How to improve the organisations financial processes through automation?

05 Dec 2022

The financial function of organisations is one of the most important back-office procedures because it generates information such as annual accounts, cash and working capital flows, investments, etc. and other analytical and business data necessary to support decision-making.

Before Process Mining, consultants had to ask people individually in order to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks or weaknesses. This methodology is much more time-consuming and does not provide reliable results. Organisations can now locate what is happening, and how processes are being executed and use Artificial Intelligence, business knowledge or data intelligence to discover these inefficiencies and take action. And it is precisely this discovery that will enable companies to apply the most appropriate set of automation tools and streamline their financial processes in pursuit of operational excellence.

From process automation to hyper-automation

Hyper-automation is a natural evolution of automation and the ideal combination of technologies to take advantage of its benefits. We can combine the capacity of robots (RPA) with BPM, or other technologies such as document digitalisation, etc.

The importance of hyper-automatisation in financial processes

As we said, there are two points to bear in mind before we go on to discuss the hyper-automation of financial processes:

Firstly, all companies will have financial processes, and they can apply automation (or hyper-automation) to these or to any other type of process in the company. In this area, optimisation will enable significant synergies and savings by changing the methodology and capturing the value behind the process to generate greater value for the company.

Secondly, financial processes are particularly important, as they are the ones that give us information on how the company is performing.

The more efficient the financial processes are, the easier it will be to anticipate potential problems and make areas more productive. In this sense, there must be a clear vision of what the organisation should measure (through Process Mining) and improve, applying the technology to that specific objective.

Financial processes that can be improved and automated

Here are some examples of how processes can be improved for a better understanding of the scope of process mining and hyper-automation:

  • Using RPA with Computer Vision to manage the confirming process.
  • Using RPA to streamline bank reconciliation.
  • Use of RPA with natural language processing to manage customer advances.
  • Use of Process Mining to generate analytics-based models for customer segmentation, including risk analysis.
  • Use of Process Mining, through Machine Learning Models, to aid decision-making in cases such as customer debt management and improve working capital.
  • Intelligent Character Recognition for automatic ingestion of documents such as invoices (and even automatic activation of other tasks when adding certain invoices or provisions).

Advantages of linking process mining with hyper-automation

There are many advantages of linking process mining with hyper-automation. Just to highlight a few:

  • The possibility of using any technology, without the need for the base system to be a CRM as widespread as, for example, SAP.
  • The ability to cross different systems, even Cloud systems with other legacy systems and observe the discrepancies between them, helping to unify and improve data quality.
  • The ability to understand the heterogeneity of data and processes in companies operating in different countries or under different teams in charge of financial operations.
  • The ability to take action and automate tasks such as alerts when an invoice is not issued or a required piece of data is not recorded.
  • Increased operational capacity without increasing staff or costs.
  • Minimisation of errors in the ingestion of documentation.

In short, hyper-automation, supported by Process Mining, can be a catalyst for the improvement of companies’ financial processes. The use cases and advantages are many, but this also means that each company will be different. That is why at VASS we want to guide our customers towards hyper-automation, hand in hand with the latest technologies and first-class partners, creating customised strategies to extract the most value from process improvement.

Ignacio De Sopeña

Global Business Consulting Director at VASS

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