How to Automate Your Finance Processes

As much as you wish your ERP could complete all the work for in your financial department, there are still disparate forms to fill, data to upload, and approvals that need to be signed off. But you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by all these manual tasks: many of them can be automated using Digital Process Automation (DPA).

Read on to find out how you can automate finance processes, so your finance team can spend more time on tasks that add value to your organization.  

Accounts Payable

Processing bills through accounts payable is a cumbersome, but essential task for any business. And it’s not easy: errors can result in serious bottom line impacts, including delays to payments, incorrect information, and lost discounts.

The Bizagi accounts payable process model, available to download for free from the Bizagi Xchange, automates the acceptation, validation, and approval of invoices, which reduces processing time and avoids incorrect information being recorded. The process also allows the devolution of invoices when they are received with incorrect information, or when products or services do not meet specified requirements. It also links directly with the purchase request process (detailed above) to provide complete integration.

Bizagi ensures that tasks within the accounts payable process are automatically assigned to the correct employee, starting with the receptionist and the receive invoice task. If the invoice has been associated with a purchase order, the information is automated to populate the forms. If not, then the user can enter the information manually.

Then it passes on to the financial assistant who will validate the invoice by filling in the necessary information on drop-down forms in Bizagi. After approval, the accounting entry is automatically created in your company’s ERP, so the invoice is available with the correct information to perform the payment. This means you can rest assured that all elements of the process are being completed efficiently and accurately.

Purchase Request

The purchase request process can take up a lot of unnecessary time and paperwork, especially with multiple levels of approval. But using the Bizagi accounts payable process model, available to download for free from the Bizagi Xchange, you can automate every stage of the process to enable better buying power in your supply chain.

Using the Bizagi dashboard, the user selects the product they need from a dropdown list (or requests a new product) and enters any information pertinent to the request. This is then sent to their manager. If they are satisfied, the manager can approve the request in the click of a button, which automatically creates the quotation subprocess.  

In this task, quotations are requested to ensure the best deal is being provided. The admin assistant will request criteria from a pre-approved list of suppliers and enter as many quotations as your company policy dictates. When the required number is received, the case can continue. The admin assistant then selects the chosen supplier based on the information provided in the quotations.

Once this has been completed, a new case of the purchase order process is created as a subprocess. A PDF is generated and sent to the supplier, and information is automatically generated in your company’s ERP. Summary forms are also automatically generated, so you can refer back to the case whenever you wish. Activating the purchase request process in Bizagi makes your purchase lifecycle easy by automating all the steps, from request through to generating the purchase order.

Request for Approval

In a similar manner to the purchase request process, the Request for Approval (RFA) process is very manual and paper-based, often relying on approvals being made over the phone or email. This can lead to back-dated approval, which affects employees’ efficiency and performance.

This was the case for Audi Japan KK, who found approvals particularly difficult to make due to busy stakeholders often being away on travel, creating an environment of “people chasing people”, which adversely affected quality and efficiency.

Audi selected the Bizagi platform to automate the process, creating forms and documents, assigning roles and creating rules to map the process to the correct employees at the right time. New requests are carried out via a web portal; Bizagi then activates the approval processes and subprocesses. Bizagi can also decide whether to involve specific approvers or preapproval subprocesses depending on the type of request. Requests are flagged and processed immediately, removing unnecessary delays. Bizagi also manages additional information, such as the annotations and attached documentation that can be used by requesters to support their requests.

Once requests have been approved, a PDF is generated for easier classification and archiving. All this extends and integrates with the activities performed by Audi’s ERP system. This has resulted in a 75% reduction in internal processing time for Audi Japan KK thanks to the reduction of paperwork, manual activities and unnecessary delays.

Taxation

Applying tax to invoices is a tiresome, but necessary process. A leading logistics organization was struggling to process more than 25,000 invoices per day. They deployed Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to help automate the manual tasks of extraction and input of data to the payment system. But the process was not fully automated, only the extraction of the data.

To solve this problem, the process was mapped in Bizagi. The RPA bot is now scheduled to go into Oracle every day and find the list of shipments that have been completed that morning. For each shipment, the bot triggers a new Bizagi case. Within that shipment’s case, information is extracted using ABBYY, then that data is uploaded into Bizagi. Over 90% of these cases are now fully automated, and in the few instances which are not, managers can manually input the information in Bizagi at this stage of the process. This completed shipment case information is then automated to be the billing account.

By using Bizagi to map the duty billing process in the finance department, they have provided greater transparency, eliminated mistakes and automated the invoice process end-to-end.

A new report from CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) reveals that 83% of its members support more automation in finance when it saves time and money or helps combat indecision. So why not empower your finance team with Bizagi? You can download templates for the purchase request and account payable models from the Bizagi Xchange for free. Templates are fully customizable, so they are fully adaptable to your exact requirements.