Choose partners for success
While better efficiency and good ROI are major goals for any automation project, it’s important to remember that any changes and upgrades must have the full support of employees. Our research shows that a quarter of automation projects fail simply because staff aren’t fully onboard and not trained well enough to deploy it. A good user experience is paramount, and that means easy-to-use technology that employees are happy to embrace. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. This is why when assessing changes, companies will often look for best-in-breed solutions that can be combined to provide a more seamless process that meets specific automation goals to bring true digital transformation. This is especially relevant following the introduction of low-code/no-code technologies that enable easy integration into new or existing company platforms.
This approach was taken by financial consultants working for Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The agency provides $40 billion in yearly funding to help more than half a million disabled people lead a better life.
The NDIS supports recipients to manage their payments through My Plan Manager Group, which had seen the volume of invoices increase by almost 50% within 12 months. NDIS realized that its old systems weren’t working effectively, and the technology needed to be upgraded (https://itbrief.com.au/story/rapidmation-helps-my-plan-manager-level-up-its-automation). Much of the business’ process for NDIS claims and payment was still reliant on My Plan Manager’s original, custom-built platform, which was nearing the end of its useful life. It was highly manual, resulting in rework, and also limiting their ability to scale. In order to sustain growth, a step change was required to remove process limitations, support system stability, and mitigate risks.
My Plan Manager partnered with rapidMATION, an Australian-based intelligent automation company, to implement the new Automated Claims Experience (ACE) platform, which included a combination of RPA, ABBYY, and Salesforce technologies. RPA, in combination with ABBYY’s cloud-based Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) platform, automated the data capture for 4.5 million invoices annually from 70,000 different providers, significantly reducing manual data entry efforts and mistakes. This means 60% of all claims processing is now fully automated (no human intervention) compared to only 25% previously.
Working with the right automation partners will ensure digital transformation projects are executed using best-in-breed solutions and practices.
Land and expand
As with all automation projects, the digital transformation of accounts payable is not a one-and-done job— it’s a continuous process. A study from Straits Research suggests that the massive growth of intelligent process automation will transform complex data and processes rampant within finance operations. Centers of excellence within organizations understand the power of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing technologies to learn and adapt to new data to augment knowledge workers. It comes close to eliminating manual work while increasing accuracy and straight-through processing rates.
AP processes are an ideal business function to quickly realize immediate ROI from digital transformation, and the emergence of no-code/low-code cloud solutions makes it much easier to deploy. Most organizations start with finance operations and expand to other revenue-generating processes such as customer onboarding.
Accounts payable is not only important to managing cash flow and keeping a healthy balance sheet, but it also impacts reputation with vendors and suppliers. Ensuring it operates as efficiently and accurately as possible is paramount to business success. That means embracing a digital transformation mindset so that any restructuring is carried out in a comprehensive and holistic manner, with a deliberate and calculated strategy that has clear goals in mind.