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March 9, 2020

How Small Businesses are Leveraging Accounting Automation

Hilary Smith

Note: In March, 2021, Roger officially changed its name to Corpay One. Our features and functionality have not changed. To learn more and understand the change, read more.

Picture the founder of a small, but growing, startup.

They've got 20 full-time employees, a part-time accountant and a whole lot of expenses.

We're not just talking about salaries and rent. We're talking all of the expenses the average person doesn't think of when they think "running a startup," like:

- Monthly invoices from the office cleaning crew
- Daily receipts for catered lunches
- Yearly software license bills
- Invoices from freelance writers

The list goes on and on.

And when businesses grow, the number of expenses they have does too. The catch? Growing businesses with a growing list of expenses still may not have enough flexible income to hire an additional accountant to handle all the work that comes with entering, approving, categorizing, paying and reconciling expenses.

That's when that work often falls into the lap of the busy founder, who should be spending her time on strategic planning, finding talent or getting funding. Or, onto the plate of a Chief Finance Officer who should be focused on developing new pricing models.

This shouldn't happen. But, it does. Companies everywhere face this problem, startup or not. Even well-established small-and-medium-sized businesses reach their breaking point when accounting tasks pile up.

Rather than hire another staff member and strain resources or, stress an extra hour or two daily over manual tasks, these organizations should be leveraging automation.

Roger works with businesses around the world to eliminate manual tasks and give busy people their valuable time back.

In the last 12 months we’ve experienced our most rapid growth, with more than 1 million storing hours booked and now managing 17 full-time employees. Prior to that, we spent years booking the first 500,000 storing hours. This significant growth is reflected in all departments across our organization, and was enabled in part by revamping accounts payable with Roger.

Jannik L., LuggageHero

Here are some of the ways we see teams at small-and-medium-sized companies using automation to improve their business processes and grow.

Reducing manual entry and manual entry errors

According to a study done by Bloomberg BNA, 27.5% of professionals report that incorrect data has been manually entered into an enterprise system at their firms. The cost of that is huge.

In 2013, U.S. businesses were received almost $7 billion in IRS civil penalties, due mainly to incorrectly reporting business income and employment values - all items that could be impacted by manual data entry error.

We eliminate manual entry with tools like our Roger App, used to take photos of receipts and upload them directly into Roger. Roger uses advanced OCR scanning to read, scan and upload the entire document, storing it for later viewing. You can also just drag and drop bills and invoices from your desktop. Or, give vendors your RogerAddress. When a vendor sends an invoice to your RogerAddress, which acts exactly like a typical email address, it is uploaded and scanned in Roger.

Errors aside, not having to manually enter invoice data or spend time beside the photocopier scanning receipts is a major plus for time-strapped teams.

Paying suppliers and recording payments

There is nothing more tedious than writing a check or manually entering payment transfer information. Especially when you often need to do it twice - once when you're sending money to a supplier and another time when you need to record the payment in your accounting system.

With an automation tool like Roger, we pay your vendors for you using a third-party bank. Once the supplier's invoice or bill is uploaded, you can manually approve and pay them. Or, use Workflows defined by you to determine when, how and by which bank suppliers get paid, along with automatically categorizing the expenses and sending them for approval internally.

Roger integrates with the top accounting systems to record and reconcile every payment

No more shoulder taps for approval

If you've worked in a setting with a low-tech approach to accounting, you've likely witnessed a scene like this one, or even been a part of it.

A supplier submits an invoice. A Manager receives it. They're good to go. They just need a Vice-President to sign off on it. The Vice-President is busy and rarely has time to respond to every Slack message or sort through the papers people drop on their desk.

The invoice sits. The Manager gets more agitated. They need this supplier to get paid. The Vice-President doesn't respond on Slack or via Email.

In the end, the Manager ends up stopping by their desk - often more than once - and tapping them on the shoulder.

"Hey, can you please approve my supplier's invoice? They're asking where their money is and we really can't lose them."

It's inconvenient and, frankly, a little embarrassing for everyone.

With an accounting automation software like Roger, approval flows are customized by you. You can build an unlimited number of Workflows to accomplish tasks like approvals, categorizing bills, issuing payments, locking payments and more.

Here's an example:

If VENDOR NAME is Asana and TYPE is Bill, add CATEGORY Computer Software and REQUIRE APPROVAL FROM Jane Jones.

Then, as soon as that bill is approved, it will be paid via Roger and reconciled in the accounting system you integrate. Roger also has a Slack integration, so when someone needs to approve something, they are instantly notified in Slack by the Roger Slack App.

Ready to automate and save time? You can try Roger - today.

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