By Gary Lessels, General Manager at HotDocs, Powered by AbacusNext
If you’re on autopilot, leave it to the computers…
The finance sector is highly regulated, with good reason. Since the economic crash over ten years ago, financial organisations have faced increased scrutiny and are constantly under pressure to perform both efficiently and ethically.
While it is vital that we meet these stringent requirements, our financial workforce’s productivity has been crippled as they become increasingly burdened by administrative and office management tasks. A report from Cerulli Quantitative shows that financial advisors can spend up to 41% of their time on these processes. That’s an estimated 2 hours per day spent on tasks that aren’t generating new income for the business.
It’s not just the financial sector. A staggering 90% of employees face dealing with repetitive tasks that could be easily automated according to SnapLogic. The average employee spends a third of their working year (more than 600 hours) on admin alone. In an industry as closely regulated as specialist finance, staff can spend an inordinate number of hours compiling and reviewing binding documents throughout the working week, consuming critical time they could be spending on other things which need considerably more brain fuel.
So how do we combat this problem? Embracing technological advances is key. There are many increasingly sophisticated technologies available to support our financial workforce by streamlining repetitive manual processes. This leaves employees with more time and energy to focus on tasks that require the human touch, such as creativity, innovation and client support.
Regulatory technology, or RegTech, is technology used to ensure organisations manage regulatory processes correctly and efficiently. Using real-time information, RegTech uses cloud-computing technology to help organisations remain fully compliant with regulations. Functions automated by RegTech include employee surveillance; compliance data management, fraud prevention, and audit trail capabilities.
The meteoric rise of FinTech has led to an exponential increase in the amount of customer data received. As we became increasingly reliant upon this consumer data to drive our digital offerings, it was apparent that we required sophisticated regulatory measures and technologies to ensure both consumers and organisations were protected and secure.
According to a survey by Intertrust, an overwhelming majority (85%) of financial services professionals predict that demand for RegTech solutions will continue to grow until at least 2020 to combat ever increasing regulatory pressures as the impact of the financial crisis shows no sign of abating.
Automated document generation
Automated document generation is the use of sophisticated template technology to create error-free documentation. This increases operational efficiency in document creation, reduces risk, enhances compliance and saves resources. It ensures that information contained within business-critical documents is accurate.
Regulatory lawmakers are notoriously fickle. Any time a governing body meet; the regulations are subject to change, which directly impacts the compliance of related legal documentation. In these uncertain times, as the unknown impact of Brexit remains at the forefront of our minds, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for experts to keep on top of every change. Fortunately, automated document generation can help stop us from making mistakes.
Implementing document automation software gives financial professionals confidence that they are consistently compliant. The software allows for legislation to be updated in one location, which in turn appears on all new documents created.
The use of this technology has also been adopted by many organisations trading internationally, such as global banks, as it ensures regional variables such as date format and currency are adhered to automatically.
Document accuracy is absolutely integral to business performance. Using a template-based format, without fear of non-compliance, standardises work practices and makes the process faster. Implementation of document automation technology in the financial sector can drastically reduce the time spent drafting, reviewing and finalising contracts by up to 80%, allowing the experts to focus on the job in hand.
Robotic Process Automation
An increasing number of financial organisations are using Robotic Process Automation, or RPA to support back office processes and time-consuming manual tasks that previously required human input.
RPA is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks such as calculations and maintenance of records and transactions.
This is especially promising for the financial sector. Capgemini reported that by 2020, the financial services industry could see up to $512 billion in new global revenues thanks to the implementation of these technologies.
RPA can have a huge impact on operational efficiency. For example, financial institutions process a high volume of customer service requests. RPA can help organisations automate the manual, repetitive tasks that fill the daily operations of customer service reps including updating records and order statuses. This is incredibly efficient as all information is automatically synchronised between systems, and cuts down on time clients need to spend answering queries.
RPA also enables financial organisations to improve their communication channels. For example, customers can request balance inquiries using text messages. As these daily repetitive tasks become automated, customer service representatives can focus on solving more complex issues, and develop more meaningful relationships with customers.
These advances in technology, and many others, have the potential to support financial specialists, enhancing their ability to focus on their jobs and deliver their business objectives by freeing them from the burden of repetitive administrative tasks. As a sector we must embrace technology in order to evolve and push forward with innovation.
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HotDocs, powered by AbacusNext, is a global leader in automated document generation technology.
Suitable for all industries, HotDocs has worked with clients in over 60 countries and across a range of sectors, including legal, banking, insurance, corporate, public and publishing.