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Automated data extraction – where do I start?

Author: Dext

Published: 12 Feb 2024

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Automation. It's a small word that can drive big changes for you, your business, and your clients. But, like all big changes, it can feel daunting.

Automation. It's a small word that can drive big changes for you, your business, and your clients. But, like all big changes, it can feel daunting.

You may already be on the road to becoming fully automated. But if clients still bring you boxes of receipts and paper bank statements, which you manually enter into systems like Xero and QuickBooks, then it might be time to consider automated data extraction.

The question is where do you begin? If you're wondering how to get started, here are a few quick tips:

1. Understand and define your goals

Align your tech strategy with business objectives, ask your team for their input, and communicate with clients to understand their needs and openness to technology.

2. Create a team of stakeholders

Introducing technology to your business is a team effort. A successful implementation relies on the expertise of a taskforce of engaged employees. They will oversee the automation journey, help others get up to speed, manage expectations, and combat fears. Incentivise your team and gamify the process to increase uptake. Remember, change takes time and collaboration is key to success.

3. Engage your wider team

Effective communication is key to driving change. When introducing software, it's important to have a comprehensive communication plan that includes milestones such as official announcements, product training, client reviews, and regular team meetings. When you're transparent with your plans, it helps people buy into the project.

4. Keep your clients in the loop

Once you've decided on the level of client involvement, you need to create a communication plan that informs them of any expected changes. They may continue to provide their data as they have always done, or choose to interact with the system in real time.

To make everyone's life easier, remind them of the value of real-time bookkeeping. It simplifies the process, saves time and goes a long way to ensuring those clients remain compliant. Once they understand the value, involve them in the process through training, review sessions, and check-ins.

5. Continue to monitor and evaluate

Implementing software is an ongoing process. Conditions change, so it's important to assess whether the software is meeting expectations and continue to communicate with employees and clients. Additionally, staying updated on product improvements can provide further opportunities for process improvement.

In-depth info on these steps can be found in Dext's latest guide to getting started with automation.

For practical tips on getting started, join us for our brand new webinar mini series – Secure Steps to Automation. This 3-part series will provide useful tips and guidelines to support you on your automation journey.

  • Friday 26 January 11am – Automation Masterclass Step 1: Your Timeline to Getting Started (now available on-demand)
  • Friday 23 February 11am – Automation Masterclass Step 2: Finding the Right Solution
  • Friday 22 March 11am – Automation Masterclass Step 3: Bringing your Clients On-board