Robotic Process Automation

Intelligent Automation Showcase Mission-Critical Role In Talent-Starved Region

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 8 July 2022

At the inaugural Blue Prism World On Tour 2022, Asia Pacific, SS&C Blue Prism revealed key opportunities and innovative use cases of Intelligent Automation in Asia Pacific.

 SS&C Blue Prism, a global leader in intelligent automation, held its first APAC conference, Blue Prism World on Tour 2022, Asia Pacific in Singapore on 6 July to empower and reimagine the future of the workforce with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA) in Asia Pacific.

The hybrid conference saw the attendance of 130 in-person and over 300 virtual attendees across Asia Pacific (APAC) in senior leadership roles from critical industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. Aimed at discussing the opportunities, latest trends and innovative use cases of RPA and IA, the conference welcomed speakers from Schroders, Advantest, National Australia Bank, and Air New Zealand, who shared how RPA and IA solutions are transforming their business operations.

“It is heartening to witness technology leaders in automation, innovation, and digital transformation share their perspectives and innovative ways of unlocking the potential of automation technologies. To construct agile enterprises of the future, we need to harness the collaborative power of people and intelligent automation. At SS&C Blue Prism, we are committed to offering best-in-class services for our customers to increase their capabilities and competitiveness,” said Sunny Saha, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, SS&C Blue Prism.

The conference featured a panel discussion between Robert Dewar, Vice President of Financial Services, SS&C Blue Prism, APAC; Wisanu Sricharoen, FSVP, Head of Transformation, Siam Commercial Bank; Hokito Salim Lew, Automation Manager – Operations Innovation, Schroders; and Shantanu Dey, VP Business Strategy and Global Operations Support, Midland Credit Management.

The full list of speakers can be found here.

As many APAC businesses look to build back better in a post-pandemic world, these discussions could not have been more timely. A noteworthy takeaway from the conference is that automation is one of the biggest drivers of overall organisational productivity and also plays a strategic role in digital and business transformations.

Winners Of Customers Excellence Awards

The winners of the annual Blue Prism Customer Excellence Awards were announced at the conference, for outstanding innovation and transformational use of Blue Prism RPA and IA solutions.

Award winners from APAC include:

·                  Head of Intelligent Automation of the Year: Steve Blunt, The University of Sydney

·                  Total Transformation APAC: Westpac Banking Corporation

·                  Innovation Excellence APAC: Midland Credit Management

·                  ROM Excellence APAC: Shell PLC

·                  Pinnacle Award: Exec’s Choice APAC: Westpac Banking Corporation

As part of its ongoing CSR commitments, SS&C Blue Prism had pledged to donate £25 (S$36) for each in-person attendee and £5 (S$7) for each virtual attendee to the International Rescue Committee.

SS&C Blue Prism provides leading enterprise intelligent automation technology worldwide. We empower customers to reimagine how work gets done with a secure and scalable intelligent digital workforce. A digital workforce increases efficiency, reduces operating costs and returns millions of hours to staff to focus on the things that matter most.


SS&C’s Blue Prism World in Singapore Showcases Intelligent Automation’s Mission-Critical Role in Region

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 7 July 2022

At the inaugural Blue Prism World On Tour 2022, Asia Pacific, SS&C Blue Prism revealed key opportunities and innovative use cases of Intelligent Automation in Asia Pacific.

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSNC) today announced SS&C Blue Prism held its first APAC conference, Blue Prism World on Tour 2022, Asia Pacific in Singapore on 6 July to empower and reimagine the future of the workforce with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA) in Asia Pacific.

The hybrid conference saw the attendance of 130 in-person and over 300 virtual attendees across Asia Pacific (APAC) in senior leadership roles from critical industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. Aimed at discussing the opportunities, latest trends and innovative use cases of RPA and IA, the conference welcomed speakers from Schroders, Advantest, National Australia Bank, and Air New Zealand, who shared how RPA and IA solutions are transforming their business operations.

“It is heartening to witness technology leaders in automation, innovation, and digital transformation share their perspectives and innovative ways of unlocking the potential of automation technologies. To construct agile enterprises of the future, we need to harness the collaborative power of people and intelligent automation. We are committed to offering best-in-class services for our customers to increase their capabilities and competitiveness,” said Sunny Saha, Chief Operating Officer, APAC, SS&C Blue Prism.

The conference featured a panel discussion between Robert Dewar, Vice President of Financial Services, SS&C Blue Prism, APAC; Wisanu Sricharoen, FSVP, Head of Transformation, Siam Commercial Bank; Hokito Salim Lew, Automation Manager – Operations Innovation, Schroders; and Shantanu Dey, V.P. Business Strategy and Global Operations Support, Midland Credit Management. The full list of speakers is available here.

As many APAC businesses look to build back better in a post-pandemic world, these discussions are timely, as automation is one of the biggest drivers of overall organisational productivity and plays a strategic role in digital and business transformations.

