By Guy Kerkvliet, head of outsourcing, Armstrong Watson LLP

AUTOMATION has been a hot topic for many years now, and as society starts to find a balance between office-based working and working from anywhere it is time to take stock.

It is now more important than ever to ensure business processes are designed and adapted in a future-proof way, especially the finance-related processes that have been ripe for the digital age for some time.

During the pandemic, many companies have introduced digital and online elements and for some these have been stopgap solutions to ensure the business did not fully grind to a halt.

Alternatively, some processes have not been completed to the expected standards or frequency due to reliance on office-based manual involvement.

Upon reflection, do you feel

the digitisation has been a success or have you identified gaps in the process that are currently resolved with workarounds or leading to a loss of quality?

Assess your processes

1. Are my finance processes designed effectively and efficiently?

2. Are there ways to make our finance function less reliant on people?

3. Where are the productivity bottlenecks in my company, and why do they occur?

4. Are the admin requirements we have distracting us from focusing on our core strengths and is it time we find a partner that can support us?

5. Have we got the right people who can implement changes and maintain the systems?

Once you have identified where the process improvement will be most effective, it is time to select the tools that help you implement the changes.

This is where the tricky navigation through dozens of systems that all promise to solve your problem starts.

These transformation processes do not come around often. It is likely your company does not have a dedicated resource to review, assess and make suggestions on this.

At Armstrong Watson, we have a range of experts who can help you in this journey, from assessing your existing system and software set up, to stepping in to ensure the implementation of new systems is done and, if required, taking on a range of processes and responsibilities within your finance function.

To find out how your finance function could be improved please get in touch with Guy Kerkvliet on 01412330714 or email