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Automation in financial services - Key pillars for success

Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Automation
Financial operations
By
Karolina Jarosinska
|
May 17, 2024

In the recent years automation has revolutionised many sectors including finance and has been helping finance teams streamline the day to day operations, reduce costs and enhance supplier and customer relationships. Embracing finance automation should be one of the key foundational pillars of every global business from the very outset however in order for it to be successful, a comprehensive approach encompassing data integrity, process optimization, technology utilisation, and people-centric initiatives is required. In this article we will cover the benefits around cost reduction, efficiency, compliance coming from automating financial operations as well as key strategies for successful implementation.

Why to automate?

Automating financial operations comes with undeniable benefits. Fyorin’s clients report on average savings of 120 hours and 40,000 euros per year thanks to automating their global payments and payable processes. Here are some tangible reasons why all global businesses should consider embracing financial automation:

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Cost Reduction: McKinsey report estimated that up to 70% of repetitive tasks in finance can be automated, translating to substantial cost savings across the organisation.
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Efficiency Gains: Automation expedites routine tasks, allowing finance teams to reduce manual work and instead, concentrate on strategic endeavours.
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Regulatory Compliance: By reducing human error and providing accurate, auditable records automation ensures adherence to regulatory standards and keeps records ready for audits.
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Enhanced Customer and Employees Experience: Automating processes such as payables, receivables, and payroll facilitates faster transactions, seamless currency conversions, and streamlined payment procedures, enhancing both customer and employee satisfaction.

Consider the processes to automate

Before considering tools or embarking on major automation projects, the initial step is to reevaluate the processes earmarked for automation. These should primarily target areas where your finance team spends the most time performing manual tasks, which adversely affect efficiency and operational costs.

Placing technology atop a shaky process yields shaky results – potentially amplifying errors and necessitating additional workarounds. Automation aims to save both money and time; thus, if it fails to achieve this you need to reevaluate the process.

Typically, the processes that can be automated include:

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Accounts Payable: This encompasses centralising bills into one place, processing payments, automating payment and approval workflows, along with reconciling paid invoices within the accounting system.
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Accounts Receivable: An end-to-end accounts receivable process facilitates not only the issuance of invoices but also the segregation of incoming payments for enhanced revenue visibility and accurate reconciliation. This is particularly beneficial for businesses with a high volume of incoming payments like e-commerce.
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Expense Management: Automating the reconciliation of card expenses alleviates the need for the finance team to chase employees for invoices and receipts at month-end, providing a comprehensive overview of business spending. Effective expense automation can mitigate overspending and enhance budget control.
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Reporting: Dealing with multiple financial institutions can pose reporting challenges, whereby by the time the data is aggregated it becomes outdated. Real-time access to financial data from diverse sources, accessible through a single platform, not only streamlines the reporting process but also facilitates better-informed decision-making.

Consider integrity of data

The second step involves scrutinising the data that will be involved in the automation process, ensuring a stable and reliable flow between systems. This typically necessitates establishing a real-time connection via APIs, ensuring the accuracy of data flow and working with the most up-to-date information.

Furthermore, efforts should be made to transition away from spreadsheets where feasible, opting instead for cloud-based solutions where data is secure, encrypted, and easily integrated with preferred tools. In the realm of accounting, this transition may entail adopting dedicated accounting software.

Consider tools and technology

After addressing processes and data considerations, the next step involves exploring the tools you wish to use for automation. There are various options - you can opt to automate each process with a separate tool, each connected to one another for multi-tool tech stack or a unified tool that connects everything in one platform.

While a multi-tool stack may offer specialised functionality, it often entails significant subscription costs. In contrast, a unified platform like Fyorin not only centralises financial operations but also minimises expenses. Moreover, a unified solution simplifies support by providing a single point of contact for all financial automation needs, a crucial benefit for growing SMEs.

Whichever option you choose - pick a trusted vendor that has helped SMEs similar to yours, implement automation across multiple functions at scale. Fyorin has experience working with companies across various industries - from aviation, affiliates to SaaS and technology companies streamline their financial operations by implementing automated processes through our unified platform.

Consider people and proper training

Automation is not intended to replace human effort but rather to complement it, enabling finance teams to focus on more strategic tasks. However, concerns may arise, particularly from legal and compliance teams, regarding security and the delegation of day-to-day operational decisions to automated systems. This prompts questions about error detection and timely correction. If however, automation is implemented with due care and consideration for business needs, it can bring favourable outcomes for both teams and the company's bottom line.

It is imperative to involve the team from the outset of the automation to ensure that the system is tailored to the business's requirements, including access and controls. Finance teams possess invaluable knowledge of processes and inefficiencies, making their involvement essential.

Despite automation, human oversight remains indispensable, especially for complex financial decisions like approvals. Ensure that training is provided to each team member so they can operate the system successfully. This includes the ability to identify potential mistakes, rectify them, and report any further inefficiencies for continuous process optimisation.

Fyorin - a unified platform for automated cross-border payments and more

Fyorin is a financial operations platform, powered by our global network of financial institutions, delivering treasury management, payables, receivables, expense management solutions and automating money movement for payment institutions, fintechs and global businesses! With Fyorin you can:

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Automate your global payables. Centralise all bills in one place, approve, automate reconciliation and send payments in any currency, over any payment rails including SEPA, SWIFT, ACH or other local method.
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Get paid faster and reconcile global sales instantly. Issue invoices and payment requests in multiple currencies, receive payments into individual sub-accounts to get a granular view of the incoming payments.
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Consolidate all your banking into one platform. Easily manage, control your treasury and diversify liquidity risk from one place, with one login. Enjoy hassle-free global banking and greater financial operations efficiency with a streamlined reporting and real-time access to data.

Interested in automating your financial operations with Fyorin? Get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] or book a demo!


Fyorin, your financial partner

Fyorin, a financial operations platform for digital businesses, automates and monetizes the movement of money, making financial operations smoother, faster and more efficient. The platform eliminates 90% of manual work, allowing businesses to connect with their preferred accounting platform to automate receivables and payables.

Treasury

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