23rd Jan 2019

Legacy systems Vs. Automation: Battling it out for the future of finance and treasury

Your organisation can do great things with automation. But you may wonder if it’s a good idea to change legacy systems which you’ve spent years building up, and move into this automated future. It’s time to duke it out – Legacy Systems vs. Automation; which comes out on top?

Court of public opinion

AccessPay’s Calling Time On The Spreadsheet report makes it clear what treasurers and financial professionals think of this topic. Both groups said they believe in digital transformation and both argued that legacy systems are slowing business processes down. Basically, they’re saying that automation is the future of finance.

Why do the experts take this view?

Counting the coin

We can’t have this conversation and not talk about the elephant in the room. Money. It’s expensive to keep legacy systems up-to-date. Did you know that (an article on CIO tells us) experts predict that up to 50% of an IT firm’s software budget goes towards keeping legacy systems up and running? And that’s for organisations full of tech experts, so imagine how expensive this task is for those of you with smaller teams.

There are costs involved in rolling out automation, but the rewards you’ll enjoy make it worthwhile. Some studies put the savings that intelligent automation will bring to the world’s finance sector at over US$500 billion by 2020, proving cost is no real barrier to automation. Also, if you think carefully about who takes care of your automation needs before committing to anything, and go for a tech provider who offers a future-proof solution, value for money and great customer service, you might just end up saving your organisation some money, as well as a whole heap of fuss.

Take AccessPay, which often scores above 4.8/ 5 in the customer services stakes – don’t just take our word for it, have a look at Feefo and see what our customers have to say.

Spotlight on spreadsheets

We’ve also got to keep in mind that legacy systems are more expensive overall than automation alternatives. We’re all only human. When staff fill in spreadsheets, occasionally they’re bound to make mistakes. In fact, numbers show that one of the risks of relying on spreadsheets is that one in every 100 spreadsheet cells has a mistake.

Our research found that two tasks treasurers and financial professionals rely on spreadsheets for are balance statement data compilation and forecasting. If you’re doing these tasks and make a mistake, you’ll fudge the numbers and make it hard for your firm to plan how to spend its cash. But if you automate the same task, you’re not actually typing data into a spreadsheet, so you really can’t make a mistake.

Let’s talk cybercrime

There’s another reason why the financial world is getting behind automation. A recent article in the  Financial Times revealed that finance companies are targeted by more data breaches than any other industry, except health. Cybercriminals are experts at fleecing honest organisations; getting around the outdated cybersecurity of legacy systems is easy for them. If you automate your systems, they will update with the latest encryptions, so cybercriminals are given tougher and tougher barriers to overcome.

No fuss, no hassle

OK, so automation wins – and “Yes”, we’re a little biased here at AccessPay, seeing as we’ve always been a cloud-based software provider for automating payments and cash management. But can you blame us? You’d be surprised how easy automation is.