September 30, 2022

Future Trends: Why Business Process Mapping Is Essential for Automation

What Does Business Processes Mapping Have To Do With CPA Firms in 2022?

Business processes are the intrinsic activities that define the outline of how an accounting firm operates when combined. Business processes are important to accounting firms, regardless of whether discussing a small, local CPA firm, or an international conglomerate. Hiring outside support to alleviate some of the IT burden associated with managing business processes can provide substantial cost and efficiency savings. However, most importantly, having CPA IT technology experts manage your business process software affords you valuable piece of mind when it comes to data hosting, uptime, security, patching, and IT service performance.

Understanding the myriad business processes involved in the operation of an accounting practice are essential for C-suite executives and tech experts automating business processes. This blog will discuss the benefits of business process mapping. Workflow automation will be examined in juxtaposition with business processes and technology. We will explain what is a business process, what business process mapping is, business process maps, and more.

What Are Business Processes?

Successful accounting businesses have specific organizational goals. Business processes are the activities that when combined, accomplish the goals of CPA firms. Business processes have some of the following characteristics.

  • Repetitive tasks— Some business processes are thought of as mundane tasks,    routinely repeated to accomplish specific business processes. These are tasks well-suited for automation. 
  • Sequence of activities— Processes consist of a sequence of responsibilities performed by individuals to produce a necessary outcome for an organization. Each task is designated to an identified person in a specific role assigned to complete the task.
  • Linked together processes— Business processes may be linked to prior tasks as well as subsequent activities and triggers. 

Business processes are part of the daily operations of accounting firms. Business process mapping helps an organization understand and clarify its common practices and reveal an organization’s competencies and deficiencies.    Often, business processes are mapped using complex software solutions that can almost feel as if they need experts to manage.

What Is Business Process Mapping?

Business process mapping entails creating graphic frameworks of the fundamental activities of an organization.

  • Depicts process steps— Business process mapping tools help firms graphically portray the inputs, actions and outputs of activities in clearly illustrated business process maps. Processes are broken into individual tasks, with the interdependency of tasks highlighted between individuals.
  • Shows different processes— Business process mapping identifies the sequence of activities in a process, outlining the basic details of an activity in clearly identified steps. Business process mapping outlines the responsibilities of individual employees, how the activity overlaps with other departments, as well as outside business entities.
  • Conveyed in a consistent way— Business process mapping tools offer common language and universal representations designed to be easily communicated throughout an organization.
  • Creates business process maps— Business process maps are the end result of business process mapping. A business process map offers a visual representation of a firm’s daily operations and workflow, providing crucial insight into the essential practices of an organization. As technology advances, local and outsourced IT solutions have some limitations. 

Both new and established CPA firms can benefit from utilizing business process mapping tools to create graphic representations of their processes. However, managing these systems can be easier said than done. Data hosting, ensuring uptime, promising security, enabling interoperability and patching, and IT service performance are often services best left to external specialists.

Benefits of Business Process Mapping for CPA Firms?

The benefits of business process mapping are multi-faceted as outlined below.

  • Clarifies operational details— Graphic business process maps offer detailed, up-to-date analysis of the daily activities of a business. They identify potential areas of improvement as well as showcase operational successes. Business process mapping helps clarify roles and workflow goals within an organization.
  • Explains business activities— An important benefit of business process mapping is to provide illustrative descriptions of the tasks, allowing for graphic business process maps visible throughout the firm. Shared knowledge of organizational expectations enhances interactions between employees and departments. Business process maps help guide decision-making. Business process maps provide effective communication of business activities to remote, global or outsourced workforces, helping ensure compliance and successful operations.
  • Offers insight into how businesses operate— Utilizing process mapping helps C-suite executives evaluate the day-to-day goings-on of their firms’ operations. Business process mapping helps ensure compliance, train new employees, evaluate performances, identify inefficiencies, and eliminate workflow bottlenecks
  • Enhances understanding— Business process mapping helps firms understand how their business processes work and how to improve them with workflow automation systems. 
Business process mapping offers a comprehensive visual representation of the processes which keep a firm operational. A business process map examines workflow inefficiencies and how they can be improved with business process automation tools.

Business Processes and Technology: Automation Is Exciting!

Automation is an exciting way to strengthen accounting firms by streamlining and improving processes and recognizing employees’ talents. In fact, approximately 53% of all accounting firms have initiated workflow automation systems. Automating business practices has several advantages.

  • Helps streamline processes— Workflow automation systems can integrate processes and technology—for example, the ability to improve filing details and keep track of regulatory details. Automation can help CPA firm employees achieve accuracy with tax rules and policies. Itemizing, billing, and monitoring are also functions that can be automated, thus saving time and increasing productivity in other areas.
  • Supports employees— Workflow automation systems are designed to automate tasks, not eliminate roles. When you automate your business practices, CPA employees save time to focus on more rewarding accounting processes, rather than routine, monotonous tasks. CPA firm employees can become a part of automating business processes.
  • Employee onboarding— Business process automation tools allow firms to design a comprehensive approach to training employees simply by automating some training aspects such as inputting payroll information or scheduling alerts. Switching to a cloud hosting solution has clear benefits for CPA firms. 

It is understandable why accounting firms are eager to embrace business process automation tools. With that said, however, change can be challenging. This is where external support can mean all the difference.

Why Is Business Process Mapping Important for Automation?

Business process mapping is essential for automating business systems.

  • Evaluate current business processes— Prior to automating business processes, C-suite executives should review current workflow processes in order to assess and define the process. Understanding the dynamics of the process clarifies how workflow automation can streamline the process and increase efficiency and overall productivity.
  • Identify dull or boring tasks— CPA firms need to recognize tasks within processes which are exceedingly mundane or excessively repeatable. Basically, this means the exhaustive tasks dreaded by all the firms’ employees and usually delegated to new hires! Encourage CPA firm employees to participate in workflow automation pilots, particularly since the automation process requires minimal coding and participation is inspiring.

A comprehensive review of a firm’s business processes helps C-suite executives and technological gurus identify how automating business processes in some areas will increase employee morale and workload productivity. Working with Cetrom, can help CPA firms get started on the path to workflow automation.

Business Process Mapping and Automation: How Cetrom Can Help

Cetrom is a respected, proven cloud-based solutions provider 100 percent focused on supporting CPA firms. The company’s expertise is exclusively devoted to hosting accounting-specific applications. At the core of every Cetrom investment is security. As a result, the company has access to state-of-the-art security technologies and security methodologies to keep users secure during mapping or automation processes.

Business process mapping and automation are exciting options for innovative, forward-thinking CPA firms. Let Cetrom help your CPA firm streamline processes and transition seamlessly to automation. Contact Cetrom today to learn more about how we can help answer your questions about business process mapping and automating business processes.

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