Winners Of Customers Excellence Awards

The winners of the annual Blue Prism Customer Excellence Awards were announced at the conference, for outstanding innovation and transformational use of Blue Prism RPA and IA solutions.

Award winners from APAC include:

  • Head of Intelligent Automation of the Year: Steve Blunt, The University of Sydney
  • Total Transformation APAC: Westpac Banking Corporation
  • Innovation Excellence APAC: Midland Credit Management
  • ROM Excellence APAC: Shell PLC
  • Pinnacle Award: Exec’s Choice APAC: Westpac Banking Corporation

As part of its ongoing CSR commitments, SS&C Blue Prism pledged to donate £25 (S$36) for each in-person attendee and £5 (S$7) for each virtual attendee to the International Rescue Committee.

SS&C Blue Prism provides leading enterprise intelligent automation technology worldwide, empowering customers to reimagine how work gets done with a secure and scalable intelligent digital workforce. A digital workforce increases efficiency, reduces operating costs and returns millions of hours to staff to focus on the things that matter most.


The smart successor of Legacy RPA – DigitalCFO Asia: Laiye Annual Global Summit 2022

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Register to watch this recording on-demand

There was a time when the rise of RPAs was considered the future of technology in the workplace. However, given the digital disruption in the workspace, taking it to the next level seems the only smart choice. Here is where Intelligent Automation comes into play.

In view of how eager all markets are to return back to their feet, they are more than willing to take a huge leap forward into automation. The economic shift made them realize that it’s not the people, but it’s the workflows and systems that are affecting the performance of their organization. This means that there is no space for mundane and repetitive tasks.

This is where Intelligent Automation helps in generating value creation for industries. This solution introduces tools that facilitate a smarter and faster workflow which promotes business efficiency. Thus, the tool used to gain a competitive advantage before became the source of survival and breakthrough.

Join DigitalCFO Asia, together with Laiye and a recognized global expert, author, thought leader, and pioneer in AI-powered automation and IA, Pascal Bornet, as we discover the impact of Intelligent Automation solutions on your organization.


RPA vs AI

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Newsroom | 23 May 2022

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are two of the most effective ways to boost customer satisfaction and employee morale while cutting costs.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are two of the greatest solutions in improving customer satisfaction and employee morale while lowering operating expenses. Although they are two separate technologies that cater to a different set of organizational needs, it is important that businesses know their differences so that they can pick the best solution for themselves. With that said, here are the benefits of RPA and AI as well as their differences.


Robotic Process Automation

The use of software “robots” also known as specialized computer programs to streamline and automate repeated business processes is known as robotic process automation (RPA). RPA robots always do things the same way. They do not learn by performing the same thing over and over, and they will not innovate or think of a better technique to complete their assigned goal. RPA robots seem more like virtual assistants than robots, allowing you to offload repetitive activities that are not hard but take up important staff time. Robots, unlike people, never become bored since they do things exactly as told and with the highest level of efficiency. This will in turn allow employees of the company to focus on other tasks which require more creativity, time and innovation. 

Benefits of RPA to the organization:

  • Accuracy: reduce human mistakes and the expenses that come with it
  • Compliance: establish audit trails and adhere to all regulatory requirements.
  • Speed: faster completion of tasks, increasing efficiency
  • Reliability: otbs are available at all times and work around the clock, reducing delays.
  • Improved Employee Morale: allow staff to focus on productivity rather than processing by freeing them from repeated duties.

Artificial Intelligence

The simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems, or “machines,” is known as artificial intelligence (AI). Learning, more specifically attaining material and contextual norms for applying it, thinking, utilizing contexts and rules to draw conclusions, and self-correction are examples of AI’s processes. AI also learns from its successes and failures. Image identification, machine vision, voice recognition, chatbots, natural language creation, and sentiment analysis are all popular AI applications.

Benefits of AI to the organization: 

  • Increased efficiency: performs activities at a rate and scale that humans are incapable of matching
  • Improved monitoring: can quickly handle large volumes of data
  • Reduction of human error: stricter adherence to specified guidelines
  • Better talent management: eliminates bias in corporate communications and streamlines the hiring process

Although RPA is used to assist workers by automating routine tasks,  better known as attended automation, AI is considered as a technology that can substitute human labor and automate end-to-end operations also known as unattended automation. AI uses unstructured inputs and generates its own reasoning, whereas RPA uses organized inputs and reasoning. A fully autonomous process can be created by combining RPA and artificial intelligence. Many procedures necessitates both RPA and AI to completely automate a process from beginning to end, or to optimize a robotic process once it has been implemented, because businesses have both structured and unstructured data (e.g., form fields).


RPA & AI: A Force Together

RPA and AI are separately useful technologies for automating business processes, but when combined, they are a formidable force. When AI and RPA are combined, the automation process can start significantly faster, resulting in an automation continuum.

A fully autonomous procedure would evoke a more cognitive reaction, which would be transmitted directly to the RPA system, which would then finish the work. This continuous automation would result in faster output. In terms of use-cases, it may be as simple as shortening the response time to a client query received outside of office hours.

