Tech-driven advisory and data automation: learn how Finance Box does it

Finance Box is an integrated outsourced finance department for busy SME owners. It specialises in providing modern solutions to take care of time-consuming accounting work. Finance Box covers everything from the standard bookkeeping and account management challenges to payment and VAT solutions, forecasting and cash flow management, investment assistance, consultancy and advisory. 

With a team of just 15 people, Finance Box is serving around 300 happy clients from a variety of industries. 

Automation as the foundation for advisory

Steve Case, CEO of Finance Box, says that in order to achieve success and customer satisfaction they use tools as much as possible to automate some of the more mundane tasks. This allows them to focus on advisory, which is more valuable for the clients.

“I’m not trying to be a software salesman, I’m trying to be the accountant and financial advisor that our clients have come looking for. But sometimes the biggest barrier for really good and timely advice is that the client data is not up-to-date and their processes are slow.

The very first step of advisory is to get the systems that speed up data and processes and prepare the ground for the delivery of advisory, which is where you can actually make a difference. This is the precise moment where the lines become blurred and you do assume the role of a software salesman – a role significantly different from the accounting job that you were trained for and hired to do.”

Steve Case, CEO of Finance Box.

So, what’s key here? How do they manage to find the right apps for providing such services without the hassle of going into the pros and cons of each system? Can there be maximum efficiency with minimal effort? And how do they convince everyone to overcome the legacy mindset?

FABio is the answer

FABio stands for “Finance Automation Bot” and it performs all sorts of valuable automation. 

Practically, FABio lets you move away from talking about the granular functions and capabilities of each individual app and, instead, start speaking about the end-to-end processes handled for your clients.

Take ApprovalMax, for example, which is the default and trusted app for taking care of approval automation, including multi-tiered and multi-role authorisations. It provides notifications and reporting on outstanding and completed approval requests, approval exception handling and much more. But clients are often only interested in the surface-level benefits of such an app – and that’s where FABio delivers. 

The advantage is, as Steve points out, that “information can be real-time and reliable without me working 24/7.” He says, in addition to saving time and effort for them and their clients this approach brings client satisfaction to a whole new level as the high flexibility allows them to tailor the app stack to each individual business.

Efficiency booster: data automation

These systems come under the umbrella of “data automation”. By embracing modern cloud technology and eradicating manual interventions, functions such as invoice submission, practice management, client management and approval management become streamlined, quicker and less prone to error.

To get to this point, it’s essential to introduce cloud data storage and digital data capture for accounting documents as soon as possible. 

When all relevant data is available in digital form, the implementation of data automation can begin. At its core, this means extending data digitisation with automated workflows. They drive data validation and decision control to ensure that accounting data is always complete, verified and audit-ready.

As Finance Box prove, the journey from bookkeeper to business advisor doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about finding the right mix of software automation to do the heavy lifting and to free up time for more important things.