Finance Leads the Way in Process Automation

Research shows that when it comes to process improvement and automation, eighty-one percent of finance departments report having a process owner according to new research by information management analysts at the US Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM). Twenty-eight percent of responding organisations positioned themselves as trailblazers – being above average and ahead of their peers – when it comes to the automated invoice processing and billing.

The study, “ Business Process Automation in 2017: Designing an Intelligent Workplace ,” asked respondents to assess their process improvement, automation, and BPM implementation status against several factors including which processes are key targets for automation, how BI and Analytics are providing insight into business operations, the impact process automation is having on workplace productivity, and how businesses are enhancing Case Management and improving customer engagement with process automation.

“Our research also shows that forty-five percent of respondents feel BPM is significant and thirty-four percent feel it is imperative for the success of their business with greater than half focusing their projects on the customer experience; the indication being that while internally, AP/AR are delivering benefit, there is also recognised benefit to be gained in improving customer interactions through automation,” said Bob Larrivee, Chief Analyst for AIIM. 

“Think about your own personal experiences where you interact with an online service, bank, or retail outlet. Based on your profile, you are presented with options that the system predicts you will like and possibly be interested in purchasing or at least reviewing. In this sense, your customer experience has been personalized, and enhanced to make it pleasurable and memorable. In this way, analytics and BPM help to enhance and drive customer engagement and customer experience,” said Larrivee.

AIIM Research also finds that planning and strategic initiatives are much discussed with the customer in mind but still there are a lot of reactive mode projects taking place to address immediate need rather than long term goals. In best practice scenarios, even in reactive mode, there is room to include some strategic elements that align with the corporate vision in support of departmental goals.

The report also made these findings in regard to BPM, process improvement, and automation:
Fifty-six percent cite their greatest value from process improvement and automation as being the ability to process critical activities faster with forty-seven percent reporting a reduction in errors and exceptions.

Fifty-seven percent indicate the mandates for process improvement and automation come from their corporate executives.

Process improvement and automation projects, for fifty-seven percent of respondents, are focused on the customer experience.

A copy of the report can be found at