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How Automation Plays a Crucial Role in Helping Scale Finance and Improve Adaptability

The finance function has long held a unique position in organizations, understanding the company’s current financial standing and preparedness and ability to achieve its strategic goals. Automation is the key to changing the nature of finance work, improving adaptability and preparedness across not only the finance team, but also the whole company. So, which finance processes would benefit the most from automation?



In today’s ever-changing economic climate, adaptability and responsiveness have become the new competitive edge. This is especially true when perceived or potential risks arise. Failing to adapt can cause companies to lag in growth or fall behind altogether. Businesses must find ways to evolve with the times and adjust to new market conditions, industry shifts, and customer preferences if they hope to meet customer needs, keep pace with trends, and stay ahead of the competition.

When the time comes to pivot, advanced and predictive data-driven insights are a necessity. Companies should derive guidance from their finance teams. The finance function has long held a unique position in organizations, understanding the company’s current financial standing and preparedness and ability to achieve its strategic goals. As a result, finance leaders have been called to move out of the more traditional role of monitoring finances and pulling together annual reports to assist C-suite members with growth objectives.

However, operating as a strategic business partner isn’t without its challenges. For one, it requires reevaluating responsibilities, priorities, and even the finance department’s structure. Teams must still report results and deliver forecasts while weighing in on the direction of corporate strategy. Additionally, it requires a deeper understanding of the impact of technology on finance. Companies must scale their finance functions so that finance professionals can elevate their roles.

Automation is the key to changing the nature of finance work. Not only does it reduce manual, repetitive tasks, but it also increases employee engagement. Finance team members will be more engaged when they can focus on value-adding responsibilities that support strategic goals. Plus, one Gallup report found that engaged employees are more productive and drive higher profitability.

It’s no coincidence that the expanding role of finance leaders coincides with the technological transformation taking place within the finance industry. But the question remains, which finance processes would benefit the most from automation?

Accounts Payable

Inefficiencies, manual reconciliation, and ever-changing global regulations are just a few of the challenges that can get in the way of an organization’s ability to scale financial operations—or at least scale the accounts payable function of the finance team. All these factors make it difficult to manage invoices and suppliers efficiently and effectively. An automated solution eliminates the manual nature of these tasks, which would free up time for the 94% of workers who say they perform time-consuming, repetitive tasks in their roles, according to Zapier. Automation can also reduce processing time, improve accuracy, and increase the visibility of financial processes, which can help reduce costs and support financial governance.

Global Payments

For many organizations, back-office processes can’t keep up in real-time with what’s happening on the front end. This increases the chances of delays, duplicate entries, errors, ineffective archiving, and fraud. Add a cross-border element to the equation, and those risks multiply exponentially.

Integrating an automated global payments solution into the finance function can do more than simplify the payment process. It can ensure accurate payments to international suppliers in their preferred payment methods and currencies while helping maintain tax compliance and navigate the complex landscape of global regulations.


Manually managing a company’s procurement is prone to inefficiencies. Businesses need only look at their requisition and approval processes, for example. They’re often overly complicated, and that’s before factoring in the many other issues involved with the function, such as manual workflows, limited visibility, weak controls, and more.

An automated procurement solution, encompassing pricing, payment term negotiations, bidding, contract management, purchase order management, and corporate spend control, can help curtail such inefficiencies and provide opportunities to gain greater control and visibility.

Employee Expenses

Businesses often struggle with managing employee expenses because most processes are manual. Team members must fill out expense reports, submit them for approval, and wait to be reimbursed—and that’s just what happens on the front end. Back-office responsibilities are an entirely different story. Regardless, everything adds up to a poor employee experience. However, an automated end-to-end procurement solution can streamline expenses and enhance the overall reimbursement process, helping improve the experience for all parties.

Economic uncertainties continue to mount, as do market shifts, price increases, and changes in consumer preferences. With an increasing number of organizations relying more heavily on their finance functions for strategy, finance leaders and professionals are now finding themselves balancing numerous responsibilities. As such, it’s important to recognize the impact of technology on finance. Automation can enable adaptability and preparedness. It’s all just a matter of finding the right solution to scale finance operations.


(Featured image by Goumbik via Pixabay)

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Bar Winkler is a general manager at Tipalti, a payments automation software that helps businesses manage their entire supplier payments operations by streamlining all phases of the accounts payable and payment management workflow in one holistic cloud platform.