Your automation yields little benefit without trust

Gustav Malmström Fri Mar 03 2023

Organizations are turning to automation solutions to streamline their bookkeeping processes. However, one of the more critical aspects of implementing such solutions is often overlooked: the trust and confidence of those most affected by such solutions - the bookkeeper.

If the bookkeeper does not trust the solution, all of our automated tasks will still either be manually checked or manually handled. This leads to all our theoretical time-savings not being fulfilled.

In this blog post, we will explore a few key factors that we have identified that can help earn the trust of bookkeepers, and how this can lead to significant benefits for organizations.

Automation providers should have an answer to the following challenges:

  • How do we show the accountant what must be reviewed?
  • Ensure your automation has sufficient scope and correctness before going live.
  • Bookkeepers receive insufficient information on how well the automation is performing. Measure what has been done correctly and incorrectly, to build trust.

Integrate bookkeeper and automation into a seamless workflow

Clear communication is the most powerful tool when it comes to change management, and this includes implementing automation operations. In order for the accountants to see what the automation actually changes, we tag each invoice with specific automation codes, which show whether there is something that needs to be looked at / if the invoice is correctly processed by the automation. If the accountant notices that everytime the VAT is wrong, there is also a note in the invoice that says “Check: VAT”, this shows that the automation works as intended, and while it doesn’t strictly improve any traditional metrics regarding automation efficiency, it provides a significant value add to the bookkeeper.

Minimize human error when extending your current automation

In order to avoid having to add automation codes to all invoices when going live, we first test our automation solution in a Sandbox environment. A “Sandbox” is a simulation-environment that allows us to test automation efforts on real data with correct outcomes without saving any changed information to the invoices. We use it as a testing ground where we can compare historical accounting to how the automation would process the same invoices, and compare them in order to make sure our automation comes to the same conclusion.

Use data to expose where the automation is still lacking

During the automation process, Accode tracks all changes to the invoice made by both machine and human, which shows not only how well the automation process is working, but also how we can improve it. By using fully customizable metrics, we can for example see if our "Check:VAT" predictions are always correct, and we can start thinking about making rules for them in order for them to be automatically processed.

Once a bookkeeping period has been locked, we can analyze how well the automation has worked for every invoice across every company for that period. This allows the automation team to communicate with the accountants that they are aware of where the performance of the automation remains weak and when or if they intend to solve it. This transparency is essential to build trust.

By implementing an automation solution that bookkeepers can rely on, organizations can free up valuable time and resources. But to get there, the people that are impacted by the automation solution first have to accept and approve of it. Transparent, data-driven communication and an automation process with robust safety checks in place to catch mistakes before they become problems builds trust in your solution and makes sure you succeed with your automation efforts.

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