How Finance and Accounting Departments Can Automate Workflows To Improve Productivity
Digitization and automation are transforming the finance and accounting functions, and more CFOs are taking notice, according to experts from Gartner and Deloitte. Many of these automation efforts involve complex, costly technology, including machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI).
But your organization doesn’t need to make huge investments in custom application development to benefit from automation. A growing number of finance and accounting departments are turning to affordable, easy-to-use no-code app builders to transform their operations. From simple team workflows to function-spanning processes, no-code application development is empowering finance to boost productivity and better serve the business.
Automating and Accelerating Finance Processes
A no-code application platform allows non-technical, line-of-business (LoB) employees – such as financial professionals – to quickly and easily create their own software: applications, workflows, web forms, and more. Team members simply drag and drop reusable software elements onto a virtual canvas. Behind the scenes, the no-code app builder assembles a fully functional and secure application.
There’s no need for help from the IT department or lengthy application development cycles. Instead, users simply select from templates to design user interfaces, map workflows, define form behaviors, enable data inputs, and generate reports. Security is built-in, so sensitive data remains protected. API integrations with popular IT platforms connect your no-code applications and workflows with core financial systems and processes.
One notable benefit of no-code is that it empowers your finance team to optimize their day-to-day activities. Users can design and build workflows that meet their unique needs. Other team members can immediately adopt the new, streamlined processes, with little or no need for training.
No-code Use Cases for Finance
An effective no-code app builder can be tailored to meet the unique needs of finance. Your team can use the platform to digitize and automate a wide range of processes – all without coding. The resulting applications can capture and share data and integrate it with back-end systems. The applications can also route workflows from requests to approvals, with alerts to stakeholders and status updates for process owners.
With no-code, you can digitize internal processes as well as those facing suppliers, vendors, and customers. Relevant use cases include:
- Customer on-boarding
- Customer contracts
- Purchase orders
- Billing and invoicing
- Automated payment setup
- LoB budget requests and approvals
- Capital expenditure forms
- Procurement requests and approvals
- Expense reporting and approvals
An effective no-code tool will offer API integrations with core finance systems and processes. It will also provide capabilities to not only digitize workflows but also track their performance. As a result, you gain end-to-end visibility and can maintain policy and regulatory compliance. Built-in audit-trail functionality can even let you demonstrate compliance.
- A no-code app builder can enable centralized and remote finance teams to:
- Automate routine workflows
- Eliminate rote tasks and redundant process steps
- Reduce or eliminate manual errors
- Increase productivity, save time, and reduce costs
- Improve process visibility and track process performance
- Enforce compliance
- Shift focus to strategic initiatives
- Better support the business
Real World Finance Improvements
No-code can help finance serve the business more effectively by automating processes that span finance and other functions. For instance, Ogden Clinic used no-code to integrate finance and HR workflows. The healthcare system, with more than 25 locations in the western United States, has automated more than 30 internal processes, including mileage reimbursements and paid-time-off reporting. It even integrated those processes with core databases and web services and maintains an audit trail to ensure regulatory compliance.
An effective no-code platform can also help you better understand workflows to identify opportunities for improvements. One company that achieved that goal is Trilliant, which provides metering and communications systems for electric, natural gas, and water utilities. It used a no-code tool to automate business-critical forms and other day-to-day operations.
The company also applied no-code capabilities to map processes so that LoB owners can better understand and optimize those processes. The tool enables Trilliant to document process steps and actions, identify interaction points and bottlenecks, remove inefficiencies, and better manage investments in time and resources.
Increased Productivity, No More Busy Work
With the right no-code application development tool, your finance function can automate routine finance tasks, improve process efficiency, and reduce manual errors. You can avoid busywork while freeing up high-value finance and accounting professionals to focus on strategic initiatives and better serve the business.