7 ways automation can help power the back office

See how automation can yield unimaginable benefits for today’s business. 


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Embrace automation

Intelligent automation will power the back office for the future’s most successful companies. It will also redesign work models. Research states that automation may reduce work by up to 30% in some functions.* CEOs expect a shift in the workplace and predict artificial intelligence (AI) will create more jobs than it destroys.

We believe companies that effectively use intelligent automation to support business functions will likely be smarter and more efficient in at least these seven ways:  


1. Employees will have time for higher value work

Potential benefits: Robotic process automation (RPA) generally reduces costs and transaction-based processes across finance, HR, IT, and procurement. Employees have more time for higher value work through process automation that can integrate with cloud ERP platforms.

Tip:  Those exploring a cloud ERP solution should consider a platform provider or implementation partner with a library of RPA bots that integrate with the cloud ERP. RPA can help automate migration tasks when moving to the cloud.

2. Interactions can be more personalized with virtual assistants

Potential benefits: With personalized interactions, customers can inquire about the status of an order or their account without contacting a human agent. When employees have accurate information at hand, they can work smarter and they no longer have to manually dig through data. Employees can find their current PTO balance, finance teams can see up-to-the minute earnings, HR professionals can look at the real-time employee benefits costs, and procurement can track orders in an instant.

Tip: Consider employing an automated assistant to provide immediate, personalized answers for employees, customers, partners, and any third party, thereby improving their experiences.

3. Document management will be faster, more thorough

Potential benefits: Cognitive document management avoids labor intensive document and contract reviews to help improve customer touchpoints, help reduce costs, and drive efficiencies. Mergers & Acquisitions executives can quickly assess contract opportunities during due diligence.

Tip: Consider automating document and contract management for agreements like leasing, commercial credit, securities prospectuses, and service contracts.

4. Forecasting will be intelligent

Potential benefits: Forecasting tools can help enable more informed business decisions. These sophisticated, automated tools employ advanced predictive techniques, customization, continuous learning, and evolution. Automation can help reduce risk by improving gross margin and volume forecast accuracy, and by increasing transparency.

Tip: Let go of standard financial reporting where financial analysts delve through multiple spreadsheets and external market reports to acquire information, and consider letting automation make forecasting intelligent.

5. Less fraud and waste

Potential benefits: Real-time fraud and anomaly tracking can help stop crimes before they happen.

Tip: Consider using automated forensic data monitoring tools to identify patterns indicative of fraud, network anomalies, misconduct, waste, or abuse.

6. Customer and employee retention can be predictable

Potential benefits: AI can reveal circumstantial, situational, and behavioral traits that forecast employee actions so management can proactively respond. The same applies to forecasting customer behavior to help retain loyal patrons. This improves visibility, eliminates surprise departures, and leaves supply and demand talent sourcing behind.

Tip: Consider applying advanced analytics to predict customer and employee attrition. Then design tailored customer and employee experiences based on the improved visibility.

7. Transactions can be more efficient, transparent, secure, and faster with blockchain

Potential benefits: Blockchain can help enable the above automation examples by capturing data across the distributed work flows and/or multiple entities. As a shared and unalterable record, data captured on a blockchain is more reliable and trusted. Because of this, blockchain can help remove manual steps such as data verification and reconciliation that are often associated with the invoice matching process. This ultimately leads to increased process efficiencies.

Tip: Consider creating digital encrypted ledgers with transaction validation, enhanced data integrity, and transparency through blockchain.


Interested in how automation can help power your business? Learn how KPMG can help 


*Morgan Stanley, “Rise of the Machines: Automating the Future,” (2017).


Securing information

Boosting cyber security has helped lower risks associated with automation and cloud solutions, allowing services to grow and integrate across all areas of the business. When companies have the right security model as well as intelligent automation and machine learning security in place, their leaders can feel confident knowing they are securing sensitive data, maintaining customer trust, and keeping the organization’s reputation intact.




The cloud, a modern anchor for automation

As disruptors revolutionize operating models, the cloud propels organizations to new heights by providing solutions to real-world challenges. An ERP modernization to the cloud can help companies get more value from data, access to leading technology solutions, improve change management, and drive sustainable, future success. Organizations that fully embrace the cloud can accelerate their path to leading practices and processes by integrating intelligent automation, including robotic process automation and cognitive automation.


Learn more about how KPMG Powered Enterprise can help advance automation


One way to speed up automation efforts is with KPMG Powered Enterprise. Powered means we help accelerate business transformation and enhance operating models. It also can mean powerful potential benefits. Our Powered suite has built-in tools designed to activate automation. This helps clients use cloud technologies to reduce the time and risk associated with back-office transformations. We work with clients around the world using cloud ERP to transform their businesses with solutions from Salesforce, Oracle, Workday, SAP, ServiceNow, and Coupa.

KPMG’s Powered Enterprise Intelligent Automation Library includes more than 60 RPA scripts to automate high-volume, manual tasks. We use these to help clients quickly add capabilities such as virtual service delivery, extreme process automation, technology agility, strategist skill set, dynamic insights, and digital governance.

The KPMG Powered approach helps accelerate business transformation. At the same time, migrating to cloud ERP and automation in the back office is faster and more efficient:

  • Powered operating model shapes how transformation impacts every layer of an organization
  • Powered execution suite is an integrated platform of next-generation tools to help organizations transform
  • Powered managed services provide support across the life of the program

 Together we can shape the future back-office.

With KPMG Powered Enterprise, your future looks powerful.

Learn how KPMG can help


“The firm has integrated intelligent automation into its Powered Enterprise solution, which clients cite for its standout ability to rapidly improve support function operational efficiency and agility while simultaneously driving innovation throughout their organization.”
– ALM Vanguard – Corporate Services Consulting, 2018

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Contact us to learn more about how automation can change your business 

Brad Daffy

Brad Daffy

Director, I.A., Management Consulting, KPMG US

Todd Lohr

Todd Lohr

Principal, Digital Lighthouse Leader, KPMG US