The Psychological Impact of AR Automation on Work Stress and Burnout

finance employee burnout
'Streamlining operations' and removing 'resource-intensive', manual processes have become somewhat overused in today's marketing landscape. However, when taking a closer look at what 'resource-intensive' actually means in the AR world, it almost always refers to your people and their time, focus, energy, and overall mental capacity and well-being.

Sure, efficiency and optimised workflows are golden, but in today's technological landscape, they no longer have to come at the expense of your team, regardless of how normalised the month-end crunch-time panic has become in the AR world.

Here's why.

The mental impact of manual AR processes in the workplace

For starters, let's take a look at 'burnout.' The American Psychological Association (APA) defines burnout as 'emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion resulting from prolonged and excessive stress.' What does that have to do with manual AR processes? Everything.

According to a recent study by the University of Georgia (UGA) of over 1,000 U.S. adults working in accounting and finance, up to 99% of accountants suffer from workplace burnout. A similar study performed by a London-based fintech company revealed that the most common sources of heightened workload and stress leading to burnout included:

  • Heavy workloads (42%)
  • Time-consuming manual processes (36%)
  • Long work hours (32%)
  • Tight, unforgiving deadlines (26%)
  • Increasing demands from management (25%)

These are 'coincidentally' the same pain points AR automation eliminates from archaic manual collections and accounting processes.

The impact of AR automation on employee well-being

Many businesses still rely on outdated manual legacy systems to manage their AR processes. However, this often doesn't look like paper-based processes anymore, but rather looks like relying solely on tools like spreadsheets, emails and PDF attachments.

This almost always comes at the cost of employee morale (and productivity). On the contrary, AR automation software directly addresses (and solves) some of the most common challenges within the AR process. The most prevalent one is eliminating tedious, manual processes.

AR automation software takes over these more routine responsibilities. At System1A, we like to refer to it as managing the 'standard,' and allowing your team to focus on the exception. Ultimately, the role of the finance and accounting departments should include a fine balance between strategic business opportunities and decisions, as well as day-to-day admin tasks.

However, without the right AR automation tool, these same teams are at full capacity due to having to undertake time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks, leaving zero room for being integrated into growth or critical business shift discussions. Additionally, the right AR automation software provides seamless collaboration capabilities in real time, drastically improving the feedback loop and overall collections cycle. With these added efficiency and communication benefits, AR teams aren't forced to spend countless hours navigating communication bottlenecks as month-end draws close.

Lastly, it's also important to consider how automation improves client relationships. Apart from improved collaboration, AR automation also removes the risk of human error, minimising order disputes and ultimately reducing DSO. This reassurance takes some of the weight off your AR team's plate, knowing that chasing payments doesn't have to come at the expense of relationships and client experience.

System1A, for effortless (and stress-free) AR automation

We provide more than just software. Experience information symmetry at its finest with one application that encapsulates every part of the AR process. From managing company accounts, to communications, deliveries, receipts and reporting.

Kick-start a much-needed, critical change of pace for your business, clients, and people.

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