Build enterprise resilience with digital F&A function
by Navin Gupta, on Feb 5, 2022 12:35:52 AM
Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Semi-automated system operations and manual processes are easily affected by disturbances and force majeures that occur in the larger business ecosystem. Timely finance and accounts (F&A) processing by overcoming impediments is imperative for culminating business operations. Lack of on-time closures of the F&A processes results in unavailability of data for timely decision making as well as reduced cash flows for procurement of supplies as well as payment of employees and creditors. A digital F&A platform allows businesses to tide over most of the business obstacles that result due to disruptions in the market and the larger environment that can rock value chains.
What is Digital F&A Platform?
A Digital Finance & Accounting platform or Digital F&A platform is a highly interconnected IT space, that leverages Intelligent Automation to integrate all silos and standalone legacy systems minus the manual data entry and swivel chair operations. While localized bio-bubbles take care of the production and business operations, a digital F&A platform ensures that all the back-office operations related to accounts payables and accounts receivables function in a clock-work manner with minuscule human intervention.
Intelligent Automation, which uses Robotic Process Automation (RPA bots, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), Rule engines, Analytics, API, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, and Cloud, integrates the IT estate to bring all the siloed systems on a leveled plane that can be remotely operated and supervised. The F&A operations can be accessed through any client machine in a highly safe and secure environment for eyeball validation by supervisors. Detailed F&A reports and dashboards that are scheduled to be triggered with periodic and interactive snapshots of AP and AR operations keep all the stakeholders and management informed. Systemic dashboards also allow super users to monitor the safety and security of the overall setup.
Why is the Digital F&A platform an imperative in the hybrid model?
The Digital F&A platform powered by Intelligent Automation and its integrated approach allows the globally dispersed knowledge workers to digitize and ingest information from the paperwork at one end of the city from where the clockwork initiates. It auto-executes routine F&A processes, such as payment processing and reconciliation, by using bots with human intervention only for exception handling. The process culminates with eyeball verification and multi-level approvals from the other end of the city. The Digital F&A platform supports both on-premise as well as remote operations.
Intelligent Automation allows the data to be synchronized between multiple systems and maintain unified records in real-time for high visibility and faster decision making. It allows businesses to process their AP and AR automatically and with minimum human involvement. As businesses adopt a hybrid model over colocation, the Intelligent Automation approach allows them to leverage end-to-end automation that conjoins the legacy and ERP systems in F&A. This approach allows F&A to execute in auto-mode and offers an inherent resilience to the business ecosystem.
What is the importance of real-time F&A dashboards?
Digital F&A platform expedites the processes, which otherwise take many days for closure. Real-time data visibility and information of cash flows are important for a business. This up-to-date data allows stakeholders and managers to supervise the day-to-day activities and their business as a whole as well as take faster decisions. Interactive, real-time F&A dashboards are important tools that assist the F&A stakeholders and managers.
What is touch-free digital F&A processing?
An integrated value chain allows free flow of digital data along safe and secure pathways across all the touchpoints, right from the order placing, to receiving the product, to making or receiving the payment. The Digital F&A platform also allows expediting the regular F&A processes, ledger updates, reconciliations, etc., while eliminating manual data entry and person-dependency. The AI / ML layers at all nodes allow the system to auto-learn and evolve with each process cycle. This touch-free digital F&A processing also supports remote operations and remote monitoring.
Why is the Digital F&A platform a must-have today?
The Digital F&A platform not only automates the day-to-day F&A processes in the business but also interconnects all the nodes sequentially in a value chain. It can be also leveraged over the cloud or maintained on-premise by integrating all the siloed systems. It allows straight-through processing by eliminating error and rework. It reduces the delays in order processing as well as payment making and receiving. It accelerates F&A processes and ensures steady cash flow.
The Digital F&A platform integrates siloed business systems and also allows to leverage the automation across the different suppliers and customers in the value chain. It improves straight-through processing and allows the business to evolve along with its ecosystem and builds an inherent resilience.