As more organizations desire solutions that enhance productivity and cut costs, the future of RPA and AI is becoming progressively bright. The AI technologies that are still being developed will soon bring about the complete automation continuity that businesses are eagerly seeking in order to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced environment.


Workato Announces Keynote Speakers and Line-up for Automate 2022, Second Annual Conference on the Future of Automation

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 5 May 2022

Leaders from AWS, Verizon, GitLab, Atlassian, Shutterstock, Autodesk, HubSpot, Payless, and more will discuss how automation helps scale businesses across industries.

 Workato, the leading enterprise automation platform, today unveiled the line-up of keynotes and speakers for its second annual Workato Automate conference. The four-day virtual event, taking place May 9th through May 13th, will set the stage for global leaders to come together to discuss and share how their companies are investing in automation to help scale their business operations across Human Resources, Finance, Customer Service, IT, and more.  The conference will be held in 3 time zones – PST for North America, SGT for the APJ region, and BST for the EMEA region.

“Over the past couple of years, we have seen dramatic growth in the adoption of what we call the New Automation Mindset, where companies of all sizes are taking a holistic, end-to-end approach to automating across all departments,” said Vijay Tella, Founder, and CEO of Workato.  “We are thrilled to be bringing the Workato Automate Conference to the global stage for the second year in a row, to learn from the people leading this movement. Mohit Rao, Head of Intelligent Automation at Atlassian, Prakash Kota, CIO at Autodesk, Harish Ramani, CIO at Helen of Troy, Amith Nair, CIO at Vituity, and Kim Huffman, CIO at TripActions will all join me on stage. Automate 2022 will be a chance for all of us to unlock the power of enterprise automation.”

Attendees will hear about the current and future state of enterprise automation in keynotes from Ritu Jyoti, Group Vice President, AI and Automation Research at IDC; Massimo Pezzini, Former Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, now Head of Research, Future of the Enterprise at Workato; Bob Myers, General Manager of the Golden State Warriors, among others. Additionally, the event will feature dozens of engaging sessions across eight tracks: IT, People & Employee Experiences, Finance, GTM, Embedded Integrations, Workato Product, Automated Enterprise, and Automation Best Practices. The sessions will include:

  • “Bringing Together Automation & AWS to Transform Business Operations” with Madhu Raman, Head of Intelligent Automation at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Ben Israelite, Head of Strategic Alliances at Workato
  • “From Big Data to Big Ops: The New Foundation of Marketing & Customer Experience” with Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot
  • “Automate Everything: How Gong Uses Revenue Operations to Build the GTM Machine that Launched them into Hypergrowth” with Anita Gormley, Program Director, Revenue Operations at Gong
  • “How Shutterstock Built an Integration Strategy for Enterprise and Beyond” with Kevin Davis, Head of Enterprise Integrations, Platform Solutions at Shutterstock
  • “Verizon Synchronizes Applications and Automates Processes with Workato” with Suparman Widjaja Head of Technology, at Verizon
  • “Payless Simplifies Integration with Workato” with Adil Fakier, Technical Architect at Payless

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with existing and potential partners through builder sessions, product discussions, fireside chats, and more. Workato will also announce the winners of the Automation Impact Awards at the conference, which will recognize 12 Workato customers who are pushing their industries into the future with automation.

“As technology advances, everything from creating websites to making custom applications has become easier and faster through low code platforms. Why shouldn’t automations also be easier and faster to build? I’m excited to share the future of the Workato platform and the updates we’re making to allow our customers to achieve even more,” said Gautham Viswanathan, Co-founder, and CTO of Workato.

For the full agenda and details on how to register for the virtual event, please visit workato.com/automate.


Esker Named a Challenger in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Integrated Invoice-to-Cash Applications

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 12 April 2022

 Esker today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner as a Challenger in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™.

 Esker, a global cloud platform and a leader  AI-driven process automation solutions for finance and customer service functions, today announced that it has been positioned by Gartner as a Challenger in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Integrated Invoice-to-Cash Applications. Gartner evaluation is based on specific criteria that analysed Esker’s overall Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute.

Magic Quadrant reports are a culmination of rigorous, fact-based research in specific markets, providing a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the providers in markets where growth is high and provider differentiation is distinct.

Learn more: https://www.esker.com.sg/company/press-releases/esker-named-challenger-2022-gartnerr-magic-quadranttm-integrated-invoice-cash/


Skillful Craftsman Enters into Strategic Agreement with Newlink Technology Inc.

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 6 April 2022

The two companies aim to jointly develop robotic process automation technology and a new vocational training environment based on AI and digital twin technology.

Skillful Craftsman Education Technology Ltd. (“the Company”) (NASDAQ: EDTK), an education technology company providing interactive online learning services, announced that Shenzhen Qianhai Jisen Information Technology Ltd. (“Jisen”), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Wuxi Kingway Technology Co., Ltd., the Company’s variable interest entity in China, has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement (the “Agreement”) with Newlink Technology Inc. (“Newlink”) (HKEX: 09600), an IT solutions provider, to jointly develop robotic process automation (“RPA”) technology and a new vocational training environment based on AI and digital twin technology.

