sweeping changes across the board. 

You also get to see how the solution works within your business and give employees the necessary time to learn how to use it. With tools that integrate easily with your existing tech stack and have an intuitive interface, you won’t need to rely on IT teams to make changes or setup new automated processes. 

How to Choose Business Automation Solutions?

To further elaborate on step 3 above, choosing business automation solutions requires research. 

As you go through your assessment of the tools on the market, you’ll want to start by considering what processes you wish to automate and your overall business goals. 

Then, you’ll dive deeper into each solution to gauge its:

  • Scalability 
  • Flexibility
  • Usability 
  • Support and resources 
  • User friendliness 
  • Return on investment
  • Cost 

Cloud-based automation software maintains the security of the system for you, so you don’t have to second guess your data’s protection. Similarly, it is easy to deploy without any coding or IT team. It tends to be the most cost effective and scalable solution for business’ needs. 

What are the Best Business Automation Solutions?

To help get your foot in the door and the show on the road, here’s an idea of some of the best automation solutions out there that are worth your time to consider. We’ve broken it down based on business needs. 

1. SolveXia - Best for Finance

SolveXia is a low-code platform to automate manual processes and spreadsheet-driven data preparation. SolveXia enables finance teams to free up their time and allocate their energy towards value-added work.

Finance teams can use the solution to unify data, automate processes, save time, reduce mistakes, perform calculations, generate reports, and access analytics. 

With SolveXia, they are able to unify data from systems and spreadsheets to automate processes, with no involvement from IT. In return, stakeholders have smart dashboards, rich insights, and information at their fingertips to make decisions at any point in time. 

The software can automate key finance functions, such as: reconciliation, regulatory reporting, expense analytics, rebate management, and more. With drag-and-drop functionality, SolveXia is quick and easy to learn. 

2. ActiveCampaign - Best for Email Marketing

ActiveCampaign is great for email marketing and sales automation as the software is easy to use and cost effective. Users can segment their audience, schedule email marketing, and utilize analytics to boost their campaigns’ impact. 

3. Slack - Best for Communication and Workflows

You may know Slack as an instant messaging app for workplaces, but it also integrates with third-party applications and allows users to automate approvals, trigger actions by keywords, and gather information with forms. 

4. Basecamp - Best for Project Management

As a project management automation solution, Basecamp shines because it provides a centralized platform to manage tasks. With features like real-time chat and message boards, Basecamp also improves collaboration and communication. 

5. Zoho CRM - Best for Sales

Zoho CRM stands out because it not only is a customer relationship management system, but it also offers an AI-powered sales assistant and integrates with other solutions. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s a lot to gain by implementing business automation solutions. And, the best part is, business automation solutions exist to aid every aspect of business. 

With all the automation tools to add and choose from, it’s crucial for finance to be at the top of your list. Without accurate analytics and reporting, it won’t matter how good your sales, marketing, or customer service is. 

When your finances are in order, your business has what it needs to reach its full potential.


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