Seamless finance solutions

Banking & Finance
| The European | 7 October 2020

Automation has become vital to the fluidity of an organisation’s finance department – so with Documation on board, you
can save time and money 

PwC predicts that automation will replace about 20% of jobs by the end of the decade and 30% by the mid-2030s. But what are the key factors finance leaders are looking for from automation to ensure the success of their organisation? 

According to a study by E&Y at the end of last year, the roles of CFOs are changing, and at pace. The report identified four factors that finance leaders should embrace as their roles evolve to acting more as strategic advisors:

  • Keeping pace in the transformative age
  • Embracing uncertainty and change
  • A new talent mix within the finance function
  • Shift from historic reporting to near real-time reporting

In response to these new demands, digital technologies are driving transformation in finance, with many benefits helping CFOs manage change -– and it’s here that market-leading IT supplier Documation comes into its own. 

For instance, data storage and manipulation is crucial. Digital data storage helps to cut down on the use of paper and ensures files and folders are easily retrieved and viewed. Editing, sharing and access to the records should be available from anywhere by anyone, complying with the business rules. 

Exchanging data or information between supplier and customer has become possible with an electronic transfer application. All data and information, including financial documents such as invoices, credit notes, statements and remittances can be exchanged in real-time, and the accreditation of ISO27001 gives the assurance of a secure and robust process. 

Whether using robotic process automation (RPA) or a more complex business process management (BPM) solution, software robots work much faster than humans, and don’t make mistakes. The error rate caused by humans who work on mundane tasks is virtually wiped out, resulting in cost savings in areas such as duplicate payments, fraudulent payments, and more. Time saved by automating processes such as data entry, capture and matching to POs, using AI and machine learning enables straight-through-processing (STP), in a matter of hours rather than days, freeing up team members to work on more value-added tasks.

Streamlining systems 

Do you know how much time a team spends on manual tasks that could be automated? And how this translates to business costs? Automation allows an organisation to scale and grow without the need to add to the existing team. This doesn’t just reduce the overall full-time equivalent (FTE) expense, but also the onboarding costs and training. Iterating the processes as they evolve leads to further automation in a flywheel effect.

The audit trail of a document from receipt to archive is easily visible and can be recalled and reported on. Touch points are shown, changes and bottlenecks identified, and systems improved based on the reporting. Using data analytics with the power of AI and machine-learning to predict and improve productivity means that the CFO that translates these findings will find measurable performance gains.

When E&Y wrote their report, embracing uncertainty and change referred to Brexit, environmental issues and legislative changes. Of course, now that we are slowly emerging from lockdown, the need to embrace change and be flexible has become clearer than ever. Organisations that had automation in place prior to the lockdown found the transition to remote working much easier than those who didn’t. Even more so for those that had cloud-based services. The “work from anywhere” ability provided by this kind of solution service meant that teams with automation in place continued with business as usual.

A new talent mix was the third factor highlighted as important. Not such an obvious one, but important nonetheless. As finance functions adopt new technologies, it means introducing a different talent profile with skill sets to complement the existing skill-base. It is no longer all about traditional finance and accounting skills, but more about the awareness of new tech and soft skills such as team skills, growth mindset and good leadership qualities; skills that are often not as easily learned.

Lastly, the shift from historic to real-time reporting. Taking a snapshot of the organisation from a dashboard view and using the information to manage data, adopt new skills to report and explain performance clearly and coherently using the data, turning that data into a strategic asset. 

Documation works in partnership with a wide range of industries including manufacturing, finance, retail organisations and the public sector to help them automate their processes. With 25 years of expertise in software solutions and a focus on purchase-to-pay, accounts payable, statement reconciliation, remittance processing, and expenses, Documation is well placed to help kick-start the automation process within any organisation. The team prides itself on building long-term partnerships with its customers, and that starts with service levels that earn the highest praise, with many citing Documation as their leading IT supplier.

Driven by a dedicated team of skilled listeners, thinkers, innovators and practitioners, Documation have the energy, tools and know-how to help departments in any industry work better, faster and more visibly. Find out more about how you can ensure the success of your automation programme. Get in touch with the Documation Listening Team now. ν

Further information 

www.documation.co.uk 

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