Pursuant to the Agreement, both parties agree to jointly develop the RPA technology. Newlink agrees to provide the fundamental technologies, and Jisen agrees to conduct research on the business demand of targeted companies and provide research and development solutions based on its research. Both parties also agree to jointly develop  digital twin technology based vocational training environment, to provide training for employees at financial institutions and college students. Jisen agrees to provide Newlink’s customers with technical supports of virtual reality and the application of AI scenarios. As part of the Agreement, both parties agree to collaboratively work on industry expansion and increase each other’s business presence in both respective specialized industries. Both parties will also conduct in-depth cooperation in marketing and sales, including granting rights of distribution, project implementation, outsourcing, and operation and maintenance execution to the other party.

Mr. Xiaofeng Gao, Chairman and Co-CEO of Skillful Craftsman, commented, “We are excited about the cooperation with Newlink, which will benefit both enterprises and individuals. By leveraging the advantages of Newlink’s AI-related resources and wide range of experience in educational, financial, and medical related markets, we believe the RPA technology will help enterprises improve their work efficiency and accelerate their digital transformation. The immersive AI teaching system for vocational training will provide an improved hands-on experience to students, assisting them in matching the current fast-evolving job market. To follow the Chinese government’s guideline on promoting vocational education, we strive to make our own efforts in developing an immersive AI teaching system and the RPA technologies, which can be applicable to the development needs of the society and country.”


Blue Prism Survey Reveals Untapped Opportunities Of RPA Adoption Rates In Financial Services Industry In APAC

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 23 February 2022


Blue Prism, the global leader in enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation, today released findings from its survey report titled “RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector”.

Blue Prism, a global leader in intelligent automation, today released findings from its survey report titled “RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector.” While there is growing momentum in automation efforts by organisations across Asia Pacific (APAC), the report reveals significant disparity of robotic process automation (RPA)1 adoption within Asia Pacific’s financial services industry. While Australia leads the way with 78 percent of organisations currently using RPA solutions and technologies, India is second with 49 percent, followed by Hong Kong (47 percent), Malaysia (44 percent) and Singapore (28 percent).

With only 34 percent in Singapore and 50 percent in Malaysia of respondents indicating familiarity with RPA, there is potential for better comprehension and perception around this technology. This is in comparison to 85 percent in Australia, 82 percent in Hong Kong and 75 percent in India.

Robert Dewar, Vice President, Financial Services, APAC, Blue Prism, said: “While RPA adoption across global industries grew at tremendous speed, this report revealed the disparity of RPA adoption within the APAC financial services industry, indicating a long roadmap before the region reaches RPA and Intelligent Automation maturity. Presently, the use of RPA adoption remains largely a tool to improve efficiency and cut costs, rather than a catalyst to accelerate digital transformation. As markets look to scale up enterprise RPA and Intelligent Automation deployments, our aim is to empower companies to fulfil their vision for strategic business automation and achieve faster, better organisational outcomes.”

Almost all of the organisations (95 percent) surveyed felt that the adoption of RPA has improved overall business operations, which includes error and cost reduction (7 percent each), empowering the workforce to concentrate on higher value tasks (24 percent) and increasing efficiencies and speed within the organisation (61 percent).

The report also revealed that across Australia, India, Singapore and Malaysia, the top two areas that companies leverage RPA are the finance and IT departments. This differs slightly in Hong Kong, where the top two areas are finance (79 percent) and customer service (71 percent) departments. Within the next two to three years, companies in Australia and India expect to continue leveraging RPA the most in the finance and IT departments, while Hong Kong companies expect the same in the finance and customer service departments. In Malaysia, besides the finance department (61 percent), companies are prioritising RPA programmes in sales and marketing (73 percent) in the next two to three years. Interestingly, the finance department was not included in the top three areas that Singapore companies will be leveraging RPA in the near term, with companies ranking IT departments (61 percent) as the top priority for RPA adoption, followed by sales and marketing (54 percent) and customer service (50 percent).


Other key findings for each respective market are as follows:

Australia Key Findings

  • 99 percent of organisations believed that RPA has improved overall business operations, including cost and time savings (88 percent) and increased accuracy and quality of output (76 percent).
  • Organisations ranked top considerations when drawing RPA budgets to implementation costs (77 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (70 percent) and ancillary costs (67 percent)
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (22 percent), 8 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 4 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • Almost nine in 10 (89 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Hong Kong Key Findings

  • 96 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with significant benefits in cost and time savings (69 percent) as well as increased accuracy and quality of output (69 percent).
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (65 percent) as the most important factor, followed by ancillary costs (60 percent) and maintenance costs (59 percent)
  • 52 percent of organisations are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies; 31 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 8 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • 85 percent of organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

