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How Intelligent Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Financial Field

How Intelligent Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Financial FieldJust as robots have been performing routine, repetitive tasks on the floors of factories for decades, that same concept is now being applied to the financial industry with tremendous results. Intelligent process automation (IPA), powered by AI and machine learning technologies, promises to revolutionize how financial organizations operate, maximizing efficiency, cutting costs and ensuring optimal service levels.

This advanced technology has the potential to transform just about every area of the finance function. In particular, IPA will enable finance professionals to make the critical shift from transactional to strategic.

When rote, manual tasks are automated, skilled finance experts will spend less of their time running reports and performing provisional data analyses. Instead, they will be able to quickly and easily gather and analyze the essential data they need to enhance performance and deliver better support. No longer bogged down with busy-work, these experts will have the time to engage with other lines of business and deliver the forward-thinking guidance that leadership needs to pursue new opportunities.

Let’s take a look at a few real-life examples of how intelligent process automation can be applied in financial institutions.

Account Reconciliations

A good portion of today’s accounting teams spend far too much time performing manual reconciliations across a variety of systems. At the enterprise level, this can involve thousands or tens of thousands of individual transactions across multiple systems, both internal and external.

In reality, many of the mismatches found in reconciliations actually follow similar patterns. For instance, an entry was made twice in error or someone accidentally keyed in a negative sign instead of a positive. Intelligent process automation is capable of not only recognizing these patterns, but also identifying the issue at hand and correcting it. In many cases, this can be done without the need for any human input.

Some estimates indicate that up to 80% of these simple reconciliation tasks can be automated, freeing up skilled staff to focus their efforts on the smaller percentage that are more complex or require human judgment.

Closings

For most corporations, the end of the month or quarter is a stressful time that requires all hands on deck to handle the financial close. This process typically involves a number of different systems, multiple finance teams and several lines of business, there are a multitude of dependencies that require tracking and management. For instance, certain accounts cannot be closed until all related sub-accounts are closed by the subsidiaries.

Intelligent process automation can alleviate much of this complexity by:

  • Automatically tracking the status of completed tasks across multiple systems
  • Automatically initiating close processes upon completion of dependent tasks
  • Updating the close calendar to provide visibility into the status of the financial close process

Financial Planning & Analysis

FP&A is another complex but necessary process eating up a significant portion of time, particularly for senior executives. It involves creating and approving budgets, analyzing spend, managing those budgets, etc. With IPA, routine budget requests that follow a common pattern don’t need to be signed off on. Instead, only unfamiliar or unusual requests will require review and approval.

Prior to submitting a request for executive approval, the intelligent process automation platform can analyze the pattern (i.e. dollar amount, similar requests that were made in the past, etc.). If it determines that similar requests received 100% approval in the past, the software can automatically process the approval without the need for human intervention. If an anomoly is detected, it can reroute to an executive for manual review.

PwC predicts that by 2020, financial services organization will begin to ramp up their AI adoption, streamlining operations and re-shoring jobs. And given the tremendous benefits intelligent process automation has to offer, it’s obvious why.

Want to position your financial organization for future success? Jump on the IPA train! Click here for a free, interactive product demo and get started on the path to digital revolution today.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Robotic vs. Intelligent Automation – What’s the Difference?

Robotic vs. Intelligent Automation – What’s the Difference?The development and widespread adoption of robotic process automation (RPA) technology has changed how organizations approach their business operations, particularly in terms of streamlining and scaling business processes. Given this innovation, a question that naturally arises is what does the future hold for RPA? The answer to that question is intelligent automation.

What is RPA?

In simplest of terms, RPA is an application of technology that enables people to configure computer software – or robots – to process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses and communicate with other digital applications, programs and systems. Deloitte defines RPA as “a way to automate repetitive and often rules-based processes.”

The concept of RPA really began to gain traction during the early 2000s when, at the time, businesses had been relying on basic automation executed through software commands which followed scripted processes to perform tasks within single IT applications. RPA technology brought this to the next level by scripting tasks across several applications, enabling companies with complex infrastructures to also extract value from automation.

Ultimately, RPA tools are best suited for tasks, processes and workflows that have repeatable, predictable interactions with other IT applications.

What is Intelligent Automation?

The natural progression between robotic and intelligent automation has occurred over the past decade or so, and has further expanded the benefits of automation by introducing machine learning and artificial intelligence into the mix.

Unlike RPA, which is designed to automate routine, repetitive tasks, intelligent automation provides the capability to automate non-routine tasks. Furthermore, intelligent automation can tackle processes that require judgment, intuition, creativity, persuasion and problem-solving – all skills that previously required human input and intervention. It is, essentially, a cognitive technology that features human-like capabilities.

When combined with RPA technology, the resulting solution can enable organizations to harness the power of automation to streamline both routine and highly complex processes and workflows, creating an intelligent, self-driving enterprise.

Getting Started with Intelligent Automation

Whether you’re looking to simply dip your toe in or are eager to dive headfirst into intelligent automation, there’s a strategy that should be followed. Perhaps Deloitte outlined it best in their recommended five-step process, shown in the infographic below.

 

Deloitte Infographic - Getting Started with Intelligent Automation

 

Without question, intelligent automation will become an even more integral component of future business models. As a result, organizations across the globe are shifting their focus to intelligent automation solutions that can support both their current as well as their future needs and provide competitive advantage in a growing market.

The best way to get started with intelligent automation is to experience it in action. Click here to schedule your live demo of our Next Generation IT Automation, powered by AI – and don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of our latest eBook below.

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What is Intelligent Process Automation (and Why Should You Care)?

What is Intelligent Process Automation (and Why Should You Care)?There’s been quite a bit of buzz lately surrounding the topic of intelligent process automation, with viewpoints ranging from ‘farfetched’ and ‘too good to be true’ to excitement that the future is essentially happening right before our eyes. But for many business leaders, the topic is completely off their radar, whether it’s due to lack of technical prowess or simply because they’re too busy to learn more. As such, we thought it might be helpful to summarize exactly what intelligent automation is and, more importantly, why it should be something every busy professional considers.

Intelligent Process Automation Defined

In simplest of terms, IPA is a set of innovative technologies that bring together robotic process automation (RPA) with machine learning. Like conventional automation tools, IPA is designed to assist human workers by taking over repetitive, routine and manual tasks. Where IPA differs from automation tools of the past, however, is in its capability to not only mimic human activities, but actually learn from them and improve over time, without the need for human intervention.

Thanks to cognitive technology and deep learning algorithms, automated rule-based workflows can be further enhanced with decision-making capabilities. As a result, forward-thinking organizations that have already adopted intelligent process automation technology are realizing greater efficiency levels, improved staff performance, less risk, better response times and ultimately more positive customer experiences.

IPA in Action

As an example of intelligent process automation in action, let’s consider a financial services firm in which a customer support agent must pull information from a dozen different systems in order to provide basic level, day to day service. With IPA employed, software robots can interpret text communications, make decisions that don’t require pre-programming, offer suggestions to clients and provide real-time tracking and visibility into the workflow between systems and human agents.

Business Value of Intelligent Process Automation

With IPA a significant portion of the manual work is instantly taken off the plate of customer support agents. This frees them up to focus their efforts and abilities toward more mission-critical business projects. Customers still receive the same high level of support and the organization benefits from an engaged team that is free to be creative and innovative in achieving business goals.

While the greatest benefits of IPA come as a result of complete, enterprise-wide implementation, business leaders can unlock ROI quickly even just by automating just one or two manual tasks that routinely bog down employees.

In addition to intuitive automation, IPA can also bring value in the way of improved decision-making capabilities. Through sophisticated machine learning algorithms, intelligent process automation platforms can deliver data-driven recommendations to key decision makers to help optimize workflows and improve performance. Business leaders can then apply this insight to future planning and forecasting for better results.

Getting Started with IPA

The best news of all is that with the right partner, implementing IPA doesn’t have to be a complex, highly technical project. Ayehu’s Next Generation intelligent process automation and orchestration platform features an easy to use workflow designer, enabling rapid adoption and time-to-value, with an extensive pre-built library of activities and end-to-end workflows. No coding or programming required.

Experience it for yourself. Click here to take Ayehu for a test drive today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate