Optimizing the Future of Finance Through Task Mining

By Michal Franek, Chief Product Officer, UltimateSuite


Inefficient processes have a huge impact on organisations of all sizes and types, significantly impacting productivity as well as employee satisfaction with the result being a cost of billions of dollars annually.

However, across many industries, and in particular in finance, repetitive processes in both front and back office are commonplace. This has led to a growing movement to identify, streamline and then automate these repetitive jobs allowing companies to shift their resources towards more value-added activities. This leaves employees to focus away from repetitive or inefficient tasks; think of the likes of tedious bookkeeping, the painful parts of cashflow management as well as the dull bits of reporting.

Michal Franek

The challenge for companies lies in how to target these inefficiencies. How do they simplify long or complex processes and optimize workloads, particularly in an industry which is heavily rooted in procedure? Finance has also long lived with the idea that there is a choice between cost reduction and increased effectiveness. But what if it was not necessarily true? What if you could have both?


What challenges do financial services companies face?

Financial services companies face several challenges, many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. As the uncertainty continues and remote working remains our norm, working efficiently as a team in a remote environment will undoubtedly still be a key concern for a while yet. And this is particularly true to ensure consistency in processes, their implementation and increasing their efficiency both through streamlining and improved employee training.

How can this be done? Automation is one way to address this challenge. The technology can support a significantly improved customer experience and employee experience and as a result, has already become a hot topic within the industry. It is already making the life of the staff at many organisations easier by increasing accuracy, efficiency as well as collaboration which results in freeing up their time for more strategic and value-added tasks such as analysis and advising on key strategic decisions. It also benefits the overall business through the knock-on effects of decreased churn, increased productivity, reduced costs and improved end-user satisfaction.

So, organisations are already seeing the benefits of automation and there has been widespread adoption of bots created using Robotic Process Automation (RPA). However, while this has seen global success, to get the maximum benefits from RPA requires granular identification of processes to be automated and this is where Task Mining comes in to play.


Just what is Task Mining?

A simple way to describe task mining is as a technology that captures repetitive, everyday tasks that are analysed and optimized by streamlining the steps or just automating them completely. This can be done by identifying inefficiencies in the way that tasks are operated, stop gaps in employee training, work arounds that have been developed through integration of multiple legacy software applications or system issues which have been overlooked. Task mining is crucial to automation since it collects, identifies and allows targeted automation, training and process improvements at organisational scale.

By deploying task mining, organisations can boost efficiency and productivity. Freeing up employee time eliminates frustrations associated with long winded processes. In one example, Automation CoE of the international professional services firm Mazars, after just one month of data collection through task mining, were able to identify opportunities for optimization with up to 30% cost savings potential in the client automation project.

While this is a great tool, we should be reminded that task mining is not a means to an end. It needs to be incorporated into an overarching strategy to prove useful. Automating a faulty process may save time in the short term, but it clearly isn’t effective over the long term. Although the technology is focused on mapping the steps within a process and expediting them, businesses need to be certain that those steps lead to the required outcome for finance teams to truly benefit.

Reaching the next frontier in finance efficiency will require a shift in thinking from finance executives and the use of new tools. Through adopting task mining and artificial intelligence, RPA can become a force to be reckoned with and the backbone of an automation movement in the industry, saving costs and improving the everyday customer and employee experience.






Explore more