Financial services need unified ledgers and powerful automation now more than ever

Untitled design 68 | Financial services need unified ledgers and powerful automation now more than ever
By Toby Lester | 28th May 2020 | 9 min read

Covid-19 has changed the way financial services operate. In the current work climate, financial services organisations need to turn to automation tools more than ever.

Why the sudden need for change? With less employees, more unpredictability and the difficulty of remote working, your organisation can’t afford to not change the way it operates. This is an opportunity to review your working practice and change it for the better.

Here are some of the working practices you can look to adopt that will help you through the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and will have a huge permanent impact on your working day.

The unified ledger

Unified ledger systems do away with traditional three-book accounting. Instead, all records are kept on a single, ‘unified’ ledger.

Because there’s no need to copy records to a general ledger, the system can take over consolidation for you. This means you can benefit from instant, accurate consolidation of your finances that works without staff intervention.

At a time where finances may change at the drop of a hat due to the need to furlough workers, alterations to government schemes and other unpredictable factors, the ability to see a real-time view of company finances is essential. A robust unified ledger system such as IRIS Financials can provide that overview for busy financial services teams.

Unified ledgers empower teams to work remotely across multiple locations with several different currencies. As the ledger is consolidated automatically, it doesn’t matter what currency you’re using.

Wherever it’s accessed in the world, IRIS Financials will show the same up-to-date information, so you can collaborate cross-globally. All of your employees will see the same data and information, no matter where your offices are located.

Invoice matching automation

Any way you look at it, invoice matching is a time-consuming process. Now we’re all remote working, it’s become clearer than ever that this task eats into far too much of the working day; it’s a low-value task, but it can be very time-consuming.

Financial services organisations can eliminate the need to manually match invoices to their records by turning to automation tools.

IRIS Invoice Matcher, a market-leading invoice matching system, uses machine learning to recognise a huge range of invoice types and layouts. It then reads every field of the invoice and matches it automatically with your records without you having to lift a finger.

Ultimately, the system gets through a time-consuming task 71% faster than a human processor while also reducing processing costs by around 80%. To top it off, it’s more accurate than a human processor, so there’s little reason to bog your staff down with tedious invoice matching tasks.

It also prevents you from falling behind if your employees face internet connectivity issues or illness.

Communication enables collaboration

While working from home, every organisation’s primary concern will be with communication. We may be working further apart, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work more closely together – so long as teams adopt the right tools to enable collaboration.

By speeding up routine tasks with automation, teams can free up vital time that can be put towards more valuable projects. Unified ledgers and automation workflows take care of low-value, time-consuming tasks, freeing up staff time to work on overall strategy.

Reporting provides oversight

It’s crucial to have a true overview of your organisation’s finances. Because of the difficulties that financial services teams are now facing daily, reporting is taking a bigger role than ever before.

Unified ledgers enable true real-time reporting for time-poor teams. Powerful systems such as IRIS Financials can even enable non-financial staff to build easy-to-understand reports that can power your business decisions.

There’s also never been a better time to incorporate real-time and multi-dimensional reporting suites such as IRIS Analytics. The business intelligence and analytics software enables you to automate your reporting process using workflows. Reports can be sent to key stakeholders and clients on a regular basis using real-time data, keeping everybody in the loop.

Compliance and security

No one wants to lose a day’s work due to system failure. Even worse, the threat of corporate espionage or data loss are enough to make your eyes water.

Cloud-based computing can provide an answer to financial service organisations’ security concerns. For example, the PS Cloud system comes with a complete financial management suite that’s hosted on remote access servers.

These servers are maintained by an expert team and all software is kept up to date with software vulnerabilities patched out. The system is stored in a secure facility with 24-7 on-site security, redundant data carrier connections and power supplies, so there’s no chance of losing your critical financial data.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how unified ledger systems, automated workflows and cloud-hosted software could help your organisation, please check out our accounting software for financial services or get in touch with our team directly; we’d love to hear from you. We can set up a remote implementation of our products in days, not weeks.