Why Automation Will be Essential for 2021

As a business owner, chances are your business looks a lot different right now than it did at the start of the year. This year’s events drastically changed the way businesses operate, as everyone is rapidly accelerating the use of automated systems across the board in their companies—from touchless transactions to fully integrating automated accounting systems. 

If you’re struggling to put systems in place, read on to find out how they can benefit your business and why automated accounting services are a vital business tool in today’s uncertain times. 

How Systems Became a Vital Part to Business Survival

The beginning of 2020 brought a fresh start and a new fiscal year for businesses. Suddenly the world changed, and every business became an online business. Those who could transition to remote work had a better chance of survival and those who couldn’t experienced more difficulties moving forward.

Business structure has drastically changed as companies adapted overnight out of sheer necessity. Once-bustling offices are frequently empty with their teams working from home. Just a few of the ways that the pandemic transformed the way we do business are:

  • Rewritten (and usually reduced) budgets
  • Staffing changes
  • More remote workers
  • Interacting primarily online and via Zoom

With all the overnight business adjustments, the government stepped in to offer aid to employers and employees through the Payroll Protection Program and the CARES act.

Many businesses are getting creative on how they can offer touchless or remote services. Industries deemed non-essential have had to adjust their game plan to stay afloat.  For example, some local movie theaters started offering curbside popcorn delivery along with snacks and a DVD. Unable to offer their usual services, they adapted to bring in revenue…no matter how small. Businesses will need to continue to adjust and cut costs to stay afloat in 2021, and one of the best ways to cut costs and maximize profits is through automation.

What Does Automation Look Like?

The almost immediate transition to paperless and electronic systems has been incredibly beneficial for businesses. They can create more time and allow easier processing of data, which can convert more sales. Some of the more popular automation processes include those that enable touchless transactions, cloud systems, and Robotic Process Automation.

Paperless and electronic systems also allow for touchless transactions during the exchange of goods and services, making it the safest option in an uncertain time. Software, such as Square, can be accessed from all different devices and allow the customer to swipe their card without signing or entering a pin.

Cloud systems have played a vital role as the workforce has transitioned to working remotely. Many people working from home are using simple laptops and home computers and don’t have the setup and resources offered in the office. Cloud systems save companies money because they are accessible anywhere. No longer do you have to pay for costly licensing to host software on a desktop or the server and computer maintenance required to maintain computers in-office.

Robotic Process Automation is essentially software that you can direct to do automation tasks, such as gathering data from the web, sorting and categorizing electronic files, copying and pasting data, or whatever other repetitive tasks the software is configured to do. The user configures the software to fit the business needs, saving businesses everywhere, time and money. 

Automation uses fewer employee resources, allowing workers to focus on tasks that add value to the company. It reduces workarounds and bottlenecks, decreases offline calculation or data entry errors, and improves business processes and customer experience. Employees spend more time focusing on profit-building activities than on redundant work.

Cloud Accounting Services Will Rock Your World

With the immediate shift towards automation, businesses need to reprioritize investment strategies for longevity. One of the easiest and most beneficial areas to automate in your business is accounting. Cloud accounting services are accessible anywhere and are much more accurate and time-saving than manual systems. The accuracy and time-saved can easily translate into more room in your budget and a larger profit. The two tools I use and recommend for automated accounting services are Quickbooks Online and Xero. 

Cloud accounting programs have become a staple for businesses turning towards automation. You’ll be able to log in from a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, rather than from a single location. You won’t have to deal with any complicated or costly IT issues that office computers are prone to have, saving you money on IT support. Gone are the days when you need to back-up your work at the end of the day or install time-consuming updates—your work automatically saves as you go, and the program is always up to date. 

With cloud accounting, you’re able to access your financial information anytime, anywhere. By using a cloud accounting system and working with an accounting professional, you’ll always know where you stand.  Anyone with access to your accounting system can be working in the same software that updates in real-time. You’ll not have to worry about transferring or double entering information.Cloud accounting software accompanied by a great accounting professional can provide the benefit of real-time financial information. Your books will be compliant and more accurate, so you’ll have better tools to make better financial decisions for your business. You’ll be saving time and money!

The Future of Business in a Post-Pandemic Economy

With the future uncertain, it’s imperative now more than ever that we modernize our businesses. Businesses that already had automated systems were in a better position to weather the sudden changes that occurred. Even though no one has “pandemic” in their business plan, those that had embraced automation were miles ahead of those who had to pivot overnight.

We’ll never go back to the way it was before we had ever heard of the Coronavirus. With all the changes, we’ve learned how to adapt quickly to a new way of working. We now know that workers are happier and more productive at home, a traditional office is sometimes no longer necessary or even profitable, and that we can save time and money by streamlining and automating our systems. The pandemic was the catalyst for the next step in business evolution, and it will only continue to evolve as technology advances.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Implementing or streamlining your systems into automated masterpieces isn’t always easy because change never is. That’s why you need a partner to help you do the heavy lifting and ensure that all the systems in your tech stack work well together. 

It’s time to make sure your accounting system is compliant and ready to help you adjust to changing market conditions, no matter how unexpected. Schedule a call with me today, and we can talk about partnering to automate your accounting systems, so your business is ready to take on the future.