Press release: Three processes ready for automation in finance (Part three)

In part three of the Finance Process Automation Series, iOCO examines the automation of the record-to-report process.

By Johan Du Preez

In my previous blog posts in this series, we looked at the challenges and subsequent benefits of automating the procure-to-pay and order-to-cash finance processes.

In this third and final post in this blog series, we discuss the automation of the record-to-report finance processes.

So far in our look at finance process automation we’ve seen how automating components of the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay process streams can yield considerable benefits in terms of cost and risk reduction, enhanced value from your employees and strengthened customer relationships.

When it comes to optimising the record-to-report process, it’s all about improving accuracy and speed. Intelligent automation can speed up financial closes, improve compliance, and help standardise processes to enable faster, better, more accurate reporting.

Reconciliation

Potential benefits: improved accuracy, greater speed, better employee experience

Manual reconciliations are not only inefficient, they’re also complex, and thus prone to human error. If your job is to manually process reconciliations day in and day out, it’s almost inevitable that eventually you’ll miss something consequential.

Luckily this is an area that lends itself exceptionally well to automation. Bots don’t get tired or make mistakes. They quickly access the data they need from the right ledgers, identify discrepancies, and elevate exceptions to the right people to examine and correct.

They also have a valuable role to play in budgeting, analysis and forecasting. By quickly integrating information from across systems, using it to calculate, collate, consolidate, perform variance analysis, and then create reports, humans have more time and data to make informed decisions. What would be a frustrating, time-consuming task for a human is quickly accomplished with greater accuracy, freeing people up to do what they do best: think, plan, and create value.

General accounting

Potential benefits: improved accuracy, greater speed, better employee experience

There are many opportunities for bots to take over the grunt work involved in general accounting procedures. Trial balance calculations, posting to accounts, journal entries, normalising data and other tasks can be assigned to bots, who perform these tasks quickly and accurately and free your people up for more rewarding tasks.

Compliance and regulatory reporting

Potential benefits: reduced risk, greater speed, enhanced compliance

Compliance reporting, or reporting on regulatory matters such as skills development, can be a time-consuming, complex task. Reports are typically required in formats that aren’t supported by business systems, which makes it difficult to optimise their development. But if reports are required regularly, automation can be used to assemble the required information and produce useful outputs.

Being able to generate trustworthy reports at the click of a button gives your business peace of mind, strengthens compliance and reduces risk.

It’s all about value
Finance process automation enables finance departments to increase operational efficiency; streamline manual processes to improve operations and reduce costs; enhance timeliness; accelerate financial processes to provide timely information for business decision-making; strengthen governance; tighten controls to improve accuracy and compliance with regulatory requirements; empower human capital; and make your human workforce more productive and focused on value-added activities.

Find out how iOCO’s Finance Process Automation can unlock the value of your finance team.