Small and medium-sized businesses are spending on average 120 hours a year on admin tasks, according to recent research into productivity at UK SMBs.
If your people are spending 120 hours wading through tedious and unproductive admin, that’s bad for the business and for your overall efficiency. Fortunately, technology and software automation can go a long way towards automating the low-level admin tasks.
Better productivity through automation
Automation is an important way to ease your business workload, with a host of different business apps and cloud solutions offering ways to automate your admin.
With ‘smart business tools’ increasing in number and choice, software is utilising automation algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cognitive solutions to help remove the mundane admin tasks from your workflows.
Core processes that will benefit from automation include:
- Automated bookkeeping – Just take a photo of your receipts, expenses and invoices and ‘optical character recognition’ (OCR) technology will digitise the output and pull it through into your accounts software. No data entry, no human error and no lost receipts! We can do the rest to ensure your records are accurate.
- Automated credit control – chasing up debts and late-paying customers takes time. Automated credit control apps track your debtor numbers and automatically sends out customised chaser emails as soon as an invoice is late. This reduces your credit control time, speeds up cash collection and cuts your aged debtor figure.
- Automated payment collection – the easier it is to pay you, the faster your customers will pay. Automated card payments and cloud-based Direct Debit solutions allow you to automatically take payment from a customer as soon as an invoice is due. Some solutions will even automate the invoice matching and bank reconciliation process.
- Automated reporting and forecasting – the better your reporting and business intelligence, the easier it is to make informed decisions about your company strategy. Accounting platforms and financial technology tools now offer automatic, real-time reporting and forecasting, giving you access to the important numbers and metrics, fast.
- Automated digital marketing – digital marketing is key to raising your brand’s profile. Marketing platforms offer important time-saving ways to schedule and post social media content, or email automation that sends a pre-programmed cadence of emails to specific target audiences within your wider customer base.