When it comes to running any institution, especially hospitals, there's so much that takes up your time. The cost of financing, management, HR and payroll, and reporting are just a few things that tend to get in the way. Thankfully, there are ways of automating tasks, and savings are no exception.
For example, Google is working on automating as many finance tasks as possible as it looks to reduce the amount of manual work that its employees have to do. The software giant uses a combination of tools, including artificial intelligence, automation, the cloud, a data lake, and machine learning to run its finance operations and offer programming and other training to its employees.
Inspired by the work done at Google, we've compiled a list of the most effective ways to reduce your finance costs and maintain a healthy balance sheet. This simple guide will show you how to get started, from automating your invoicing and payroll processes to researching loans and saving on bank fees.
When it comes to automating your finance processes, it's best to start with something simple before moving on to more complex tasks. Invoicing is an excellent place to start. Automating your invoicing process can be using AI to extract that from documents, either scanned or directly in a PDF format. By doing so, you can reduce the time required to extract the data from the document and analyze it. The different steps that this simple automated process would provide would be:
- Data consistency analysis: dates, format, amounts
- Data centralization: placing the data in the different supports that require it or even centralizing it into a data warehouse for further analysis
- Data visualization: by having the data aggregated, it's possible to visualize patterns in the data
Google uses, for example, Document AI technology to process thousands of supply-chain invoices from our suppliers. By pulling in data from our ERP and other supply-chain system data, they can take those thousands of invoices and validate against them and systemically approve them. Where we have outliers, we can route those back to the business. And so it's a less manual process for the company and finance.
Automating your payments can save you a lot of time and effort while also providing a competitive level of service. For a payment to be made, it must be approved by multiple persons in the organization. By creating an approval system that handles every step, you can simplify your day-to-day finances. In most cases, you can use the same software for your accounting and bookkeeping systems. This allows you to have one place where you can manage all of your finances. Also, at Google, the controllers are now employing outlier detection and machine learning to close the books. This was once a very manual process. It took about a full day of knitting together various spreadsheets to pinpoint those outliers. Now, it takes one to two hours, and the analysis's quality is improved.
While it's true that you can outsource a lot of the tasks involved in financing your business, some require local expertise. For example, when you're looking to secure a loan or extend your line of credit, it can be a good idea to have an accountant specializing in financial planning. Investing in your data will help you reduce the time spent on these activities, and the tools you need are automation, data analysis, and person-to-person communication. A data investment is the best way to cut down on the amount of time you spend on the back end of your business.
Automation and investment in your data will help you save time and money while improving the accuracy of your reports. These will allow you to reduce the time it takes to complete the back end of your business and will enable you to focus on the front end. Finding the right provider is crucial to growing your business. You can do this by answering a few key questions: What kind of services do you need, and how often do you need them? These are just a few of the ways that you can automate your finances. There are many more ways to save money and increase efficiency in your business.