We see Financial Services adopting and adapting automation into the heart of their business as they look to counterbalance significant disruption from FinTech and regulation. Automation can use predictive systems and market data to manage finances more efficiently than humans. On top of this, financial advice is being automated with a growing trend towards “robo-advisers” to provide suggestions for simple financial problems.
Processes ripe for automation
The process involves multiple steps in which an accountant must verify and certify information including: submission confirmations, due date reminders, approvals, rejections and completions. As with any manual process, human errors can occur during account reconciliation. Automation can help in easing this process by matching the payment details with bank data and other records. If the details match, the records are reconciled. However, in case of any unmatched or suspicious transactions found, the software sends the records for further validation.
These are dozens of different ways in which payments may come in. This ranges from traditional lockbox services, wire transfers, private cards, electronic invoicing, digital payment portals and even proprietary B2B apps. Not only does payment come in an ever-diverse range of formats but a single invoice is often sent for multiple orders which makes simple amount-comparison all the harder. Through the creation of a central archive which stores all remittances, a virtual robot can be created which retrieves remittances and extracts the relevant information. Automation can then be utilised for the matching up of invoices and payments.
Automation allows for more complex transfers to take place, where time-consuming human intervention may often be needed. Through the implementation of simple if/then logic, money can be moved into several accounts automatically. A bot could gather the information on the income that month from the accounting software and then use online banking in order to pay the different accounts the correct amounts. Where you have multiple sites, accounts and transfers this can significantly reduce processing time.
“Finance was the function that first really innovated by using virtual automation. Although many Finance leaders have adopted this technology, the idea that the entire industry is familiar with and using it just doesn’t match reality. Organisations are still testing the waters.
Disruptive technology has been a buzz word for the last five years in financial services and yet we are only just starting to see real change take place as challenger brands become genuine competition for their more established rivals.
The processes which can be automated have been well defined and adopted, there is a strong level of knowledge in industry, and now might be the time in which we see adoption cascading down to medium and small-sized businesses until it becomes commonplace, as these institutions look for efficiencies in order to remain competitive.”
Dhrupad Patel, COO