Key Financial Processes Firms can Automate

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Key Financial Processes Firms can Automate

By CFO Tech Outlook | Friday, October 16, 2020

Automation can greatly enhance the finance functions, making them more efficient, accurate, and compliant.

FREMONT, CA: The last few years have radically changed how businesses collect and analyze the data that fuels everything from revenue projections to customer interactions. At the heart of this fourth industrial revolution is automation, which moves beyond basic data entry to include a wide range of responsibilities – and changing how or respond to competition, risk, and opportunity. The primary objectives of all finance processes are efficiency, accuracy, timeliness, and regulatory compliance. Here are some of the major functions in finance that can achieve significant benefits from implementing automation.

Top 10 Financial Control and Automation Solution Companies 2019• Procure-to-Pay

The process of validating and paying vendor invoices for goods received is vital to ensure the validity of procured items, the accuracy of billed amounts, and timeliness of payments to avoid late fees. The accounts payable department usually dedicates major resources to manually setting up new vendor accounts, entering data from invoices, matching billed amounts to purchase orders, and authorizing payments. Automation can benefit accounts payable tasks like updating vendor records, extracting invoice data, and validating amounts to enhance this process's efficiency and avoid overpayments.

• Financial Operations

Managing the general ledger close process and generating timely, accurate financial reports is a vital responsibility of the finance department. Several processes are automated through finance enterprise resource planning systems; there are many repetitive, error-prone activities needing human intervention like manual reconciliations, journal entries, and external reporting. Automation can enhance operational efficiency, timeliness, and accuracy by automating manual steps.

• Financial Planning and Analysis

Budgeting, forecasting, and management reporting are vital functions allowing an organization to make strategic business decisions based on timely and accurate financial information. The financial planning and analysis department dedicates a disproportionate amount of time to sourcing, aggregating, and formatting data instead of financial analysis and strategic planning. Automation of these manual data-related activities enables finance professionals to shift their focus to more value-added work.

• Treasury Operations

Cash management is a vital treasury function to ensure businesses have cash on hand to continue operations. Cash reconciliation and reporting processes are vital to understanding the cash position at any point in time by reconciling bank account balances against cash reported on the balance sheet. Automation of manual consolidation and reconciliation tasks to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of cash position reporting and forecasting and make better use of limited financial resources.

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