Intelligent automation powered by AI and rules-based technologies accelerates the digital transformation of financial operations

Intelligent automation powered by AI and rules-based technologies accelerates the digital transformation of financial operations

Art Sarno

Product Marketing Director at Kofax

Views 587

Intelligent automation powered by AI and rules-based technologies accelerates the digital transformation of financial operations

05.09.2019 07:30 am
Without financial process automation, manual, error-prone tasks and disjointed systems slow down finance teams, rack up unnecessary costs, and create blind spots in the organisation’s financial health and well-being. These issues occur across all areas of finance – from accounts payable to procure-to-pay, order-to-cash and record-to-report. The good news is 50 to 90 percent of financial processes can be automated by implementing cognitive capture and workflow automation software. And many enterprises are moving in this direction as part of a larger digital transformation. But oftentimes, organisations find themselves adopting multiple automation technologies from various providers, resulting in a piecemeal solution that decreases the ROI and delays the benefits automation affords. Analyst firm HFS recently called out the shortcomings of a ‘single technology’ approach to digital transformation, expressing support for an integrated approach. An integrated platform reduces cost, time to value and complexity, while maximising customer and employee satisfaction. Organisations that want to maximise the benefits of financial process automation can follow this three-step framework to begin working like the digitally enabled company of tomorrow. Step 1: Understand where you are today Conduct a maturity model assessment to evaluate organisational automation readiness from a technology and process perspective. IT should be involved in the discussion early on because they understand how automation technologies will fit within the larger IT framework. They’re also responsible for managing the environments that these technologies operate in and for ensuring proper security protocols are followed. Assess how well-documented and current your financial processes are during this stage. If there’s room to improve prior to automation, this presents an opportunity to make upfront investments. Automation is most powerful when deployed against processes that are already running properly; it isn’t intended to ‘fix’ or alleviate the pain points around broken processes. In other words, optimise first and then automate for the best results. Step 2: Establish a business case for automation and adopt a ‘platform approach’ from day one Establishing a business case for automation that allows the financial IT team to clearly make connections between automation and financial key performance indicators. It also includes ranking of use case candidates based on their potential to yield the greatest return. Through this exercise, the team arrives at a clearer understanding of which technologies are required to develop its unique platform-powered solution. Examples of such technologies include: · Cognitive capture: Ingest/understand any document and extract relevant information via any channel. · Process orchestration: Integrate people, automation technologies, systems, applications, etc. along a broader workflow in a business-user intuitive manner. · Mobility & engagement: Engage customers efficiently and effectively via web or mobile devices. · Advanced analytics: Provide data-driven insights with respect to outcomes as driven by automation. · Artificial Intelligence: Automate complex decision making and personalise service to end users. The actual design of the automation solution entails a number of steps, but the following systematic approach ensures the solution is designed and deployed to a certain standard: · Initial documentation: Capture what the automation solution is intended to do. · Solution design: Build components of the platform solution across the various technologies. · User testing: Confirm that the solution designed above follows protocol and operates in alignment with what was specified in initial documentation. · Deploy automation: Run automation in a live/production environment. Step 3: Create a Centre of Excellence It’s important to create an operating model around automation that fits your organisation and financial operations. Further, this Centre of Excellence for Intelligent Automation can form the basis of scaling beyond financial operations. The CoE represents a group of core resources and people that guide all things related to automation, including maintaining and overseeing standards across the business; training; management of vendors; establishing best practices and so much more. Organisations also have flexibility in terms of how such a program can be structured. There are three main models, each differing in how responsibilities are shared across the enterprise. Centralised operating model: A single team is responsible for running and controlling all aspects of the program. Decentralised operating model: The responsibilities for running the automation program are replicated across separate business units within the organisation. Hybrid operating model: Some aspects of the automation program are run by a single, centralised team, while others are replicated across business units. Of course, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. Organisations and financial teams should start with the model that makes the most sense given where they are today, and adjust as needed. Successful organisations continually look for new technologies that can benefit the automation program, and in fact, the Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence can be empowered to keep track of such innovative developments as they arise. With an integrated platform, using best-in-class integrated intelligent automation capabilities will help you realise the benefits of digital transformation. Finance teams will consistently realise outcomes from financial process automation, such as improved productivity, faster decision-making, improved supplier relationships, better regulatory compliance, and greater visibility into financial well-being and cash flow. Look ahead, plan for the future and work like tomorrow, today – with an Intelligent Automation platform.

Latest blogs

Alex Kreger UXDA

How Customer Centricity Dictates the Business Success in the Digital Age

There are two different approaches to gain business success. One worked in the recent past and the other works in the digital present. Marketing age In the recent past, FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) products dominated the market and determined Read more »

Carlos Figueredo Open Vector

Open Banking - An Opportunity for UK Banks

The appearance of open banking created an immediate concern within the banks as they would now have to share customer data, competition from challenger banks, etc. Even though it is a well-known statement these days that “innovation will come with Read more »

Andrew Davies Fiserv

New decade, new threats: How financial institutions can fight financial crime

Financial crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated as new threats emerge and evolve at a rapid pace. As the new decade begins, both criminals and financial institutions are prepared to take the offensive, leveraging know-how and technology in a Read more »

Paul Marcantonio ECOMMPAY

5 Steps to Set Up Online Payments for Your Business

Selling things online can be complicated. There are web shops to design, product descriptions to create, and payment methods to set up. The latter is probably the single most important part of the process - for a very simple reason. If your Read more »

Carlo R.W. de Meijer MIFSA

Crypto Regulation in the Western World: Towards More Global Uniformity?

In my last Blog I suggested that regulation of the crypto markets would be one of the main issues for 2020 and beyond. There seem to be urgent need for more clarity on many cryptocurrency issues. The EU Fifth ALM Directive came into effect early Read more »

Related Blogs

Mark Smith Ayming

Artificial Intelligence

Computer algorithms and applications that perform tasks previously done by humans are changing the world as we know it. All sectors and industries are being disrupted at some level. Tasks, often time-intensive, that had to be done by humans, such as Read more »

Milos Dunjic TD Bank Group

Should You Use Machine Learning As A Hammer For Every Nail?

Should You Use Machine Learning As A Hammer For Every Nail? Read more »

Marc Torrens Strands

The Art of Artificial, A Love of Logic

Co-founding Strands came as a natural next step for me after a degree in computer science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the EPFL in Switzerland. Prior to setting up Strands with Francisco Read more »

Tom Myles The ai Corporation

Artificial Intelligence vs Machine-Learning – What’s the Difference?

Artificial Intelligence (A.I) is a hot topic in many industries. Most of us, without realizing it, interact with it on a daily, if not an hourly basis. Robotics have been used in factories for decades, Siri has been telling us bad jokes for nearly 7 Read more »

Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel