It is commonly acknowledged that CFOs must lead the charge in sound financial management and exercise prudence in money matters to ensure long-term growth. But what does this mean at the operational level? What can CFOs do to ensure sustainable business development even in the midst of external disruptions like COVID-19?
When dealing with corporate finances, accuracy and efficiency are the two most binding factors that ensure company longevity. And the bulk of actions where these two factors become critical for good business standing are in the heavily document-dependent functions of accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR).
We’ll talk specifically about administrative functions in these two mission-critical, labor-intensive financial operations because this is where operational effectiveness and efficiency can be measured, and any discrepancies here can reverberate and affect cash flows across the entire organization.
Progress in business is possible because of people, processes, and systems, and yet, these three core components are connected by one thing — data! Business data and documents enable the movement of people, processes, and systems within an organization. Also, data, when managed well, binds the core operations and departments within an organization, giving rise to what is known as a connected enterprise.
In other words, mismanagement of business data and documents results in not just functional and departmental silos, but also a drastic slowdown in business progression at the operational level. We see the immediate consequences of poor data and document management most commonly in AP/AR operations, where, say for example, a single data entry error could delay invoice processing by days or weeks, costing companies in rework costs as well as payment penalties. Multiply one such instance by the hundreds and thousands of invoices a company typically deals with on a monthly basis, and what we have at the end of it is a serious cash flow issue!
Businesses, in general, operate with large amounts of unstructured data. Relying on manual document processing means opening the gates to human error, more costly operations, longer processing times, and chaos in meeting vendor and customer expectations.
There are a few things CFOs can do to reverse the drain, both manual and monetary, off document-based processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable in a way that will ensure continuous process improvement and a reduction in operating costs.
All of these measures can be met adequately using Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). IPA employs digital transformation technologies like AI and machine learning to perform straight-through processing of document-based tasks like accounts payable and order processing. Besides ensuring control of the end-to-end process chain from data capture to data export to an ERP system on a single platform, IPA removes dependency on manpower greatly, and also eliminates paperwork.
Intelligent Process Automation helps churn out consistent and accurate data from document-intensive processes for further use in ERPs and business applications. Because the results from IPA are accurate, businesses are able to retrieve specific metrics from processes like, for example, the processing time or cost of processing a single invoice, and use those as benchmarks for optimal performance and efficiency.
With consistent optimization of AP/AR functions and related document-based processes using IPA, CFOs have the advantage of laying out document processing best practices in AP/AR and related financial functions using the results from IPA implementation.
The best part about optimizing financial processes using Intelligent Process Automation is that CFOs will have complete visibility and control over what has traditionally been a paper-dependent, error-prone manual function. Accurate data availability from mission-critical document-based processes also helps with correct and timely decision-making.
For CFOs invested in a company’s future, there is nothing more important than having access to data that will tell them the state of business functions within their department. Intelligent Process Automation streamlines AP/AR and related financial tasks, enabling businesses and CFOs to see where they are missing the mark in terms of sales and revenues.
Ask for a demo of Artsyl’s Intelligent Process Automation technology today.