Accounting Automation and The Tech Staff


I consider myself a tech guy. I am not formally trained and I know about specific types of internet software…It doesn’t stop my dad from calling me every time his screen saver turns on and he claims it is broken. To continue to talk about automation and the people who it affects, the tech people are a unique group. Unique in the respect that they are an important part of the automation process but they don’t necessarily participate in every implementation.

It used to be that automation started with the information technology (IT) department, however with advent of SaaS, or software as a service, in some cases the technical departments have been left out of the loop. Even though this series is about automation and the benefits it has on certain people, companies and situations, this article, about technical people, is more directed as a warning. I know that reads in a terrible way… warning!

Most everything that I write is from the perspective of an end-user… how software and technology can be used to improve people and therefore the companies they work for. This perspective comes from the fact that I have been working with SaaS based software that has pre-established accounting system integration. If you look at that last sentence there are two very important parts that lead into my warning:

  1. SaaS
  2. Pre-Established Integration

Looking at those two things and thinking about a traditional software implementation the two biggest, time-consuming, aspects of a software implementation is the installing and setting up of the software and getting the software to communicate with the accounting system. In my experience cutting those two things out of an implementation changes the role of the accounting and technical staff. However if you buy software that is not pre-configured and has no communication with the accounting system then the role of the technical staff is very important.

The warning is this… When utilizing the technical staff (if you are an accountant) or if you are a technical person it is very important to know what type of software you are implementing, and how much time IT will need. I have given a lot of advice on these articles, and the last bit I just gave was probably my most obvious, but  knowing what types starts in the initial vetting process. The great thing about using a SaaS model software with pre-established integrations is it will give you plenty of time to concentrate and improving the workflow (approval process) as well as do a lot of testing. The downside is if you are an organization that likes to control the data and have databases on site or under your own firewall a SaaS based platform won’t help you at all.

I write this warning thinking that what I am writing is obvious, however I have worked with plenty of companies that were shocked one way or the other after they had done a lot of initial work with the automation service provider.

Next week we are going to finish the benefits of automation on certain roles by studying the role of operation…. stay tuned.

Buy the book – The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire – click here to buy

(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy

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