Order-to-Cash (O2C) is a simple but critical process that impacts the business’ bottom line. However, when handled manually, it can be time-consuming and, as such, prone to errors. Fortunately, intelligent automation that combines robotic process automation, analytics, and AI can save the day by reducing repetitive manual-heavy processes, free up the workforce, and eliminate human errors.

As CFOs take on a more strategic role within the business, the challenges they face today include:

Improving working capital : Increased global competition and technology-driven disruption is putting pressure on enterprises to drive growth through innovation.

Continuous innovation : Cash flow and liquidity are critical for any business. Enterprises have traditionally tried to manage cash flow and working capital by increasing days payable outstanding (DPO). Sometimes, they would also resort to delaying payments to vendors/ suppliers. However, government and regulatory pressure have forced prompt supplier payments and negated DPO as a sustainable way to manage working capital.

Greater efficiency : ERP investment has largely over-promised and under-delivered, and time-consuming manual effort still dominates in many areas of finance. This is particularly true in the order-to-cash (O2C) process, which has seen little or no reduction in the number of staff it takes to process customer orders, invoice, chase and receive payments and handle reconciliations and cash management. And in many cases, headcount has even increased as new processes have been introduced to tighten credit controls and reduce the risk of bad debt.

Business partnering : As finance takes on a more strategic role within organizations, it’s vital that CFOs free staff from the manual drudgery of chasing numbers and invoices to be able to go out into the business and work as partners.

These challenges are best met through O2C process automation as the agile and intelligent solution provides greater visibility and deeper insights.

5 Benefits of O2C Process Automation

CFOs have greater responsibilities, working with large volumes of hard-to-manage data in a limited time. It can be challenging to deliver actionable, forward-thinking insights to adapt or grow in changing financial markets. Dedicated O2C technology and AI benefits CFOs in different ways and helps them bring the enterprise into Industry 4.0 seamlessly.

  • Collections and credits process automation reduces the time and effort spent on transactional tasks and information gathering. This increases the chances of identifying risks and opportunities and responding to changing market conditions.
  • O2C process automation helps CFOs with better control over risks and market volatility. With predictive technology in place, the finance team is able to form an informed approach to risk management and deliver actionable strategies. By bringing greater clarity to customer behavior through real-time analytics and predictive algorithms, CFOs can predict potential risks, protect the enterprise against various scenarios in market conditions, etc. Such predictive technology empowers enterprises to optimize potential revenue and minimize bad debts.
  • Automation-led actionable solutions bring clearer perspectives to data from multiple sources. By replacing the traditional legacy processes with automation, enterprises can also remove the efficiency blocks of siloed data touchpoints across all business units. Instead, they can centralize how data is managed - offering more greater visibility and deeper insights.
  • Combining real-time analytics and reporting in one platform enables CFOs to meet their KPIs with predictive analysis and informed decisions. After all, the CFO’s growing role encompasses increasing profitability, decreasing costs, delivering strategies and solutions based on stakeholders’ needs. They are also responsible for providing transparency across the broader financial performance of the enterprise.
  • Digital transformation of O2C processes ensures data integrity and security. Real-time analytics and reporting also make complex manual processes simpler, ensuring instant compliance, proactive and data-driven decisions across the board leading to customer satisfaction.

Automating O2C processes brings a significant change to managing the enterprise. It can be done in one shot or incrementally. The objective is to mitigate risks and improve the bottom line. There are a few best practices that can stand you in good stead with regard to O2C automation.

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Best Practices for O2C Automation

  • Establishing the objective with a realistic timeframe and sticking to the milestones.
  • Building a relationship with the technology suppliers so help is available when needed. Use available case studies, testimonials, and references from customers to validate the vendors.
  • Setting targets for innovation for the finance department and the enterprise as a whole, including those managing credits by deploying effective processes.
  • Keeping the customers updated regarding the new processes so that they are not taken by surprise or prone to experience user disruption. Make them aware of the payment processes and ensure that business continues to flow smoothly.
  • Augmenting the actions and decision-making through AI to increase efficiency and going beyond simple automation processes.
  • Asking for a dedicated innovation budget by making a business case for investing in finance innovation.
  • Identifying key stakeholders across the enterprise, including sales, customers, vendors, partners, and IT, and bringing them aboard.

Clearly, O2C automation empowers CFOs by bringing about a stronger data-driven foundation to the enterprise. With a faster and stronger O2C cycle, they can help enterprises enhance workforce performance, minimize lead times, and improve cash flow management. In a nutshell, with O2C automation, there’s a better chance of delivering significant resilience and growth across the enterprise. By bots save times and improve efficiency order to cash automation cycle in oracle

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