CFOs seek insights, efficiency boost from process mining

Dive Brief:

  • CFOs are increasingly exploring ways to gain insights and streamline basic finance operations through process mining, which pinpoints inefficiencies and helps upgrade a workflow toward its “ideal model,” Gartner found in a survey.
  • Process mining provides unbiased “X-ray vision into your problems” in such activities as the closing process, according to Nisha Bhandare, a senior director and analyst at Gartner. “Finance leaders are exploring it heavily.”
  • CFOs during the next two years will probably increase investment in process mining, robotic process automation (RPA) and reporting automation, Gartner said, citing a survey of 400 CFOs about 16 technologies involving process automation and optimization.

Dive Insight:

Process mining, although still in an exploratory stage, can yield gains across many functions and industries, according to technology experts. In finance, it can streamline controls and help identify irregularities such as any purchases made outside an established procurement process.

In sales, process mining can spotlight inefficiencies in sales cycles and achieve an improvement in key performance indicators for such metrics as days to close. In healthcare, it can reduce wait times for patients and help providers care for patients more efficiently.

“Despite ongoing investment in RPA, CFOs are realizing they need a broader toolkit to realize their full automation objectives,” Bhandare said. “CFOs are turning to a suite of complementary efficiency technologies, such as process mining.”

A process mining algorithm analyses event logs to reconstruct a workflow, enabling CFOs to review in detail what happened during execution of a process such as procure-to-pay or closing the books.

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