India Key Findings

  • 95 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operationscost and time savings (83 percent) as the most significant benefit associated with RPA adoption, and RPA as a catalyst for driving digital transformation (76 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (75 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62 percent) and ancillary costs (44 percent)
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (50 percent), 27 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 11 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • More than nine in 10 (93 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Singapore Key Findings

  • Among the five markets, Singapore holds the highest percentage of financial institutions (19 percent) that do not use any of the five disruptive technologies (artificial intelligence, business process management, machine learning, deep learning and predictive analytics)
  • Almost eight in 10 (79 percent) organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with a reduction in manpower or burden of administrative personnel (68 percent) as the most significant benefit, and RPA as a catalyst for driving digital transformation (68 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked maintenance costs (88 percent) as the most important factor, followed by implementation costs (59 percent) and ancillary costs (59 percent)
  • Of the organisations that implemented RPA solutions and technologies during the pandemic, most ranked the increased cost and time savings (75 percent) as well as the reduction in manpower or burden of administrative personnel (75 percent) as the most important factors
  • 71 percent of organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

Malaysia Key Findings

  • 93 percent of organisations felt that RPA has improved overall business operations, with increasing efficiencies and speed within the organisation as the most main driver of RPA adoption (86 percent), followed by allowing workers to concentrate on higher value tasks (70 percent) and reducing errors (68 percent)
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (69 percent) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62 percent), ancillary costs (49 percent) and business process value (49 percent)
  • Within the next two to three years, 41 percent of organisations expect to invest approximately up to 50 percent of their total automation budget in RPA, and 36 percent organisations expect to invest approximately up to 75 percent of their total automation budget in RPA
  • Of the 56 percent of organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies, 13 percent are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and 16 percent are planning to do so within the next year
  • More than eight in 10 (84 percent) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising

About the report:
The research was commissioned by Blue Prism. Respondents include 802 global business leaders in Australia (200), Hong Kong (201), India (201), Malaysia (100) and Singapore (100). All respondents have worked in financial services for 10 years or more and are in companies with more than 10 employees. All interviews were conducted online from September to October 2021.


Why AP Automation Is Key In Digitalizing Your Company

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Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 3 February 2022

Vincent Gao

Founder And CEO of Cyclone Robotics

Change can be frightening, particularly when it comes to replacing processes inside businesses that have been performing the same duties in the same manner for years. However, there are numerous appealing and cost-justifiable advantages to automating, especially when it comes to accounts payable. Although your company may have gotten by with conventional, error-prone, and inefficient AP processes, it may be worthwhile to explore the benefits of automating your accounts and how it may help your finance team to work smarter, not harder.

DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Vincent Gao, Founder and CEO of Cyclone Robotics, on AP Automation and some trends we see pertaining to financial automation services.

Reasons Why The Finance Teams Are Resistant To AP Automation

Data Security Concerns – As the AP process involves a large volume of data that might include highly confidential financial information, data security is a key concern for finance teams. However, by leveraging RPA (Robotic Process Automation), finance teams can eliminate paper-based and manual processes, and allow the whole AP process to run automatically, reducing the risk of data leakages and errors.

Lack of IT Support – Implementation of automation in finance teams is sometimes discouraged by limited IT support and the lack of proper finance IT infrastructure. To solve this, companies should adopt RPA solutions that seamlessly integrate with an enterprise’s existing system with the ability to run across a variety of platforms and software systems, greatly reducing the barriers of deployment.

Concerns of High Implementation Cost – Finance teams might think that they must implement the AP automation across the full department in one go, and therefore are worried about the total cost of ownership. In fact, they can start with implementing task automation to certain parts, such as billing and invoice issuing, which are lower in cost. With proven success, they can then scale and apply automation to the whole AP process.

Misconception of Automation – One of the misconceptions of automation is that robotics will replace humans and make people lose their jobs. This is untrue – RPA can create new ways of working in the digital age and provides employees with a more agile working environment, especially since the pandemic has accelerated the digital skills demand of employees.

Acceleration Of Finance Functions In 2022 Due To A Digitalized Work Model

During the pandemic, more people are choosing to work remotely. Businesses require more digitalized working tools and solutions to help people perform their tasks remotely and securely, even more so as the financial industry handles sensitive documents and data.

To better support employees to manage day-to-day automation tasks by eliminating time-consuming manual processes and minimizing potential human errors, even while working remotely, companies should source for a digital process automation suite of solutions, which is 0-code and easy to deploy. This includes RPA Mobile Designer, different digital bots, and the CIRI Digital Assistant, enabling low-cost and secure process automation.

With the rapid changes of digital systems and applications, the role of CFO is also evolving. With a large volume of data in hand, CFO can now rely on the data analytics to generate more insights about risk and compliance, identify financial disruptions and make smarter decisions.

With the accelerated application of digital operations in more and more finance functions, it also requires better human and machine collaboration and coordination to ensure the smooth and efficient operation.

