Financial process automation solutions are not designed to link to multiple, disparate internal and external sources to access or integrate data, says Chris Huff from RPA company Kofax. This is where an intelligent automation platform enters the story.
Digital Finance-Multichannel capture and workflow technologies have gone a long way in helping accounting firms and finance departments across many industries make data work for their businesses and not against them. But they only go so far, and this is why there is a need for intelligent automation.
With financial process automation, organisations can now streamline and speed the purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash and record-to-report cycles by capturing and extracting information from any source, automatically routing it into an approval workflow, and transferring information into the system of record. However, although the ERP system is the powerful core of your customers’ financial operations, it has its limitations.
Most organisations are still forced to allocate employees to tackle the time-consuming, manual work to process information from third-party sources or to handle those tasks that are unique to their business. Therefore, even if financial process automation has already been implemented, there are likely significant workflow gaps and blind spots that can debilitate decision-making and ultimately strain customer and vendor relationships.
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Financial process automation is only part of the equation
Let’s assume an organisation has adopted financial process automation technology and perhaps built service-oriented architectures to enable applications to work together. Even though these systems can acquire data from multiple sources, enhancing and properly delivering the information likely requires some significant IT skills. The challenge is further compounded when dealing with automating processes that span across internal enterprise applications and external partner and customer systems, websites, online services, and so on.
The bottom line: financial process automation solutions are just not designed to link to multiple, disparate internal and external sources to access or integrate data, or the myriad of other manual tasks that are unique to a business.
Further complicating matters is the fact that as a business grows, with more data comes more complexity; it’s easy to revert to adding more resources to address the problems. But there’s a better way than throwing people at the issue or investing in expensive custom development to try to work around the ERP.