Side view man working on laptop at desk by Gabriel Dajboc CC BY-SA 3.0 BigStockPhoto
There is no doubt that any small business has a wide range of tasks and jobs to complete on a daily basis. With all you need to do, it can be easy to overlook or underperform in certain functions of your business. Using the techniques of robotic process automation (RPA), you can streamline many of your business’s accounting functions. This will free up crucial time and energy so you can focus more on other aspects of your business!
Small Businesses Have an Abundance of Obligations
While a small business might not handle the volume of work a larger business would, smaller businesses actually require more from their employees on an individual basis. To understand this, you’ll need to know how the structure of small and large businesses differ.
Many larger businesses have the capacity to devote entire departments of employees to very specific tasks. This results in departments like accounting, human resources, and legal. If the company is particularly big, those departments may be separated even further by function.
In a smaller business, there are far less resources available to use. Instead of having a whole team of people working in a department, there might be only one. Perhaps one person covers the functions of multiple departments on their own. Certainly not an ideal situation, but often times in a small business the focus is more on simply making it work rather than finding ways to improve.
The nature of a small business seems to entail that your employees will often be stretched fairly thin. Individual job requirements tend to blur, meaning that one person might need to wear several different hats. While this adaptability is certainly useful for allowing a small business to run, it doesn’t allow for employees to specialize and hone in on aspects of their work.
Expanding Your Capacity
If you are interested in growing a small business, then you need to find ways of growing your capacity. In other words, you need to be able to handle more work. The problem with having one person handle several functions of a business is that it makes them a jack of all trades, but master of none.
When an employee isn’t able to master a function of your business, they aren’t able to gain a genuine understanding for what they are doing. Without this, it will take them longer to complete tasks and will often result in more mistakes.
This is no fault of you or your employees, but just a product of the small business environment. Without structured departments allowing employees to focus on individual tasks, it is quite difficult for a business to grow.
With employees already spread so thin, you’ll need to do one of two things to expand the work capacity of your business. You can either hire more employees, which can be costly and unfeasible for some businesses, or you can reduce the workload your current employees do have.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
While hiring new employees might be a quick fix for some businesses, it makes more sense to improve what you already have working. Within your business, there are undoubtedly several things that don’t actually require a human being to complete. If you use the technology of robotic process automatic (RPA), you can save precious manpower for other tasks that do require an actual person to complete!
If you’re never heard of robotic process automatic, it is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of having an employee complete an often-repeated task, you can have that task automated. This is particularly useful when it comes to accounting, as there are often several transactions that could save time if they were automated.
Benefits of RPA
There are probably several things within your business that can be automated. When choosing what you want to automate, you’ll want to prioritize functions that are most impactful to your business. This often includes things that directly involve money, but it can also be indirect if it is a mistake that will result in the loss of money. Anything your business does in high volume is also a great choice, as this often means it is a direct indicator of revenue.
Here are a few things within the accounting field that are great for RPA:
- Orders – One of the most important functions for any small business is handling and processing any orders that come through. This can be entirely automated and transaction details will be conveniently stored for financial reports needed later on. Even better, RPA can actually compile all the information needed to create financial reports!
- Payroll – If you don’t pay your employees, they won’t continue to work for you. Even if you give your best effort, it can be easy to make a mistake in payroll, resulting in a smaller or larger paycheck for some employees. To keep your workers happy and ensure you’re paying the right amount, RPA can easily analyze all relevant information (hours worked, pay rate, overtime) to assess and distribute paychecks for you.
- Support – One problem with manually handling aspects of accounting without actual training is that you won’t always know if you’ve done something correctly. RPA is an excellent way of verifying that you’re staying in compliance with all laws and regulations.
Expert Accounting Advice
Small business often find a way to make things work, but that doesn’t mean it is the best way of doing so. Employees of a small business often must find a way to handle multiple different functions of the business, even without fully knowing how to do so.
Spreading your employees across more work than they can handle is a great way to lead to burnout and low morale. One of the more challenging aspects of any business is handling any accounting functions. Through robotic process automation (RPA), you can actually automate several key processes that will save time and minimize errors!
When deciding what you should automate, you should consider what is actually feasible and how it impacts your business as a whole. The greatest benefit often comes from functions that lead to revenue generation or protection. For accounting, you can find great results from automating orders, payroll, and support for verifying all your information is correct.
It can be difficult to understand exactly how your business can best use RPA. If you want an expert opinion backed by decades of experience, get in touch with the accountants at the Felde CPA Group! We can take a comprehensive look at your business and accounting situation to help you decide the best way to automate!