Accounting Automation: Capabilities, Costs, ROI
ScienceSoft brings in 15 years of experience in financial software development to help companies design and implement effective accounting automation solutions.
Accounting Automation in a Nutshell
Accounting automation helps eliminate manual accountants’ tasks even across complex multi-entity bookkeeping, invoicing, payables, receivables, and expense management. Automated accounting solutions support multi-location inventory accounting, financial data consolidation and reconciliation, country-specific financial reporting, and more.
An automated accounting system integrates with CRM, HRMS, inventory management software, asset management software, a financial planning and analysis solution, etc.
The implementation of a custom automated accounting solution may take 10+ months. The costs for building the accounting automation system start from $200,000 and may grow above $500,000 depending on the solution complexity. Accounting automation may bring up to 290% annual ROI.
Main Use Cases of Accounting Automation
Get fully automated aggregation, processing, and recording of enterprise-wide financial transactions and achieve 3x+ improvement in accountants' productivity.
Leverage the power of AI, RPA, and OCR techs to drive 2–3x faster and 95%+ more accurate financial document processing with no human involvement.
Remove the most tedious and error-prone part of the accountants’ workflow. Get instant calculation of the required payment amounts and accounting metrics.
Pay up to 12x faster to improve vendor satisfaction and benefit from 40–400% growth in the payment team’s productivity.
Speed up financial close by up to 3x with automated aggregation and multi-way matching of financial transactions.
Employ automation to generate financial reports 3x faster and meet 100% of the reporting compliance requirements.
Journal entry automation
- Automated creation, updating and approval of journal entries in the general ledger and subledgers on external and intercompany financial transactions, including multi-currency transactions.
- Customizable journal entry templates for various ledgers.
- Scheduled recurring and reversing journal entries.
- Automated attachment of source documents (invoices, receipts, cheques, payroll reports, leases, etc.) to each journal entry.
- Automated consolidation of financial transactions across multiple intercompany ledgers and recording them in GL.
- Rule-based GL coding and transaction classification by category (asset, liability, equity, revenue, expenses, etc.)
- Automated calculation of GL balances.
- Rule-based re-allocation of the accumulated account balances to the branch/subsidiary account balances.
- Template-based invoice generation, including recurring invoices.
- Calculation and application of taxes, discounts (including those on early payments), additional charges (e.g., interest on late payments, insurance, carriage), and billable expenses.
- Automated workflow for multi-department invoice approval.
- Scheduled invoice sending to customers.
Accounts receivable (A/R) automation
- Automated calculation of the received, due and overdue amounts, DSO, A/R turnover ratio, and more.
- Automated payment collection via various payment methods, including bank transfers, wire transfers, ACH, credit cards, cheques, or by direct debit.
- Automated allocation of received payments to customer invoices.
- Scheduled collection notifications on due payments to customers (via email, messaging apps).
Accounts payable (A/P) automation
- Automated calculation of the amounts paid, partially paid, owed, DPO, A/P turnover ratio, etc.
- Automated capture, extraction, and validation of purchase invoice data against the corresponding purchase order data.
- Scheduled payments (to suppliers, vendors, governmental entities, etc.) via a pre-defined payment method.
- Multi-department payment approval.
- Notifications on payment dates.
Expense accounting automation
- Automated capture, extraction, and validation of data provided in receipts on business-related employee expenses (travel, transport, telecoms, etc.).
- Multi-department expense approval.
- Automated generation of expense reports.
- Automated calculation of reimbursement amounts per each employee.
- Automated recording of data on reimbursable employee expenses in the expense ledger and the general ledger.
- Scheduled payments of employee reimbursement.
Fixed asset accounting automation
Calculating, recording and tracking:
- Original and capitalized value of fixed assets, including those in multiple locations, regions.
- Fixed asset depreciation based on various calculation methods (straight line method, double declining balance method, units of production method, sum-of-the-years’ digits method, etc.), or user-defined depreciation schedules.
- An asset’s tax basis.
Inventory accounting automation
- Automated creation of inventory records based on purchase orders.
- Recording and tracking inventory values of inventory items:
- Across multiple domestic locations, regions, intercompany entities.
- Across various stages of development and production, such as raw materials, in-progress goods, and finished goods.
- Calculating employee salaries, overtime, bonuses, commissions, deductions, etc.
- Recording and tracking the calculated payroll amounts in the payroll ledger and the general ledger.
- Scheduled payments to employees.
Tax management automation
- Calculating VAT, sales, use, withholding, income, and other taxes based on the tax rates in regions a company operates.
- Recording and tracking data on the calculated tax amounts in the tax ledger and the general ledger.
- Automated tax filing under region-specific regulations.
- Scheduled tax payment.
- Automated reconciliation of financial data in bank statements with GL, A/P and A/R records.
- Automated removal of duplicate transaction records.
- Defining the outstanding transactions.
- Notifications to accountants on reconciliation discrepancies.
- Automated intercompany reconciliation.
Reporting and compliance
- Scheduled financial reports (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) by region, entity, or consolidated reports, including income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, tax summary, and more.
- Compliance with GAAP (specifically ASC 606 and IFRS 15), SOC1 and SOC2, SOX, GDPR (for the EU), ZATCA regulations (for Saudi Arabia), industry-specific regulations.
