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How To Overcome Data Entry Challenges In Accounting

/ ~ 4 minutes read

The majority of accounting firms spend countless hours manually entering data. Although the firms' executives are aware of the loss of time - they have difficulty resolving the issue. 

A primary solution to overcoming the challenges manual data entry creates is automation. It's been foreshadowed that by 2023, the majority of businesses will utilize Robotic Process Automation. However, there is no need to wait an additional three years to conquer data entry challenges. 

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What are data entry challenges in accounting?

Accounting professionals are notorious for feverishly scanning documents and inputting numbers. While it's plausible that they enter more data than other professions - they face many challenges with this task. 

Great Potential For Error

Any repetitive task is at risk for human error. Unfortunately, this applies to manual data entry. These errors could be due to illegible handwriting, faded receipts, missing documents, or simply a typo. 

No matter the reason, accounting professionals are employed for their remarkable accuracy. A simple mistake could cost a business a large client, thousands of dollars, or depending on severity - a lawsuit. 

Time Consumption

Even the most precise accounting professionals are not exempt from the amount of time that data entry consumes. Many hours are spent examining ledgers, reviewing stacks of receipts, and attempting to decipher handwriting.

This challenge is not just an issue of time, but rather a stifling of growth. Educated employees are unable to use their expertise because they are spending time on work that requires no skill. Companies could increase their earning potential if they utilized these experts with more complex duties. 

Inability To Handle Influx Of Work

A sudden surplus of work is a significant setback when manually entering data. For example, annual occurrences such as tax season could be detrimental to accounting professionals who aren't using automation software.

If the accounting team is small, they will face an increase of pressure, often resulting in workplace dissatisfaction. More significantly, an influx of work will usually result in large amounts of errors in manual data entry. 

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What is automation in accounting?

The technology of automation can be used to eliminate data entry challenges that the accounting industry faces. Accounting can use automation in the form of AI - Artificial Intelligence, or RPA - Robotic Process Automation

Software robots, or 'digital workforce', are able to replicate the repetitive task of data entry. These bots automatically scan invoices, receipts, and other documents. Robotic process automation is able to automatically update the client database without manually entering customer information.

As a result, documents could be processed with increased speed and accuracy. The addition of RPA allows data entry to be completed 20 times faster than manual entry.

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How to start automating?

  1. Locate inefficient tasks and processes that could be automated.
  2. Train employees to operate the automation software. 
  3. Utilize skilled Citizen Automators in the company to aid in the transition to automation. 
  4. Develop determinants and markers for success with data entry automation.
  5. Test automation software within the business accounting systems prior to client use. 
  6. Begin implementing automation processes in client accounts. 
  7. Analyze results and metrics of initial use.
  8. Scale automation processes within the business.

Final Note

Accounting professionals are often held back by the challenges of manual data entry—the potential for error, time consumption, and inability to handle surplus, place companies at risk. Fortunately, technological advances have provided a much-needed solution with automation. Book a demo and see how to reduce data entry challenges and automate routine, repetitive tasks.

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