Using technology to mitigate manpower shortages: good or bad?

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March 6, 2022 by
Using technology to mitigate manpower shortages: good or bad?
Solutions EXIA inc., Benoit Girard


Labour shortages are impacting the operations of finance departments.  In this particular context, the adoption of specialized technology such as Swift Finance helps to mitigate certain risks associated with the sustainability of operations.

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Managers of finance groups are also faced with a shortage and retention of qualified, specialized manpower.  This situation can quickly jeopardize the sustainability and efficiency of their operational processes (month-end, year-end, budgeting and forecasting), and weaken the team in place.  Automating the Finance function, and adopting appropriate technologies and new working methods, are effective ways of preventing and compensating for these ever-increasing challenges.

Indeed, it is in this context of shortage of specialized manpower that managers are most exposed to the shortcomings of their systems and processes, as well as the human limitations of their teams. When an employee is missing from a team, his or her work is distributed to colleagues who are often already overworked and sometimes discouraged. Some are entrusted with processes they don't know, on tools they don't master. These are often Excel spreadsheets containing multiple links to numerous files or cells, with complex calculations understood only by the person who created them. This additional burden can become a real burden and a source of demotivation for the person who inherits it. What's more, we know that attracting and retaining employees can be a real obstacle course. So it's vital to minimize these risks by making every effort to give your employees - and yourself - peace of mind by equipping yourself with new technologies and processes that bring balance and stability.

If at least one of the following three statements sounds familiar, it's a clue that you're at risk and should consider making changes:

  • At the technological level, processes that depend on in-house applications, often implemented in Microsoft Excel, are poorly documented and rely on scarce expertise to operate them. 

  • At the operational level, processes are much more complex than they need to be, relying on numerous manual operations and requiring know-how held by only a few people.

  • At the analytical level, individual shortcomings in the ability to effectively exploit financial data, together with a lack of training to use all the possibilities offered by technology, concentrate this skill in the hands of a few people.

These applications, and the processes that depend on them, rely heavily on the presence of a few key people.  Processes that are too cumbersome, and applications that are outdated and too complex, will require greater effort and stress, and could lead to some people leaving the organization.  Their eventual departure will have a major impact on the Finance function's ability to operate its processes.

Technology as a means of mitigating risk

Il est possible de mitiger ces risques avec l’introduction de technologies spécialisées qui apporteront avec elles une simplification de l’opération des processus.  L'objectif est de se doter d'un outil qui permettra d’augmenter l’efficacité de la fonction Finance et de réduire le nombre de personnes requises à son opération.  

  • Automating recurring tasks enables you to concentrate on high value-added activities and reduce the human dependency needed to operate processes.  For example, by eliminating manual loading and transformation of data in Microsoft Excel.

  • The use of tools adapted to Finance can optimize processes by reducing the time required to execute them.  For example, by replacing the e-mailing of budget entry templates with a more efficient collaborative method.

  • Introducing integrated governance and documentation facilitates the introduction of new resources by taking exclusive knowledge out of the hands of key people.  For example, by having access to automated documentation within the specialized tool, without having to depend on Microsoft Word documents that are no longer updated.

  • Standardizing and simplifying processes will provide resilience in the face of staff turnover, while reducing the risks associated with ongoing operations.  For example, by eliminating the need to work on weekends or evenings because work is not optimized.


We have shown that the impacts of the labor shortage in Finance can be mitigated through the judicious use of specialized technologies. See how our Swift Finance solution quickly overcomes this challenge. 

  Learn more about Swift Finance

Using technology to mitigate manpower shortages: good or bad?
Solutions EXIA inc., Benoit Girard March 6, 2022
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