Stop working harder than you need to – a guide to lazy efficiency

Stop working harder than you need to – a guide to lazy efficiency

The old mantra of working smarter not harder is something we should be taking to heart

Have you ever thought about the inefficient, low-value tasks your team tackle every single day? For many organisations, these tasks could number in the hundreds.

Financial teams have to plough through long to-do lists – but how many of these tasks add true value to their workday or organisation? It’s not that these teams aren’t working hard; it’s just that they may be focusing their efforts on the wrong things.

Getting more done with less effort has always been thought of as lazy. However, in this day and age, it’s time we all stopped working harder than we need to. We need to think smarter, not harder and learn to embrace lazy efficiency.

Wheels are faster than legs

So many tasks need to be walked through and done at a human pace. Whether it’s ledger consolidation or invoice matching, financial staff are constantly burning through time that would be better spent working on something more important.

Imagine your day-to-day life without cars and trains. Getting anywhere would take forever – even your daily commute would be a nightmare. Well, every time you break out the proverbial pen and paper and do a task yourself, you’re essentially walking yourself over the finish line instead of taking an Uber.

Automation can provide you with a much faster and more efficient way of ploughing through these low-value tasks.

Automation is lazily efficient

It’s been around for a while. For some reason, finance automation has picked up a reputation for being a second-rate method that pales in comparison to human effort. It’s only recently that tools have become so good they can easily take over the low-value tasks you may not even be aware you spend so much time on.

The only problem is rooting out all the tasks that you can instead hand over to automated systems. After all, if you don’t know that a process is inefficient, it’s impossible to stop doing it.

To help you get started, here’s three everyday financial tasks that you can make lazily efficient.

Ledger consolidation

If you’ve not yet switched to a unified ledger process, you’ll be surprised by how much time it can save you. In fact, with a unified ledger, you don’t have to consolidate your ledgers at all.

That’s because there’s only one ledger that’s kept in balance automatically. That means no balancing the books, no multi-currency nightmares and no more double entry.

When digital ledger systems were first created, software engineers were told to model them after the processes used at the time – the three-ledger system. No one stopped to ask how that process could be improved.

However, we’ve now had plenty of time to think about and advance ledger software to a well-refined state, and the end result is the unified ledger – a total overhaul of the tradition double-entry system.

There’s enormous benefits to be had from unified ledger systems such as PS Financials, and it doesn’t take long to start reaping them. For example, you can instantaneously generate up-to-the-minute reports at the click of a button.

Invoice matching

It’s hard to believe until you see it in person, but software packages can even take over the invoice matching process. Rather than sifting through your records to match your POs, you can let the system do the entire job for you without any human intervention.

The remarkable thing is that systems such as IRIS Invoice Matcher are virtually error-free, so you don’t even have to intervene in the process. It can read every field of an invoice, understand their meaning, and instantly match them against your records.

Early adopters are seeing huge benefits, too. The IRIS Invoice Matcher system in particular is 71 percent faster than human processors, so users can get back to suppliers faster than ever and take advantage of vastly improved cycle times. This is a big win for your supplier relationships!

It even requires less onboarding than a human counterpart. There’s no costly hardware overheads or maintenance, so organisations can get started straight away – in fact, it’s up to 80 percent cheaper to adopt IRIS Invoice Matcher than it is to process invoices by hand.

Expense approvals

Hunting down expenses approvals can mow through hours of your workday. How many times have you had to track down a rogue member of sales or marketing to approve a rogue credit card expense?

This is one of those tasks that seems impossible to automate, but once you open up the bonnet and look at how the approvals process works, it’s surprisingly simple.

A digital expenses and procurement platform like PS Purchasing automatically store a full audit trail of all your users’ requests for easy referral, but the tool goes deeper than that.

Once you’re set up, you can create automation rules that send these requests to the right stakeholders for approval, meaning you never have to personally chase those approvals again.

If you’d like to find out more about PS Financials’ powerful automation tools and how they enable finance teams to be more efficient, you can visit their website or contact them directly today.

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