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Why are companies hesitant about automation?

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Stijn Boonen
Sales Engineer, EASI

Too expensive, too much work, loss of control… are arguments often heard. But are they correct?

Automation holds all sorts of advantages in store for companies. You will find the 5 most automated functions of our customers here. Yet not everyone is convinced. How come? I will go through the most frequently heard arguments in detail with you.

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"I'm losing control"

Good accountants are often good accountants, just because they have everything under control and do not lose sight of anything. Passing on tasks is not something that is well received by every accountant. There is often insufficient trust in technology which leads to a feeling of losing control.

That fear is unjustified in this case. Automation is technical. You are setting everything up yourself. In other words, you tell the system exactly what it has to do. The software will therefore never try anything else or process something in a different way. You are fully in charge at all times. Furthermore, if something does not run smoothly, the software will ask you to check something. So, you determine yourself which data is processed and how that happens.

“It takes too much work to set it up”

Accountants are often very busy. The have many interim deadlines for reports and all sorts of processes to go through, which makes it sometimes an impossible task to free up time. 

Nevertheless, we think it is particularly useful to give the matter serious consideration and go over your procedures. In practice, we note that literally everyone who makes an effort to reconsider there procedures manages to save a lot of time afterwards. So much in fact, that they have to get used to it afterwards. After all, you as an accountant give up some of your ‘habits’ when you can ‘delegate’ your daily time-consuming tasks. In short, the time spend on a project, will be recovered twice that much afterwards. 

“That software can do everything I can, and I do not want to lose my job”

Another element comes into play for some accountants, namely the fear of losing their job. A major part of an accountant’s repetitive work can in fact be done by smart software, and yet this reasoning makes no sense at all.

If time is saved, accountants can assume a more advisory role. The time saved can be devoted to analysing the reports. People will always be needed to interpret the figures, draw up guidelines, determine the direction a company has to take, which investments should be made and which not, etc. Automation gives accountants the freedom to deliver real added value.

“Automation is too expensive”

Even if accountants do see the usefulness of saving time and want to review their procedures, the automation project does not go through after all, because I often hear that setting it up would have been too expensive.

If you are going to work with a new package, the setup of such a module is often included in the price. You are not actually talking about an additional cost at that time. If on the other hand you want to activate such a module separately, it is a pity if the price stands in the way, because whoever valorizes the time you win, will soon notice that he has a lot more profit at the end of the ride, compared to the initial cost. 

Perception problem

My conclusion is that automation in essence has a perception problem. For many people, technology is only given one chance. If something does not work at once, it will never work again afterwards. But we are far beyond that time. Smart tools can make a world of difference for your company today. So don't hesitate to contact me for more information without any obligation.

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