ScienceSoft recommends integrating the automated accounting system with relevant corporate solutions to eliminate double data entry across disparate systems and ensure accurate recording and reporting of financial data. Key integrations include:
- CRM - for the automated input of accurate customer data, payment terms, price and quantity of ordered goods when generating invoices.
- Treasury software - for the automated creation of entries on financial transactions across operating, investment, financing activities in the general ledger and subledgers.
- HR management software - for accurate payroll calculation.
- Procurement system - for the automated purchase order recording in the A/P ledger.
- Inventory management software - for accurate recording of inventory values on inventory purchasing and utilization.
- Asset management software - for accurate calculation of the fixed asset depreciation.
- Financial planning and analysis software - for accurate financial performance analysis, financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting.
- Bank accounts - for faster reconciliation.
- BI solution - for facilitated accounting analytics and reporting.
Maximized automation of routine, rule-based processes. To eliminate low-value manual accounting tasks, e.g., journal entry, invoice and report generation, payroll and depreciation calculation, GL coding, tax filing, financial data reconciliation, etc.
Proper user training. To help accountants quickly learn how to apply automation to streamline their daily tasks.
Accounting Automation: Success Stories by ScienceSoft
Custom Billing Software for a Leading European Marketplace
- Functionality for automated invoicing, bookkeeping, financial reporting, etc.
- Integrating the solution into the Customer’s online marketplace.
- Flexibility to evolve the billing platform with new features.
- Automated system scaling from using 2 to > 50 app servers depending on the load.
Customer’s benefit: Faster payment processing, streamlined accounting and debt collection.
Accounting Software Migration to the Cloud
- Re-designing the architecture of a legacy accounting solution into a modular web-based multi-tier architecture.
- Developing additional features, such as e-payments, automated tax calculation, and more.
- Re-designing the billing module to enable making payments via the customer portal.
Customer’s benefit: facilitated system maintenance, reduced cost of data storage, higher product value for end users.
The cost of implementing accounting automation varies greatly depending on:
- The number and complexity of an automation solution’s functional modules, including the amount of automation (implementation of RPA and AI-powered features).
- The volume of data that needs to be migrated from the spreadsheets and/or existing accounting software.
- The number and complexity of integrations (with CRM, asset management software, inventory management system, BI solution, etc.).
From ScienceSoft’s practice, a custom accounting automation solution of average complexity costs around $200,000 - $400,000. Annual ROI for a custom automated accounting system may reach up to 290%.
Benefits of automation in accounting
time savings across the accounting operations
improvement in the accounting team's productivity
Up to 90%
decrease in the financial document processing costs
Up to 2x
reduction in DSO due to automated A/R collections
You want smooth and cost-effective integration of an automated accounting solution with your business-critical systems (CRM, HRMS, asset management, financial planning & analysis, etc.).
You need a flexible automated accounting system that is easy to evolve with trending accounting industry technologies when required, e.g., comprehensive AI-powered analytics or accounting for crypto assets can be added.
You need an accounting solution providing automation of business-specific accounting tasks, e.g., calculating payroll or the fair value of assets and liabilities based on custom formulas, creating A/P payment and A/R collection queues based on specific priority rules, or generating financial reports in compliance with specific local financial regulations.
ScienceSoft’s best practice: If your accountants deal with a moderate volume of financial transactions and you don’t have specific requirements to the automation system’s UX and UI, we suggest going with platform-based development. Using low-code platforms can substantially reduce the costs of creating an automated accounting solution. In ScienceSoft’s accounting automation projects, we rely on Microsoft Power Apps to offer 74% lower development costs.
In financial software development since 2007, ScienceSoft helps companies build reliable automated accounting solutions.
Consulting on accounting automation
- Analysis of accounting automation needs.
- Assessment of the existing accounting processes, tools and their integration points.
- Suggesting optimal accounting automation features and solution architecture and tech stack.
- Preparing an integration plan with the reqired systems.
- Implementation cost & time estimates, expected ROI calculation.
Implementation of accounting automation
- Accounting automation needs analysis.
- Automated accounting solution conceptualization.
- Architecture design.
- Accounting automation system development.
- Integrating the solution with the relevant software.
- Quality assurance.
- User training.
- Continuous support and evolution (optional).
What our Customers say
We cooperated with ScienceSoft on the evolution of our Azure-based product for accounts payable management. ScienceSoft was to cover end-to-end development of an intelligent paperless invoice processing module for the product.
The new software module performs stably even under heavy load, which helps provide a high-quality user experience for our customers. ScienceSoft proved to be a reliable tech partner, and we can recommend other businesses to consider ScienceSoft as a software development vendor.
Wadih Pazos, Chief Operating Officer, Paramount WorkPlace
The invoicing system created by ScienceSoft automates data integration from different sources, invoice generation, and provides visibility into the invoicing process. We have already engaged ScienceSoft in supporting the solution and would definitely consider ScienceSoft as an IT vendor in the future.
Heather Owen Nigl, Chief Financial Officer, Alta Resources
ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. Since 2007, we help businesses establish effective accounting automation. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we apply a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security. If you are interested in getting a robust accounting automation solution, feel free to turn to ScienceSoft’s team.