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The next big game-changer for working capital management will undoubtedly be smart automation—deployment of emerging robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent data capture, and cognitive automation technologies to optimize execution of transactional, knowledge-based, and decision work.

RPA, in particular, has great potential for automating and streamlining repetitive processes that impact working capital—for example, significantly reducing the time it takes to create an accurate invoice. Currently, just over 20 percent of finance functions have adopted RPA on a limited or mainstream basis. This number is predicted to rise to nearly 80 percent within the next two to three years.

Many companies are combining these capabilities with other transaction-processing automation initiatives, such as self-service portals and automated approval processes, to both strengthen ties with business partners and deliver continuous performance improvement. Realizing these benefits requires careful planning and consideration for how automation best supports the overall process.


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