Beyond Accounting Automation: Creating a culture of innovation
There’s a reason many business leaders have made accounting automation a priority in their efforts to increase operational efficiency. The benefits of accounting automation include time savings, reduced errors and greater data insights. But why stop there? Driving innovation requires more than a single tool. It requires the right mentality where new ideas are embraced and resources are utilized to their greatest potential. It requires a forward-thinking company culture where communal goals are pursued vigorously and employees are empowered to enact change. To go beyond automation and truly transform your business, here’s how to develop a culture of innovation for your business.
Define your objectives
A single innovation starts with identifying a challenge or opportunity you want to solve for. But fostering a company culture and mindset where innovation can flourish requires you to think more broadly about your objectives. What is your ultimate vision for the business? What do you want the company to look like in 5 or 10 years? Identifying an end goal and future state for your organization can help guide your innovation efforts and keep the focus on actualizing company values and achieving strategic goals. Instead of trying to fix a specific problem, you’ll create a shared goal that everyone can work toward as a larger pursuit that ultimately redefines what success looks like for your organization.
Think about technology holistically
Buying new accounting software could deliver the accounting automation you want to increase productivity and efficiency for your business. But the right solution could also integrate seamlessly with your CRM to optimize sales processes, or it would connect with your inventory management systems to eliminate errors. That kind of technology drives efficiency across the entire organization, and that’s how you should view your technology investments; not as distinct systems, but as parts of one larger system.
As your technology systems get more robust and you add new systems, you should look for ways to integrate those systems to create a sum that is greater than its parts. When you can start to think holistically about your technology infrastructure, you can then make better decisions about how to allocate resources and whether different tools would allow you to innovate or expand your capabilities.
Centralize your data
In addition to thinking about how your technology systems connect to each other, you should also think about how you’ve organized your data. Centralizing your collective data in the cloud where it is accessible to anyone (who has proper permissions) is a key step in driving innovation because it creates a hub where you can then focus data analytics efforts to unpack key insights. When data is taken out of silos and centralized, it becomes a resource for your entire organization. Just like a tree needs a sturdy trunk to support strong branches, you need a complete database to support your technology systems and various business segments. With improved data access comes greater opportunity for innovation, because employees have all the information they need to identify connections and opportunities to increase efficiency in your operation. Not only that, but you can also save money. McKinsey estimates that companies that institute better data centralization practices can “recover and redeploy as much as 35 percent of their current data spend.”
Identify key personnel and responsibilities
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to think about innovation in terms of technology, and how we can use AI systems to comb through big data and deliver solutions based on evolving algorithms. But you can’t overlook the human element and the role your employees will play in developing and maintaining a culture that supports innovation. You need to identify the right people and define the right roles and permissions so employees feel empowered to explore new ideas and try new ways of doing things. A forward-thinking organization needs strong leaders to champion new initiatives and drive change. Find those individuals who are uniquely motivated and talented who can offer a different perspective and are excited by the prospect of change. Put those people in leadership positions where they can spread their appetite for innovation to the rest of their teams and keep everyone focused on moving the company forward.
Accounting automation is valuable and business leaders should strive to utilize new tools to increase efficiency where possible. But if you’re only thinking about innovation as a means to an end, you’re not seeing the greater opportunity in front of you. Take a wider lens and think about how you can build a company that is driven to innovate and is continuously pushing the envelope with new ideas and new ways of doing business. That kind of environment is only possible when business leaders adopt the right mentality and approach to operational optimization. By focusing on your goals, maximizing your technology investment and empowering your personnel to go the extra mile, you can drive innovation and create new paths for achieving your greatest strategic goals.
Need the right tools to drive innovation for your business? Contact Gravity Software® today to schedule a demo to see how our unique accounting software solution can increase efficiency throughout your organization.