Benefits of AP Automation In Mitigating Fraud

AP Automation has long been an issue facing many organizations, especially when it comes to transferring documents and forms from unstructured to structured information. The traditional way of avoiding fraud still relies heavily on manual human labor approvals. However, by leveraging RPAs, the AP process can be automated based on clearer layers of approval and procedures. Moreover, with AI and Document Structure Understanding (DSU), users can turn invoices and POs into data, which can form part of the automated process, without needing humans to type or verify documents. The robots work 24×7 which increases efficiency and productivity, allowing users to focus on more strategic tasks. Ultimately, enabling the CFOs to mitigate frauds more steadily.

If there is no clear approval procedure and roles & responsibilities, it is difficult for the RPA to run the AP process. Companies should look for solutions that cover the whole lifecycle of digital transformation, including phases of requirements discovery, design, testing, and operation & maintenance, creating a positive feedback loop that accelerates improvement. This is how Cyclone Robotics’ solutions can help CFOs to review the process, find out missing parts and improve their processes. Therefore, AP automation not only enable CFOs to mitigate fraud, but also improves the process, ensure better data accuracy, and save costs.

Companies worldwide are undergoing digital transformation in their finance functions, however, while digital operation is the key to transformation, it is often overlooked. As Gartner defined, digital operation is the “processing” center of digital transformation, providing the orchestration of systems and other resources.

“Automation will play a bigger role in digital operations within the finance functions in the future.”

Vincent Gao, Founder And CEO of Cyclone Robotics

Earlier this year, Gartner identified hyper-automation as one of the top strategic technology trends of 2022, and noted that RPA enriched by AI has become its core enabling technology. To empower automation in finance functions, it is key to integrate AI technology to drive intelligent operations.
With the accelerated application of digital operations to more and more finance functions, the role of people is also changing, and a new form of human-machine collaboration is emerging. Employees can interact with the machines depending on the complexity of tasks, either working closely with the robot and managing its interaction directly or allowing the robot to operate on its own while the employee plays a monitoring role. In the future, new skills will be required for employees to collaborate with the robots in either role.

In relation to finance services, it is imperative to take a closer look at the different categories in the field. The first category is shared finance service – where humans handle procedures related to pay, such as expense, reimbursement, asset accounting, tax submission. In this category, they will require tools or solutions to further minimize disruption and improve task efficiency.

The next category is strategic finance, which manages relationships with customers. This is an area where they can improve using automation, tax management, fund management, capital management, risk management. We are seeing more data and documentation processed digitally. The CFO needs to enable their own team to be able to handle finance management. Therefore, there’s going to be a role shift – finance teams must learn how to collaborate with bots in a more productive and efficient way.

The third category is business finance, which relates to finance deals with budgeting and planning, deals with project management, operation, and analysis. It will require more data analytics to provide insight to support them to make business decisions.


In essence, automating AP processes is inevitable especially when companies are required to digitize due to the ongoing pandemic. With Automated AP Processes, companies can reduce human errors, time spent and are able to conveniently keep track of their payments on a single platform. Despite change being scary and needing time for employees to adjust, companies need to focus on the long-term benefits of it. Overall AP processes will ensure the continuity of businesses.


The Great Finance Revolution In 2021

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Fatihah Ramzi | 12 January 2022

2021 was the year of great financial innovation and developments. Let’s discuss the key events of the year.

The year 2021 was truly one of a kind. Following the global COVID-19 epidemic, which wreaked havoc on international markets, forcing families into lockdowns and organizations to close their doors, 2021 saw the introduction of safe and effective vaccines, as well as rebuilt consumer trust. However, due to COVID-19’s structural limits and manufacturing shortages, this resurgence of consumer demand resulted in a number of market upheavals, oddities, and record-setting prices.

It’s also a year of technological advancements in the banking industry, with a slew of new financial technology businesses. With banks, financial technology businesses, and regulatory bodies, 2021 is a strong contender for fintech year. Purchasing financial technology companies rather than banks is becoming increasingly fashionable. Fintech companies are now vying for a piece of the global market. With the year 2021 being designated as a Financial Revolution, let’s take a look back at some of the most significant events of the year.

An Increase In Mergers & Acquisitions

Global merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has reached a record high, continuing the year’s record-breaking deal-making run, which has been boosted by low loan rates and rising stock prices. More than 40,000 mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity deals, were exposed, totaling more than $6 trillion in value. Part of the rationale for this uptick in deal-making can be ascribed to catching up, as the previous year’s mergers and acquisitions volume was low, with only $3.6 trillion in transactions being completed in 2020.

Acceleration of Digital Banking

Before COVID-19, engagement patterns were rapidly shifting to digital across all age groups, and this trend has only intensified subsequently, with digital experience now being the key driver of attrition and a crucial determinant when selecting a main bank. Generally, banks have attempted to digitally copy in-person transactions in order to save money, without giving much thought to replicating the in-person experience.

This is fast changing, as competition becomes more digital and seamless, and emotive digital experiences become the center of a bank’s value proposition. Banks have noticed the trend and are investing extensively to address current pain points, with new entrants in particular speeding up the pace of innovation.

