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Process automation particularly integral in financial settings

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
August 26, 2014

Business process management can be an invaluable asset for organizations that are working to implement process automation. A BPM software solution enables companies to take process management initiatives and put them into action through specialized tools that connect workers more effectively and automate key tasks. According to a recent report from Information Age, the need to automate is especially prevalent for finance and accounting departments, as workers in this industry are often on the job for longer than the usual 40 hour work week.

Long days common in finance

Citing statistics from a variety of studies, the news source explained that many financial professionals end up working more than the usual number of hours to get the job done. Research from the UK Chartered Institute of Management Accountants found that the average work week for accountants in the UK is 43 hours. A 2013 CIMA study found that members of the organizations un the United States worked, on average, 49 hours weekly.

The report explained that these figures may, on the surface, point to a busy, industrious industry. However, it is important to recognize that working longer doesn't mean working well. In fact, fatigue can get in the way of quality and productivity, making rest essential. Not many financial professionals get the necessary rest. An FD Recruit study found that financial professionals in organizations with a global reach spend approximately 61 hours working each week, while UK finance directors average more than 50 hours weekly and rarely use all of their vacation time.

According to the news source, targeting the financial close could be the best way to implement process automation effectively. Closing transactions, be they audits or payroll tasks, can lead to hundreds or even thousands of repeatable, monotonous tasks that take an extended time for financial professionals to handle. Developing strategies to automate these processes can be a huge time saver and help employees work better, not longer.

Using BPM to fuel process automation

BPM solutions play an integral role in helping businesses find the best way to optimize their processes through automation. It is possible to automate too much and a good BPM platform will offer visibility and flexibility to help organizations identify the best places to automate and the places where improved communication, collaboration and process streamlining is more effective. As such, finding a good BPM software suite is often the first step in developing a successful process automation strategy.