In our last blog, we explored how the role of financial executives today is evolving and how intelligent process automation can help finance leaders to transform their organizations by focusing on some routine processes that their teams already know and understand extremely well.
As a recent survey of financial executives, conducted by KPMG in Q3 2018, suggests, the top priorities for finance include:
One way to achieve ALL of these goals is for financial executives to look at back office financial operations that can be transformed through automation. By targeting the sources of inefficiency and errors like manual keyboard and mouse data entry, document sorting, routing and coding, companies can dramatically reduce costs while tapping into information and insights that can lead to more timely, accurate KPIs and better planning, forecasting and strategy.
The GREAT thing about this approach is that it leverages the collective knowledge of the finance team and their operational expertise. Process automation takes care of routine tasks so your process owners can focus more on analysis, budgeting and planning.
Because intelligent process automation is designed to empower process owners, it’s far easier today to go from a vision for how things should be done to executing on that vision—without waiting in the IT work queue.
Back office processes are all great candidates for digital transformation though automation. Routine, high volume and high velocity processes like accounts payable vendor invoice processes, customer sales order processes and accounts receivable remittance processing consume tons of man hours for very little return on that time and effort.
Automation for these processes can not only drive efficiency, but also has the potential to deliver more timely data to better manage cash, cut costs and grow revenues.
According to KPMG’s survey of financial executives, one of the biggest obstacles identified to achieving digital transformation is talent and training. Reading between the lines, the message seems to be that most team members are more comfortable doing things the way they’ve always been done (surprise, surprise).
At the same time, while the promise of intelligent process automation is high, adoption has been relatively low. Translation: little experience exists today among executive and their team members in implementing the kinds of solutions that corporate executive envision.
At least that is the perception. In reality, automating processes like accounts payable is not an unknown quantity. The processes are well defined and, in general, process owners can identify operations bottlenecks and propose solutions. Best of all, putting those solutions into place isn’t rocket science anymore.
In fact, targeting manual processes like document handling or data entry for high-volume back office financial processes can be achieved in as little as 90 days, with a payback in as little as 180 days. That kind of ROI is easy enough to cost justify.
Much of that speed to value can be achieved because today’s systems and solutions are more flexible than ever. Rather than having to program for every little nuance, low code, self-learning systems can adapt to handle new types of workflows, different types of documents and interaction with a wider range of data and document management systems.
The reality for today’s finance executive is that focusing on the future can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively by automating and streamlining how their teams manage the day to day.
To get started, visit the Artsyl Web site for more information and resources, then contact your Artsyl solution representative to begin transforming your vision into a plan for action.