Inflation At An All Time High

Singapore’s headline prices climbed at their highest rate in nearly nine years in November 2021, thanks to higher private transportation and service costs, and the government raised its forecast for the measure for 2021 by a smidgeon. In October, headline inflation reportedly increased by 3.8 percent, beating economists’ expectations of 3.35 percent and 3.2 percent. It’s at its highest level since February 2013.

Consumer prices have risen over the past year due to a variety of variables, including supply chain disruptions, workforce shortages, and an unexpected burst of purchasing following widespread lockdowns during the COVID-19 epidemic, according to economists. Although As much as we hope that these higher expenses will be forgotten by 2021, economists are not hopeful about 2022, especially as new variants of the virus continue to emerge.

The Rise of Fintech 

The fintech market has continued to help increase accessibility to financial services throughout the COVID-19 epidemic, especially in emerging nations, with robust growth in all sorts of digital financial services. Access to affordable financial services is crucial for economic growth, particularly in the aftermath of the epidemic, when more individuals began using contactless payments and digital transactions.

Furthermore, the usage of basic financial services can help people increase their incomes, enhance their resilience, and better their lives. Fintech technologies are lowering the cost of providing services, allowing more people to access them, and minimizing the necessity for face-to-face interactions, which are critical for maintaining economic activity during the epidemic.

What To Expect For The Financial Industry In 2022

As we have already observed in the financial industry, technological innovations are reshaping how people use and access their finances. AI is revolutionizing the way financial companies operate and service their clients, from better and quicker credit decisioning to risk management, fraud protection, investing, automation systems, and robo advisory services. IoT will play a bigger role in cash management in the near future, allowing banks to automate essential business activities.

However, it is important to note that the booming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Fintech will not equate to a loss of jobs or a cut of manpower. Artificial intelligence (AI) and financial technology (Fintech) can only facilitate the movement of goods and services. In a nutshell, digitization has eliminated the middlemen. As a result of technological advancements, vocations that require creativity and cannot be undertaken by AI will prosper in the upcoming year. Every revolution involves wins and losses, which is why intellectual capital will always be needed in the future. Leadership, invention, analysis, and creativity can only be provided by people.

Despite the epidemic, 2021 is described to be The Great Financial Revolution due to many fintech startups, the growth of technologies, digitalizing financial services, a significant increase in M&As as well as the global inflation. 2021 was a great year for financial innovation as well as economic growth. We can only hope that the finance industry will continue to boom in 2022. 


Intelligent Automation Will Drive Post-Pandemic Recovery

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 28 December 2021

Kofax’s Top 10 Predictions for 2022

Kofax®, a leading supplier of Intelligent Automation software for digital workflow transformation, today unveiled its top 10 predictions for 2022 as businesses navigate the new challenges accelerated – and in some cases, caused – by the global pandemic. 

“Automation is now seen through a new lens as the global economy struggles to recover from the pandemic and companies seek resilience and a return to stability and growth. Remote and hybrid work are here to stay, creating new obstacles when it comes to efficiency, collaboration and data security,” says Adam Field, Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy and Experience at Kofax. “While productivity has been high in this new working model, so too are stress levels and burnout as organizations have more job openings than people to fill them. As we turn our focus to 2022, it’s time to examine how agile companies are refining their operating models and workflows – leading to recovery and growth in 2022 and beyond.” 

Kofax’s 10 Intelligent Automation predictions for 2022: 

1. Automation eliminates jobs? Hardly! The myth of automation displacing human workers will finally evaporate. Employment opportunities are everywhere, and at the same time, automation is being deployed more than ever before. Technology isn’t taking over. Instead, it’s elevating the experience of human workers. Automation can effectively eliminate most mundane work, creating new opportunities for workers to perform higher-value and more satisfying work. However, the workforce needs the skills to match these opportunities, and employers will need to create pathways to make that happen. 

2. AI will go mainstream for next-gen automation. Organizations will achieve next-gen automation with the power of embedded artificial intelligence and its advanced decision-making abilities. AI-powered process automation can make pragmatic decisions that used to require human intervention. With those responsibilities now being automated, human workers can move beyond performing transactional processes and further along the spectrum of high-value work. 

3. Integrated supply chains will invest heavily in automation. Accelerated by pandemic uncertainty, companies like Walmart and Amazon are creating or acquiring soup-to-nuts distribution channels, especially as supply chains remain constrained. In order to make this effective, they’ll need insight into all parts of the organization. They’ll also need the ability to escalate in real time and bring together a disparate workforce—very quickly, while changing their duties on the fly. Expect these large organizations to invest in technology that creates in-house operations for the foreseeable future. 

4. Digital Dexterity will be used to reestablish business moats. Oftentimes, annual predictions proclaim a particular technology as “the next big thing”. Next year will be different, with no obvious standout. Many organizations will already be using a broad range of low-code driven automation technologies, packaged within a centralized platform and accessible to business users as well as professional developers. Expect organizations to apply this new digital dexterity throughout the enterprise, each creating their own next big thing. 

