Tim Nissen | Back Office Automation Besting Business Costs.
McKinsey found that by incorporating available technologies to back office operations, redeploying employees to more strategic initiatives and reimagining processes, companies can dramatically increase performance and greatly reduce costs. Back office automation besting business costs is an employable reality.
Functionally, McKinsey noted that companies can automate approximately 30 percent of the activities in 60 percent of all occupations by using technology available today. As system’s capabilities increase by utilizing robotic process automation, machine learning and natural-language generation, the business case for automation is strong.
Take Accounts Payable processing; present in every organization, either centralized or handled at the division or location level. In all environments, manual processing of invoices is costly: 14 days and $17 each, according to industry averages. And that’s on top of paying the bills themselves…
Another volatile manual processing risk is late payment fees. Without ERP database and processing workflow visibility provided by automation, adhering to optimized payment scheduling, is a precarious task. Forgoing early payment discounts is also in this spectrum, and depending on scale, can be even more costly.
The answer and the ROI are in automating this back office operation, encompassing purchase information collecting, securing, validating, workflowing and approving payments. This is accomplished with an enterprise content management system (ECM) integrated with the company’s ERP and line of business systems. The results: processing cost reduction to 3 days and $3 each, invoice routing and approval time reduced 80 – 90 percent, along with less late fees paid and more early pay discounts received.
People are engaged through automation. According to The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), unlocking value from the human dimension of businesses is the facet determining a company’s success. They charge that encouraged behaviors that build a foundation of trust upon which (automated) information is shared, as a crucial (fiscal) reality. This is spot-on back office – it’s an organization’s Accounts Payable people who are gatekeepers of financial strength. Automation assists them by:
– Assuring processing workflow accuracy and accountability among all those involved in a transaction, while
– Enabling businesses to utilize processing staff most strategically and profitably.
AP processing is an encouraging function to start or expand back office automation. Its impact on reducing cost is quickly realized throughout an organization.