Like other industries, banks and other financial industries are automating their services like online banking system, mobile payments etc. However, there are still many financial document processing tasks that require data entry services to convert paper-based data into digital format to ensure accuracy. Automation in the financial industry helps to generate an improvement of more than 50 percent in productivity and customer service.
Once the business starts expanding, day-to-day management tasks increase and the office will have to deal with a number of invoices, billing, back office work and other tasks. Eventually this becomes a cumbersome and time-consuming activity that affects the productivity and efficiency of the employees. According to a survey conducted for small business owners majority of business owners are using Excel spreadsheet to keep track of their finance. Alex Barnett, Director of Intuit Developer Group, says small businesses always look for pocket-friendly simple tools and apps that simplify their accounting process or use inexpensive accounting software. For filing taxes or analyzing financial performance metrics, small businesses use financial software to get better insights and organized data that saves you many hours of building reports in Excel. But accounting software is just the first step in optimizing your business operations. There are many other tools available that make business functions easier.
Find Out Which Tools You Need
- First determine the problems you are facing, and then identify the types of tools that can provide support. The different types of problems are :
- Struggling with cash flow and constantly worried about having cash in the bank
- Not having a clear understanding of your inventory
- Need for better tools for better customer management, replying to client emails and better communication.
- Having the right number of employees and how productive they are as compared to sales revenue
- Comparing your industry peers and how business metrics are measured against industry standards.
Test Your Tools
Once you have identified the problems of your business, the next step is to choose reliable tools that can rectify the problem and compare the tools. If your company wants to improve cash flow, then all cash management tools should be compared. Research online and find some software products that improves cash flow management. Check reviews about the software product, consider how much you want to spend on the tools, and pick out three to four tools that fit your needs, business size and budget. Before choosing a software tool, evaluate thoroughly by asking the following questions:
- Whether the tool is easy to use and well supported
- Calculate the time savings aspect of any software tool
- Find out whether the tool has a trial period that allows you to test the software
- How much training is required to implement the tool
- How long before the tool pays for itself or demonstrates ROI
There Are No Permanent Solutions
The latest technology software helps businesses save considerable amount of time and it is also important to take into account the life span of these solutions. If your business is growing, you’ll need to iterate on your selection process as your business demands it.
Buy in for success of the tool
A new tool will always need an effective team. One tool may be useful for certain people of your team but you can strategically train and educate your team on the benefits and best practices foe new tools. Above all it is important to have a good control of your business. Creating collective buy-in early on will optimize the tool’s functions for your business. Incorporate new technologies into your business to gain a competitive advantage.
How to Incorporate New Technology
- Start from the bottom: First, evaluate the new technology and then begin from the basic level. If something is not working, then find out what changes can be brought into the new technology and how its success rate can be measured. Rank your priorities i.e. functionality and cost and go for systems that are accessible and intuitive to use.
- Avoid the impulse to rush: Implementation of new technology can go wrong if there is immense pressure to boost productivity and efficiency. It may be tempting to introduce pilot programs as a means of cycling through technologies to find the right one, but lack of commitment to implement new technologies can lead to failure of the new process. If you don’t have a full program in place, it will be difficult for employees to commit as well.
- Be supportive: Once you have decided what technology to use then make sure to have a complete support system for mitigating any difficulties in transition. Keep aside all the manuals and go for programs that have easily accessible digital help centers. Train your employees and make them comfortable with the newly introduced technology.
- Build value: Communicate properly with the employees about the new technology, explain its advantages and what motivated the business to adopt the new technology. Address what could be at stake if the implementation fails, giving ownership to everyone collectively. Highlight the direct value of new technology for employees and believe in the system for its success.
- Maintain momentum: The last thing you ever want to happen to your business is failure of your new technology after its implementation. To avoid this, put an individual or team in charge of the technology’s success. Let them be responsible for not only overseeing the process from start to finish, but also monitoring ongoing usage after the implementation phase is over.
- Be clear and transparent: Being clear can minimize the friction that may arise with the advent of new technology. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, only fifty percent of employees believe that their employer is open and upfront with them. Employees who are kept in the loop and understand their role in the process will be more likely to help you achieve a seamless transition.
Employees should recognize the personal value of a new tool. They should understand why the new technology matters to them, and how it will impact the day-to-day activities of the business. Make sure that the staffs understand how it will help them, not just the company. Make sure your new technology is ready to use and seeded with relevant data for all users. Help them quickly get more value out of the new system than the effort they are investing in it.
More Accuracy with Human Interference
Challenges are inevitable while trying to introduce or learn a new technology. Following the tips above, while trying to sympathize with those who struggle with change, will go a long way to ensure successful implementation of your new technology. No matter how advanced the industry’s data-driven methods are, it still requires a human touch to ensure that the algorithms work efficiently. This shows that even though advanced software technology easily automates data, it still needs the assistance of data entry companies. They help financial institutions transform unstructured data into structured data sets that smart technologies require to analyze and process data and also minimize the chances of risks.