5. Automation will drive organizational convergence. As automation technologies have converged, so too will business functions. An intelligent automation platform combines numerous technologies that create ripple effects throughout an organization. Different business functions can now be merged, and companies are rethinking “who owns what”. They’re consolidating formerly siloed functions under one automation office to cut through bureaucracy and improve business agility. 

6. Taming unstructured data will be the new competitive advantage. Organizations continue to be bombarded by unstructured data. Hidden within are incredibly valuable business insights—if they can be unlocked. Each company’s data is unique, and the ability to harness that unstructured information will provide new and actionable insights. Intelligent document processing will help organizations tame their unstructured data and drive competitive advantage. 

7. The “Cloud” opens new possibilities for diverse print and productivity needs. The distributed workforce has gone from necessity to establishing a business reality and advantage. Productivity is still a priority, but now organizations will need to emphasize frictionless digital touchpoints instead of brick-and-mortar experiences. This new paradigm will accelerate the need for digital productivity tools. Universal print will become even more prevalent, and more organizations will shift much of their printing needs away from individual devices and onto cloud-based servers. 

8. There’ll be comfort in controlling your data’s destiny. The power is firmly back in the hands of the people when it comes to data protection, thanks in part to the maturity of regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. Consumers wield the flexibility to share only what they want and, most importantly, with visibility into the exact data they’re actually sharing. For instance, think about some of things Apple has done to allow customers to control their data’s destiny. This provides comfort to consumers and compels them to share some instead of none, allowing organizations to provide personalized services while being compliant. 

9. Blockchain will be used for vastly more applications. The current and most noteworthy use of blockchain technology is cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. In 2021 we saw the explosion of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) where people spent absurd dollar amounts in an attempt to corner the market on pixelated GIFs created by unknown artists. However, there are much more promising and far-reaching use cases that’ll begin to make their way into the mainstream. For example, the secure sharing of medical information, intellectual property rights, and original content security. 

10. We’ll see you at the mixed-reality water cooler. Mixed-reality technologies will continue to become more viable and affordable, providing greater collaboration in a hybrid work environment. We dipped our toes in the virtual reality waters when the pandemic hit, but such events were awkward and uncomfortable. Not so in 2022. Get ready to plunge into the mixed reality pool. Our avatars will be the ones working overtime, participating in true VR-style collaboration, while the latest in augmented and mixed reality technologies will assist us in training and learning even while we’re hundreds of miles apart. 


Best practices through adversity

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Xero | 10 December 2021

Benchmark your practice through the lens of Xero’s latest accounting and bookkeeping industry report

The role of accountants today is more important than ever. The pandemic brought economic uncertainty and a host of difficulties to many businesses globally. Accountants are instrumental in helping their clients navigate the unprecedented business challenges, sustain operations and leverage governmental relief packages.  While we enter into a phase of recovery, now is the time to look back at how practices in Singapore have fared over the past 18 months, and the learnings they can take moving forward.

In spite of the challenges, there has been one clear upside — the acceleration in tech adoption. According to Xero’s latest annual report, over half (56%) of practices in Singapore say they were able to take advantage of their client’s changed attitudes to implement new technology. Tech isn’t only beneficial to SMEs, but also proves advantageous to accounting practices themselves. For example, practices with a great proportion of clients that use client accounting software have more clients on average than those who don’t (52 clients vs. 31 clients on average). The net impact of this translates to additional revenue.

In a competitive market, there is no excuse for practices to waste time on manual tasks that can be easily automated, from invoice processing, purchase order matching to payment reconciliation. The time freed up can be spent instead on creating value through decision support, by interpreting and analysing data to make recommendations.

As a trusted advisor, accountants can and should encourage clients to shift to tech solutions. Data shows that practices have a great deal of influence over the accounting software used by their clients, with six in ten (62%) saying that the software they recommend gets adopted by their clients. Given the level of trust clients place on their accountants, it is important that accounting professionals share their expertise in recommending software, instead of leaving it to a client’s suggestion. This helps reduce the load on internal software training and streamlines workflow.

There are other missed opportunities for accountants that do not take on an advisory role. Looking at revenue generated by Singaporean practices over the past year, compliance services account for 62% of revenue, advisory services account for only 35%. This shows significant potential for practices who have yet to take on an advisory role. To demonstrate, for those in simple advisory practices, startup mentoring offers the highest revenue potential, averaging $53,349 in annual revenue. This is perhaps unsurprising, considering that over 50,000 new businesses are formed on average in the city-state each year, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics. For those in complex advisory practices, audit and other assurance services show the highest revenue potential.

Overall, accounting and bookkeeping practices appear to have held ground through the pandemic, with almost two-thirds of practices reporting that revenue has stayed the same (25%) or increased (39%). This is a testament of their inherent value and contribution to existing and new clients turning to advisors to help sustain and grow their businesses during these critical times and adopting new ways of work.