CFOs have an opportunity to achieve operational excellence by embracing hyperautomation

CFOs are still in a period of exploration in terms of technology innovations and how they can benefit their business and function operations. However, despite this exploration phase, in a recent Gartner survey of 300 CFOs, 82% of CFO’s report that their investments in driving digital transformation are accelerating, far exceeding other areas of their business.

The Gartner survey revealed that the investment focus extends far beyond initiatives that will drive digital transformation and in fact there is momentum on laying critical groundwork for an autonomous future – one in which finance operations are increasingly driven by artificial intelligence and other technologies, reducing the need for human intervention. And, while this may be perceived as a threat to finance teams the reality is that automation allows organisations to reallocate time to focus on higher-value finance and accounting strategies.

“2022 will be a make-or-break year for CFO’s when it comes to unlocking the value of AI, hyperautomation, digital skills, continuous processes and data management. CFOs who continue to drive toward the future of autonomous finance will unlock immense value for their organisation in the years to come.”

Alexander Bant, Chief of Research for CFOs, Gartner

Optimising and future-proofing operational processes with hyperautomation

Gartner defines hyperautomation as “the idea that anything that can be automated in an organisation should be.” It is driven by the need to streamline what is, for most businesses, a disjointed mixture of new and old systems and processes that are not efficient, agile or synchronised.

Digital transformation can span multiple technologies and use cases and the benefits of transformation include agility and efficiency improvements. However, these benefits have been hindered by the growing complexity of bringing diverse technologies together to modernise and improve business processes across an organisation. As business operations become more digital, it is common for critical workflows to span legacy software platforms, cloud-based services and employees. Difficulties occur when applications and tools are unable to communicate well with one another or require manual interactions at any stage in the process. The huge volumes of digital data that businesses generate and the growing need to process information in real-time only intensify the difficulties.

The challenge for many organisations is creating automations that can scale and be reused across the business. Addressing this issue requires the integration of two common automation approaches – digital process automation (DPA) and robotic process automation (RPA) – along with an artificial intelligence (AI) layer that collectively provides a foundation for end-to-end, intelligent automation across a broad range of processes and data type.

Unlocking the value of hyperautomation with Microsoft

Microsoft’s Power Automate is a cloud-based automation service that includes proven DPA functionality, easy-to-use RPA tools and AI-based capabilities. Power Automate is part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which also includes Power AppsPower Virtual Agents, and Power BI. Used alone or together, these powerful applications digitally turn inefficient, manual processes into automated, streamlined processes that deliver impactful business value.

Dynamics 365 Finance is Microsoft’s enterprise-scale ERP solution for finance leaders designed to support large or complex organisations to maximise financial visibility and profitability, automate and modernise global financial operations. Dynamics 365 Finance runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud, offering seamless integration with Power Automate enabling hyperautomation.

Hyperautomation in action

A perfect example of hyperautomation sits within the finance function. At the end of each financial period, finance team members perform standard recurring tasks to close the period (month-end, quarter-end, year-end). Many of these tasks include end-of-cycle report generation for the purpose of account validation and documentation. By integrating RPA capabilities in Power Automate, Dynamics 365 Finance helps streamline many of these manual and time-consuming processes, freeing up finance team members to focus on more critical strategic tasks while at the same time maintaining the accuracy that is highly demanded by the increasingly restrictive finance audit regulations.

For more information on how Power Automate and Dynamics 365 Finance can drive hyperautomation in your organisation, please get in touch.