The COVID-19 pandemic has left much chaos in its wake, including economic damage. As recently as the summer of 2022, Bloomberg reported that financial experts believed a recession had already begun. Economists are worried about the future of small businesses in the United States because growth has slowed, and inflation is going up. The Misery Indexes (which blend unemployment and inflation rates) gauge the US's financial woes at a shocking 12.2% – quite similar to levels reached when the pandemic was first beginning and also during the 2008 financial crisis.
The UK's inflation is also heading for double digits, and the recent transitions in leadership and the monarchy have left the economy teetering on the brink. To be blunt, the economy is not doing well, and businesses and consumers alike are concerned.
As their businesses grow, business owners face more and more difficult challenges. How can they afford to grow their staff as their sales or projects expand? How can they minimise costly errors and streamline time-intensive projects? How can they get the most out of the resources they still have when both labour and morale are low? Automation can help.
Why automation? Why now?
During a recession, some things consistently hold true. Resources run low, making mistakes costly. Labour becomes scarce, stretching the workforce thin. Lack of money and people make it hard to grow an enterprise.
Automation can help with all three of these problems quickly and cheaply, which makes it a good idea for entrepreneurs who want to not only make it through a recession but thrive in it. Because automation solves some of the biggest business worries during a recession, it would be a mistake for business owners to dismiss it.
How does automation mitigate labour concerns?
One of the largest advantages of automation boils down to three simple premises:
- Automation doesn't need to be hired, fired, or promoted. Automation remains stable and effective and costs less for the work done than paying benefits and wages for employees. What can seem like a large investment in beginning automation pays off in dividends when your now-digitised workforce never dwindles, quits, or calls in sick.
- Automation enables growth. As sales or projects grow, automation can account for many rote or entry-level activities that would otherwise require an expanded workforce. Instead of hiring an ever-increasing staff, your automation processes simply expand instead.
- Automation enables you to hire experts. Because hiring entry-level workers will require less investment due to automation, more space frees up in your budget to focus on high-level hires: innovators, leaders, and experts. When you're not concerned with hiring and paying for the labour that keeps the business going but doesn't necessarily innovate, you can instead focus your attention on adding value to your team.
Another advantage of increasing your employee pool through automation is that because you'll be hiring higher-level employees who will work to their skill sets, retention will improve. You'll keep your staff longer because they'll be happier and more fulfilled in their jobs, and nobody will feel expendable from doing rote or simplified labour that doesn't suit their strengths.
Accounting automation software can support all three of these goals. By taking care of things like account invoices, customer relationships, and account adjustments, it can save customers an estimated fifteen or more hours a week. Rather than hiring a fleet of accountants, let Chaser do the work for you.
How does automation improve customer relationships?
While automation improves and streamlines low-level labour, it also improves customer relationships. As Wade Roster wrote in Zapier about how much customers will be relying on you during economically tense times, as businesses struggle to stay afloat and provide consistent products or services, protecting client trust is crucial.
Automation's efficiency and consistency create powerful value here. Rather than relying on slow and error-prone human labour for accounting tasks, Chaser's automation software will remain error-free, giving you real-time answers and information. This speed and accuracy will allow for better responses to customer queries and day-to-day complications. Your business has no value unless you have clients; investing in software that will improve your client relationships and encourage their trust is a wise decision.
Because you can count on automation software to do its job, you can spend more energy and time doing yours and ensure that the person-to-person aspects of customer management are handled with precision, personality, and care and that the information you're working with is accurate and up to date. Your clients will thank you for it.
At a time when so much feels uncertain, automated accounting lets your clients feel certain of you.
How does automation improve workplace safety?
As the pandemic ravaged workforces and drew many businesses to shutter, automation provides an optimistic opportunity for growth and continuity: digitising processes and taking away the human variable of crucial components of business management makes your business less susceptible to falling under due to human illness or to guidelines for health and safety.
This may seem like a callous perspective to take but consider how many businesses could not operate during a pandemic due to illness or limitations on labour, public activity, or contact; by automating what processes you can, you can minimise your exposure to health-related obstacles in ensuring business success.
How does automation improve functionality?
If the mitigation of customer and labour concerns wasn't compelling enough, accounting automation can improve your functionality. Here are just a few ways that accounting automation can enhance your efficiency:
- Extracting data and information with ease. Once your software is set up to your specifications, an automated server can generate information and reports much faster than a human accountant.
- Speedy data transfers. Without the risk of human error, data transfers can happen lightning-fast with automated processes. No more worrying about manipulated or compromised data nor worrying about the speed of transfer: information can be shared instantly and safely.
- Access to cloud storage. Chaser's software enables you to store private information safely in cloud storage, making it much easier to access information on the go than it would be to rely on a call-back from your accounting staff. Cyber-security is paramount in our digital age, and accounting software gives you the edge.
- Modern information dashboards. Chaser's software will provide sleek, informative dashboards to give you access to all your information at a glance. Customised to meet your needs, there's no way a paper-and-pen operation can match the wealth of information (or the interface) provided by automated software.
- Flexibility and adaptability. Humans struggle with change. Software systems don't. Need to retool how you're approaching your accounts? Need to adjust your workflows? Fear not: Chaser's accounting automations change with you in the moment, allowing you to revise and customise your experience to meet your changing needs.
- Calculating foreign exchange rates. This one's exactly what it sounds like. Accounting software can do complex calculations for you, speeding up your international business and minimising human error in the process.
- Automate accounts payable. Automation software streamlines the process of receiving and paying invoices. You'll save time on outgoing payment management, building trust in the process. While many vendors have struggled with timeliness during the pandemic, automated software will allow your customers and your vendors to trust you.
- Tax record keeping. Any responsible business owner knows to keep a paper trail of all account information for the government. Accounting software like Chaser's automation software will help you keep organised and provide a history of all your financial transactions. In the event of an audit or any other fiscal crisis, you'll be prepared. Automation software also makes tracking cash flow much easier.
- Saving time on rote tasks. As we noted earlier, automation streamlines labour practices. This particular aspect of automation shines especially brightly when considering rote tasks: recurring payables, recurring billing, recurring wages, and recurring invoices, to name a few. These rote tasks shouldn't be on the To-do list of the types of experts and high-level staffers you'll need aboard to grow your business; let Chaser's software handle these rote tasks and keep your team focused on the bigger challenges.
- Automate accounts receivables. AR Automation software helps finance teams to streamline the otherwise manual business process of managing the accounts receivable ledger, delivering invoices and collecting payments. This process is supported by functionality of the AR automation solution, reducing the need for manual involvement to exception handling – vastly improving workflow and enabling AR teams to improve cash flow through reduction in days sales outstanding (DSO).
In the end, automation opens up new and long-term opportunities for business owners who are trying to make it in a world that is complicated and changes quickly after a pandemic.
- Automation will not cave in when health guidelines are revised.
- Automation will not quit, require a raise, or require distancing to safely perform its job.
- Automation will not miss a deadline or make costly mistakes; automation will allow you to hire experts rather than pencil-pushers at a time when resources are limited.
Automation can help you recession-proof the bread-and-butter operations of your business, ensuring that the most important daily tasks—especially the rote ones—are addressed efficiently and consistently over time, leaving you to spend your energy on more important aspects of your business.
Chaser is leading the way in accounts receivables automation, alleviating burdens while adding value.
Chaser’s credit control automation software will improve the way you run your business, making you more resistant to recession and more likely to succeed.
If you're interested in learning more about our pricing, our accounts receivable software, our debt collection services, our outsourced credit control resources, or any of the myriad other ways Chaser can support your business's growth by taking on the automation of your credit control tasks, you know where to find us.