10 benefits of finance function automation

Unlock the power of finance and accounting automation to maximize efficiency, mitigate risk, and accelerate growth. Discover the 10 key benefits.


Many of the biggest business challenges – technology, talent, operations, risk, and growth – continue to grow in complexity. With the continuous innovation of technology solutions and new players entering the market, finding the right tools to support your business operations based on your industry, size, and specific needs is imperative to achieving long-term success. 

There are tools available to automate and organize your processes and procedures, such as accounts payable and receivable, 1099 reporting, payroll processing, reporting, and sales and use tax reporting. The benefits of automation are vast, but it can be difficult to assess and prioritize the various use cases for those that would add the most value based on your company’s needs.

Benefits we've seen companies experience by implementing finance and accounting automation tools include: 

  1. Increased productivity. Using technology to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks allows for faster completion of deliverables, unlocking time to work on more value-added tasks and drive higher productivity. As an example, the use of optical character recognition (OCR) built within an accounts payable workflow solution will increase productivity and transparency for the accounts payable process. 
  2. Cost management. Integrating automation tools to complete tasks accurately and consistently, in alignment with your current processes, can lead to lower operational and personnel costs and therefore increased profitability. For example, using a close management tool integrated with a quality assurance tool can help standardize and reduce the amount of time to complete month-end tasks.
  3. Improved quality. Standardized processes can minimize the risks of human error and improve the quality of outputs as the work is done in a repeatable way according to predefined standards. Leveraging system lookup and data validation through a point solution tool can help minimize manual data entry errors.
  4. Time for strategic initiatives. Tasks requiring precision such as data entry and complex calculations can be automated, freeing up resources to focus on tasks requiring creative thought, problem-solving, and client service. When you increase automation through the transactional level by reducing keystrokes and various lookups you can have your staff spend more time on value-added tasks versus being heads-down on data entry.
  5. Scalable processes. Automating standard processes enables you to scale your business for increased workloads without increasing staff. These tools can grow with you, giving you the ability to upgrade to other platforms or integrate additional applications with minimal disruption. It is important to look for a technology stack that is flexible and scalable to your business. A robust general ledger system will enable you to support your business as you grow and become more complex.
  6. Financial insights. Budgeting and forecasting tools not only help you stay on track but also enable you to gain insights into near-future performance, in real time. This allows your organization to pivot, collaborate, and adjust resources that support a service or product showing unexpected success or decline. There are many budgeting and forecasting tools that are affordable and provide simple integrations with your general ledger.
  7. Response time. Automated tools operate on a global scale and run 24/7, enabling continuous processes and services essential for tasks requiring constant monitoring or quick response times. When selecting a technology stack, leverage a cloud-based system that your teams can easily access securely from across the globe.
  8. Risk mitigation. Automation can significantly decrease risks as it follows standard processes and security protocols that are created with your risk profile and governance needs in mind. You will want to ensure that the tools you use are properly vetted from a security and compliance perspective. 
  9. Product development. By automating time-consuming processes, teams can redirect their focus to projects that require innovation and creativity, leading to the development of new products and services to grow your business. There is a renaissance of new products and tools being introduced to the finance function. Identify a team within your practice to evaluate and assess the latest technologies to determine which may be the right fit for your organization.
  10. Technology investment. Cloud-based technology can save you money by virtualizing your hardware. It can decrease or eliminate the costs of servers, data centers, and networking resources by relocating them to the cloud.  

A key strength is knowing when and where to apply automation tools, and where to limit new technologies due to cost/benefit analysis and prioritization. Having an open and transparent conversation with your company’s technology and business unit leaders about your options and recommendations will help drive agreement on the right decision for your organization. 


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Kane Polakoff

Principal, Client Advisory Services (CAS)

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This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its partners, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.