Today's accountants are 80% more likely to stay in their roles when they have access to integrated solutions that help take some of the more menial tasks off their plate. Read on as we cover the current state of the accounting workforce, the importance of your tech stack, and how automation is helping to attract and retain the right talent.
The State of the Accounting Workforce
Labor shortages have plagued the back office of the CFO over the past year.
While demand for accountants is on the rise, several factors contribute to their current scarcity.
Accountants have long been considered underpaid and underappreciated in the workplace, which has led to a decline in the number of individuals pursuing accounting degrees.
Additionally, as experienced employees reach retirement age, there is a growing challenge to find and hire new talent to fill their positions.
The changing demographics of the workforce, with Millennial and Gen Z workers comprising 59% of US employees, bring a shift in values, prioritizing aspects like flexibility and access to contemporary technology tools that allow them to work smarter, not harder.
The Importance of a Modern Tech Stack
In modern finance, professionals seek more than mere data entry and number crunching. Their focus lies on work that fosters a positive social impact and a sense of responsibility, aiming to assist others rather than simply completing routine tasks.
Achieving a sense of workplace value and ability to perform meaningful work is an important factor in their morale and is often contingent on the technology at their disposal.
In fact, CFO Dive reported that employees who have access to modern accounting technology are 80% more likely to stay in their roles. This is thanks to automated solutions that can take some of the more menial tasks off their plates.
Today’s accountants know that manual efforts hamper their efficiency. Younger generations of workers aren’t accustomed to manual processes, like mailing paper checks or searching through paper filing cabinets.
When surveyed, Millennials were 4 times more likely to get lost looking for files than their Baby Boomer coworkers.
Today’s generation of accountants possesses exceptional digital skills and grew up with technology as an integral part of their lives, so they have an expectation that modern digital solutions (like AP automation software) will address menial tasks and allow them to focus on higher-value responsibilities.
A modern tech stack allows accountants to participate in tasks like:
- Financial analysis, which can improve decision-making processes and drive progress toward long-term goals
- Cash flow management, which helps organizations plan for the future with reliable insights into their current budgets and payment activities
- Process evaluation, which allows individuals to identify and address opportunities for improvement
- Risk management, which protects organizations from overspending in instances of fraud or error
- Vendor relationships and contract negotiations, which ensure spending is optimized to drive ROI and protect margins
Lastly, having a modern tech stack shows prospective employees that your business is committed to staying ahead of the market–a key differentiator when trying to attract new talent to your workplace.
No one wants to work for a company that’s playing catch up to its competitors. By offering tech tools like industry-leading accounting software, you help distinguish your business as an innovator that’s dedicated to staying a step ahead.
How AP Automation Helps Attract and Retain Top Talent
Modern AP automation solutions eliminate many tasks that accountants have historically dreaded, including invoice validation, approval routing, and check remittances.
Tools within an end-to-end automation solution that eliminate mundane work for AP teams include:
- Intelligent invoice and contract capture, which automates the ingestion of invoice data with up to 99.99% accuracy
- Automated 2 and 3-way matching, which improves touchless processing rates by automatically comparing invoices, POs, and goods receipts to ensure line-item quantities and invoice totals match what was ordered
- Automated approval processes, which allows invoices to route to approvers automatically based on custom-defined business logic
- Integrated vendor payments, which offer visibility into cash flows and allow teams to capitalize on early-pay discounts by automatically remitting payments to vendors once all approval criteria are fulfilled
As 58% of surveyed respondents identified digging through filing cabinets for records as a top workplace issue, having a solution with integrated document management becomes invaluable. Such a solution not only aids in audit preparation but also addresses concerns about fraud and compliance by efficiently storing financial documents like invoices and contracts."
What’s more, AP software solutions offer convenience, and meet Millennial/Gen Z workers where they are in terms of digital access to what they need, when they need it.
For instance, cloud-hosting–a common feature of modern tech solutions–facilitates flexible working environments and appeals to the desire of today’s accounting professionals to work in remote or hybrid environments.
Where to Start
To attract valuable assets to your workforce and combat the accounting shortage, AP automation is key. But don’t be discouraged if you feel there’s a long road ahead–scalable solutions like DocuPhase offer the power to implement change at scale, so you can start with automation for a single priority workflow (such as PTO requests or purchase requests) and add on additional functionality as needed over time.
Best of all, as you grow, DocuPhase’s solution suite for end-to-end back-office automation is fully integrated, meaning that you can take on a phased approach and end up with a consolidated tech stack that supports your growth.
Ready to introduce automation to your financial back office? Check out our guide to effective change management and explore our valuable tips for seamlessly implementing new technology with minimal disruptions to your day-to-day operations.