How Business Process Automation Can Support Efficient Data Manipulation

Silhouette of a person standing on rocks near the ocean

Manipulating data every month requires a lot of manual work for your employees. Implementing process automation is a great way to reduce the work, speed up the cycle, and increase consistency.

To help your organization become more efficient, consider leveraging the power of business process automation—technology like intelligent automation and analytic process automation—in your operations.

What Is Business Process Automation?

Business process automation is taking routine periodic tasks and using automation to manipulate significant amounts of data to reduce the amount of manual work required.

Take account reconciliations for example—long lists of transactions from two systems can be automatically compared and the exceptions that need manual review will be highlighted.

Similar processes exist in regulatory reporting, human resources (HR), internal audit, tax preparation, and many other fields. These processes usually contain large spreadsheets and data files from multiple sources in which the data must be manipulated, transformed, processed, and reported.

Three Ways Automation Can Help Operations Be More Cost Effective

A more technical name for business process automation is analytic process automation, which is more descriptive of its capabilities. Much of the work done in spreadsheets is data analysis and manipulation. This analytic processing is a core capability of automation tools.

To put this to practical use, here are three ways to deploy automation and make business operations more cost effective.

1. Automating Reconciliation Processes

Automating processes such as balance sheet, payroll, benefits expenses, and other time sensitive reconciliations has multiple benefits.

While increasing consistency and accuracy, automating business processes also dramatically speeds up reconciliations. How quickly the work is done has allowed business teams to run the process more frequently and catch problems earlier. This has ultimately resulted in feedback loops that improved upstream business processes—imagine how this can help speed up the financial close.

2. Internal Audit Testing

There are many time-consuming internal audit tests—employee expenses, segregation of duties, and file system changes—that when not performed on a regular cadence can result in material impacts. Automating these tests allow you to run them more frequently and address conflicts as they arise.

3. Reporting

Routine reporting is made more cost effective by automating the process. Manipulating data for reporting can be tedious and complicated. Automation can speed up the collection, preparation, and analysis of your data to produce required reports such as regulatory reporting.

Analytic Process Automation Is a Low-Code Environment

The toolsets are intended to be driven and configured by business users rather than requiring IT development. This is called a low code environment. While this may sound high-tech, it’s quite approachable.

When we hear words like automation and analytics business executives and employees immediately think about complex and costly IT processes. Modern toolsets have changed that reality and now business users can directly control and build their own analytic process automation.

Examples of how analytic process automation is user-friendly:

  • A graphic approach is used to clearly communicate the overall process and how each step fits in
  • Data sources are made available from a drop-down list, and data manipulation capabilities are available in a tool bar
  • Outputs are directed to the location of your choosing

The toolsets strive to be intuitive, yet powerful and fast. Consider an automation process where you can examine interim results at each step. This facilitates an incremental approach to developing powerful solutions in a cost-effective manner.

We’re Here to Help

For more information on implementing process automation, contact your Moss Adams professional.

Additional Resources

Contact Us with Questions

Enter security code:
 Security code