Over the last two years, companies have adapted and embraced technology to enhance their offerings to customers within the digital space. Research by Deloitte on ‘Emerging Technology’ found that 47% of financial services executives surveyed said it would be essential to implementing AI within the financial realm by 2023. Artificial intelligence (AI) advances such as machine learning yield accurate data and insights that, in effect, simplify and streamline manual processes. However, utilizing emerging technologies and human expertise forms essential building blocks toward greater business efficiency.
The role of automation in businesses
Pressures on business owners within the financial industry to drive automation surged during the pandemic. While employees have to manage internal financial admin, they must also respond to growing customer and supplier needs. We’ve seen that digitizing processes such as invoice management improves exchanges between businesses and suppliers. Understanding the need for and applying automation increases employee productivity, time, and resources: Improving business operations.
Automation tools must be integrated alongside a company’s existing model, in conjunction with human expertise, instead of replacing the employee ecosystem with machines. McKinsey’s research has found that 60% of all occupations have roughly 30% or more capabilities that have the potential to be automated with existing technology. It’s essential that companies bridge technical skills and human expertise to allow companies to automate the processing and payment of invoices on a single platform.
Benefits of automation for financial admin
The financial department is at the heart of any business across all industries. Many aspects of financial administration and management have the potential to be automated, including invoice management, audits, risk assessment and compliance. Further research from McKinsey’s Global Institute revealed that current technology could fully automate up to 42% of activities in the financial services sector and partially automate a further 19%.
Automating data-heavy processes eliminates the risk of human error, enabling greater efficiency and accuracy through algorithmic data analysis and ultimately saves time. Emerging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are typically used to digest heavy data that could take hours if conducted manually. RPA also allows businesses to quickly pass through financial incomings and outgoings, rather than relying on outdated systems.
Automation also plays a role in alleviating workplace stressors. Archaic, manual processes have made it difficult to keep up with the growing demands placed on employees. Implementing automation increases the speed at which financial admin is completed and frees up time for employees to focus on areas that promote business growth.
The speed of digital transformation is growing exponentially, impacting every industry and creating countless opportunities for businesses to invest in. Digital transformation provides an opportunity for businesses to optimize their processes and eliminate the risk associated with manual processing – saving time and preventing reputational issues around unpaid or incorrect invoicing. Today, automation is helping SMEs to drive resilience across all industries.