Intelligent Automation covers a whole range of technologies that enable digital transformation, including Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Automation, Workflow Management Software and many more. Recent research strongly indicates that up to 80% of the processes performed in the finance function could be automated to some degree. So how do you know where to start and when to stop?
Use this checklist to identify the best candidates for automation. Processes that tick more than one box are likely candidates for automation.
6 Key qualities of processes ready for automation:
- High Volume
- Time Sensitive
- High Risk
And here’s why.
Repetitive tasks are demotivating
We have numerous examples of how Corrivo’s intelligent automation has helped credit managers feel more productive contributors as if they are actually achieving something, not just calling and emailing only to get no reply. Having the most up to date contact details for customer accounts when you go to send reminders letters or follow up a query helps you work through your task lists more quickly and easily and results in more calls that ‘land’ and fewer that are not picked up. According to Linked In’s Glint – the signs of employee burnout rose 33% during 2020. The complications of home working and employees working longer hours when not commuting is just one more recent factor to be mindful of. Since replacing staff that leave or covering absences is expensive (new hires cost around 16% of their salary to onboard), keeping staff happy and motivated can save your business in more ways than one.
2. Manual processes are error-prone
Copying and pasting is a manual task that may not take a great deal of physical effort but can be boring, causing a lapse of attention and thus errors. Manually entering data from a paper document into a spreadsheet is a great example of something that automation can handle easily. Our clients tell us that having orders transformed into invoices automatically reduces errors, which reduces the number of complaints and queries, which in turn makes life in the credit control department a good deal more pleasant.
3. High Volume processes drain productivity
In our business, the most common high volume task is a problem for our clients before Corrivo is invoice creation. Large global enterprises often have a boutique approach to invoicing, with autonomous departments running their own AR function on software designed for small businesses. At some point, this fails the smaller team, and none of the many invoicing or accountancy software packages in use across the business is designed for the speed and accuracy at scale that would be needed to manage the company’s entire invoicing requirement. When companies want to take a more industrial approach to invoicing with shared service centres for back-office functions, they need a platform designed for enterprise-level accounts receivable teams, but with the flexibility to accommodate multiple business units or ledgers within it – enter Corrivo. Not only that, but smaller systems offer little visibility and tracking of invoices once they are sent. Corrivo, on the other hand, tracks every step, showing you when invoices have been sent, when opened, when downloaded, queried, paid etc. These are advantages that cannot be gained from small scale software.
4. Time-sensitive tasks deserve machine speed and machine reliability
Think about sending reminders letters – your first one may be before the due date but should not be sent if an invoice is in dispute. Knowing that those letters have gone out on time and have been opened helps you get the responses sooner and hopefully helps you get paid faster, meaning that your DSO and value in dispute figures stay within healthy parameters. Automation in AR can cut the total time from order to cash by speeding up every step. And it is a failsafe: Corrivo does not take sick days.
5. Complex tasks are risk-ridden, error-prone and less delegatable
Digitally signing invoices is becoming a standard for invoices sent to public sector bodies or large businesses in Europe. It’s done automatically in Corrivo. There is no risk of it being non-compliant and causing a business to fail its audit. Typically, fewer individuals can execute complex tasks, so in the absence of one of those trained individuals, it may be difficult to get the task completed. Complexity narrows the range of people to whom a task can be assigned or delegated.
6. High-risk tasks are often expensive, and high-stress tasks
Some of our clients choose Corrivo because of the features that provide confidence, assurance and trackability, not because they have particular issues of scale. One such company sells highly engineered equipment to the aviation and defence industries and values the ability to sign invoices and track invoice progress so highly that even though the number of invoices issued per month is under 2000, the critical importance of those invoices warrants the sophistication of the system. Sending a templated invoice from an SME invoicing software add on or from an extension to their ERP system won’t de-risk the process. Bear in mind, too, that fewer people, often those who are highly paid, will be permitted to undertake high-risk tasks, which means that the time they spend on those high-risk tasks is expensive. We like to hear stories from our clients about how their credit managers go from handle turning workers to engaged, insightful credit analysts and process champions when Corrivo automates the repetitive, manual, high risk and high-stress tasks.
5 key business processes to consider
Finally, there are 5 key processes in a business that automation can benefit from—which ones, and exactly how, is down to the individual company. Here we focus on Order to Cash and issue to resolution, but we know that the work we do in optimising the order to cash process connects to and impacts all other areas. Here are the five business processes:
- Idea to Product
- Procure to Pay
- Contact to Order
- Order to Cash
- Issue to Resolution