Accounting automation is an increasingly popular term in the finance space. According to MarketWatch, automation is projected to grow to nearly $9 billion by 2026. Automation tools such as RPA, AI, and ML enhance many aspects of business accounting. Current benefits include real-time cloud access, more accurate projections, and fast access to useful data for decision-making. However, at least for the foreseeable future, a human touch is a much-needed addition to any financial automation endeavor. Here is why.
There are accounting tools that keep accurate books, handle reconciliations, forecast revenue, and alert you when you’re off budget. However, automated platforms rely on whatever data comes into them. The first level of a “human touch” is your team actively fulfilling their part of the process — accurate data in, accurate data out.
Examples of human-side interactions include:
• Properly integrating with sources like bank accounts, payroll tools, and inventory software. These initial connections must be active for any sort of accounting software to function.
• Timely inputs of data such as accounts receivable/accounts payable, expense reports, sales data, and any other data set needed by a particular accounting tool.
While these things may seem basic, accounting tools are only as good as the data given to them, and without human adoption of business software, automation isn’t valuable. Beyond setup and maintenance, there’s something to be said for genuine financial experience. While machine learning understands certain things it’s programmed to look for, the human side connects all life experiences to help navigate future events, even unexpected ones.
Tools need humans to use them, at least in some capacity. If anything, look at tech and ask how your company can best leverage it. Then, figure out how to get that mileage from a human perspective. Pair the accuracy and data of AI, RPA, and ML tools with the experience of yourself, your team, and your financial partners. That’s the way to win with accounting automation.