Automation in the professional services segment – the use of information technology to automate basic business processes – is making steady gains across mid- to large-size firms, increasing the ability of business leaders to transform their operational efficiency and profitability. In this issue of China Briefing, we explain how business leaders can prepare for automation by implementing simple, cost-effective solutions. We first explain the concept of services automation and how it can be used in administering back office functions. Next, we focus on what this automation of back office departments looks like, specifically for HR administration and payroll processing and finance and accounting. Lastly, we answer some frequently asked questions.