HyperAutomation Part 3: Rounding Out with Automated Responses

hyperautomation-blog-header-post-3By now, you've probably seen my first set of blogs on Hyper Automation, where I lay out the opportunity first for Automation of Tasks and then the Automation of Analytics and algorithmic forecasting. This third article aims to present a case for the third leg of the Hyper Automation journey, focusing on Automated Responses.

Chatbots have become particularly popularOver the last couple of years, chatbots have become particularly popular as a source to provide rapid responses to frequently sourced information. With the ability to seamlessly interact, engage and deliver information in web, mobile, and kiosk form factors, chatbots and digital assistants are now a universally accepted form of interactive responses for B2B and B2C use-cases. These days almost every type of online interaction—assistance trading stocks, making travel reservations, requesting IT support—can be achieved through this mechanism.

email bots are a universally accepted form of interaction for automated marketing campaignsThe other dimension to interactive automated responses comes from email bots. Today, email bots are a universally accepted form of interaction for automated marketing campaigns, sending out promotions, invitations to digital and physical events, automated survey assessments, and more.

For corporate finance teams, the automation of interactive responses through chatbots or email bots can lead to a significant recovery of time. It can save the drudgery of responding to repeated incoming queries. Today's modern finance teams should leverage intelligent automated responses to automate inbound status inquiries on approvals or payments, deal with requests for tax forms, return information on orders, and other similar tasks. However, for these intelligent automated interactive responses to be effective, they must possess the following capabilities:

  • Built-in intelligence: Innovations in natural language processing (NLP) provide industry-leading intent detection and classification so that incoming inquiries and requests can be rapidly understood and responded to. The ability to continually learn from prior interactions is critical, and finance teams should avoid investing in the proverbial "dumb" bot with minimal intelligence or learning capabilities.
  • Domain expertise: Having the automated response system understand the Finance and Accounting domain—and hence the specifics of payables, invoices, receivables, purchase orders, and more—can make for delightful user experiences.
  • Process awareness: Another essential component is the flexibility to support the processes embraced by the finance team. Whether it's multi-level approval or automated executive escalation, process awareness is a critical component of automated response systems.
  • Flexibility of integration: Today's finance teams have a myriad of systems that surround their ERP applications. These include point products for Procurement, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, FP&A, and more. Make sure your automated response systems are flexible and have rich integrations. The last thing you want to end up with is a siloed one-off response system that works only with a portion of your applications.
  • Human take over: The best automated response tools know when to bring the human expert in and take over the interaction through to completion. This human takeover allows for the best possible customer experience while ensuring that insights are gleaned to improve the automated response for subsequent interactions. Intelligent and elegant human hand over are critical elements of an automated interactive response strategy.
  • Bulletproof security: In today's world, ensuring the security and privacy of your data is critical. While industry certifications such as SOC2 are useful, what's equally important is that your automated response systems have data pipelines that are anonymized and encrypted.

Automation in the finance back-office takes multiple forms. Today's finance teams leverage best-in-class automation platforms that automate routine and repetitive tasks—invoice accruals, activating vendors, or sending payment/collections reminders—while also automating algorithmic forecasting activities such as forecasting cash or customer remittance times. Another critical element of automation is to ensure that automated intelligent interactives responses are part of the core platform. Doing this extends the HyperAutomation journey for finance teams, and provides complete coverage across all facets of the back-office function.

At Auditoria, we have built the industry's first Cognitive Automation platform that combines automation of tasks and business processes, the automation of analytics, and the automation of interactive responses—purpose built for corporate finance and ERP—in one simple SaaS offering. Combined with cutting edge NLP and ML, we empower CFOs to digitally transform their back-office functions and bring automated outcomes to every part of their charter. The need for automation and digital transformation has only accelerated amidst the global pandemic. Auditoria is thrilled to be at the forefront of helping Finance teams achieve higher efficiencies and resiliencies using our SmartFlow Skills SaaS solution.