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How organisations can turn financial data into their super power

iStock 1096811076 - Global Banking | Finance

By Zahi Yaari, VP of EMEA, SnapLogic

Zahi Yaari VP of EMEA SnapLogic - Global Banking | Finance

Zahi Yaari, VP of EMEA, SnapLogic

The rise of smart technologies mean that organisations across the world are embracing AI, cloud and data initiatives to modernise their business processes. 

Many have gone as far as making their line of business processes seamless, freeing up employee time that would otherwise have been spent on admin-heavy, manual-handling projects. These tasks can now be automated, leading to the quick and easy delivery of services both internally and externally.

However, it is noticeable that finance and accounting teams remain slow to adopt technologies such as AI and automation, with reasons ranging from lack of trust in new systems to insufficient technical understanding among employees.

Finance and accounting teams are particularly crucial in organisations, managing some of the most sensitive data a company possesses. It is therefore essential that businesses are handling this information in a way that will empower their finance teams and give them the edge over the competition. 

Integration of automated processes

The integration of AI and automation-powered technology into finance infrastructure will ensure that all back-end finance data processes are quick and seamless.

Traditionally, CFOs and their teams would spend weeks or even months going over data for thorough accuracy checks, particularly in relation to regulatory compliance and reporting. Even month-end processes can be arduous, with staff routinely working late to gather data. This feeds into a wider issue, which is the need for real-time financial data to provide the C-suite with business intelligence. Obviously, this simply isn’t going to be an option for finance departments that still rely on spreadsheets and manual processes. 

Transactional finance processes can be automated whilst delivering an almost perfect accuracy rate in reporting. This goes to show that such technologies can be trusted to deliver on their promise. Automation helps to cancel out the risk of human error (a very real problem when handling huge volumes of data) and operates faster than humans: giving finance teams more time to complete other, value-add tasks. 

The future of finance and account teams lies in the adoption of automation and AI to remove inefficiencies and free up highly-qualified employees, giving them back the time to spend on analysis and business intelligence, rather than on time-intensive unskilled data entry. 

Delivering effective employee experience

Automation is about more than just easing the amount of time finance spends on its own processes: it is also about the relationship between the company and broader employee base. EX is something that a lot of organisations are paying close attention to when it comes to the streamlined operating procedures of a business.

To effectively achieve this is simple. The key is to deliver standard and simplified processes, ensuring that workers aren’t bogged down with internal finance admin. These are things that are easily achievable and guaranteed with automation.

Automation offers unified and continuous features, which mean that information can be easily accessed globally and also ensures that relevant services are consistent without the need for traditional month-end reports that are usually delivered by employees.

What next?

Changes to business processes can often be challenging, but knowing where to start is a good way to avoid such problems. As with every new technology adoption, it is essential that employees have clear understanding of, and training in, how automation works and what it means for them and the team.

A clear understanding of automation and what it can achieve is essential. Knowing the value of implementing tools with AI-assistance or self-service integration, can accelerate technology initiatives and empower employees.

Once equipped with the right tools, finance teams will be empowered with real-time data for better financial decision-making – especially important in today’s everchanging and volatile business environment. Additionally, freed from the admin-heavy, manual-handling tasks that once plagued finance teams, CFOs will be able to focus their team’s talents more appropriately. Finally, within an organisation, finance can become a source for insights and initiatives: providing other lines of business with the information to improve their own services, moving away from the perception of tired, old, bookkeepers.

Overall, automation has the power to simplify the handling and transfer processes of financial data. With the current transformation of businesses, now is the time to re-evaluate the overview of your finance and accounting teams as you journey towards creating a digital strategy.

Global Banking & Finance Review


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