The sharp downturn in economic activity caused by the global pandemic is having a broader impact on innovation and tech spend, with businesses reluctant to spend big on ripping out and replacing software systems.
Tough economic times typically tend to see a downturn in sales and revenue as businesses reduce investment and stockpile cash, so of course, accounting and ERP resellers should make contingency plans in case the worst happens.
But as often is the case in uncertain periods, many businesses are choosing to delay plans to upgrade their accounting and ERP solutions, preferring to lock up the safe and stockpile the rainy day fund.
Although this might help calm levels of finance anxiety, this will only do the opposite of what businesses are intending to do. The challenges customers faced before the pandemic remain, and have only worsened as teams work remotely.
Businesses still require software that can help accommodate transitions like these, meaning the speed is of the essence. If accounting and ERP resellers are to return to success and profitability, they need to pivot to new markets and opportunities.
Do or die time for resellers
Employees want more flexible purchasing options, while businesses need to save on spending. It’s a tricky situation, but resellers are in a solid position to satisfy both demands.
At the start of the pandemic, buzzwords such as Automation, AI, and Machine Learning would have been talked about as future technologies that would one day arrive for businesses, but far into the future.
But they’re here now, and many businesses are looking to transform their processes as long as the Return on Investment (ROI) can be proven, which it can. One study calculated that businesses could prove an ROI of around 720% by implementing cloud Purchase-to-Pay solutions.
Forward-thinking resellers are also utilising automation as an essential part of their offering. Accounting and finance teams have long suffered intense boredom and dissatisfaction from the dull, repetitive nature of the day-to-day job, wanting to instead focus on more strategy-led tasks that have a direct impact on business performance.
Automated solutions are providing cost, time, and resource savings that more than cover the cost of implementing such solutions. What’s more, finance teams feel liberated in their roles, improving overall productivity and job satisfaction as they get to focus on more critical tasks.
It also drastically reduces the likelihood of human error, and therefore risk, creeping into tasks. Automation twinned with AI and Machine Learning is able to flag problems such as fraudulent or double payments before they become an issue, as well as any suspicious activity when dealing with finances.
In what seems like a short space of time, automation has become a fundamental requirement in the finance function, especially from a purchasing and invoicing point of view. Staff want to be able to acquire products and services from the vendors of their choice, but businesses are afraid of losing control and visibility over money spent.
But as like with any problem these days, there are solutions that can help with this. Amazon for example recently launched ‘Punch-in’, allowing staff to start the purchasing process on the website while automating the invoicing process and letting finance know what’s being spent, where, and how much.
What was a buzzword is now an exciting, new reality, and resellers can pave the way in showing businesses what could be achieved if they embrace innovation in automation.
Resellers in pole position
Accounting and ERP systems are no longer just considered as back-end systems, they are the cornerstone of business operations, constantly finding new ways to increase productivity and change the way we work for the better.
By providing solutions that tap into the need for better processes and efficiencies, resellers can not just survive this next period of economic uncertainty but thrive when the competition is struggling to catch up.
But resellers have to be smart. Businesses are in no position to rip up and replace entire ERP and accounting systems, so providing powerful systems that integrate seamlessly into their platforms will be an attractive proposition in building for the future.
Annabel Sim at Compleat Software