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Document automation strategies for Asia Pacific financial services in 2024
Wed, 17th Jan 2024

The Asia Pacific banking and financial services landscape has rapidly changed due to the pandemic, inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain disruption. Financial institutions had to adapt to remain competitive and meet evolving customer expectations, especially amid increasing employee disengagement.

To overcome these challenges, firms are embracing banking automation software, especially in the realm of document creation, to streamline internal processes, enhance productivity, and retain employees.

In 2024, the size and scope of global banking will tilt to Asia1, and financial hubs, including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Shanghai, and Singapore, will compete to boost productivity to keep pace with rising nominal wages.

As the competition heats up, it will be increasingly important to prioritize areas of automation that are easy to implement but can enhance agility, boost productivity, and minimize errors. This can free up time for the finance teams to concentrate on higher value-added tasks such as data analysis and risk assessment, ultimately leading to better staff retention.

A study by UpSlide uncovered a striking reality: financial professionals invest excessive time in low-value tasks, notably on Microsoft 365 document creation and reporting. A staggering 86% of respondents felt these tasks directly impacted their engagement and satisfaction. A study by LemonEdge2 further emphasized this, with 23% of respondents expressing a clear need for faster and more efficient technology to eliminate manual processes. 

Finance professionals have relied on UpSlide’s document creation and automation software to save time and improve workplace satisfaction. Some of these operation-efficient strategies include: 

Automated document creation:

The provision of automated, branded templates within Microsoft 365 applications eliminates any ambiguity on the latest corporate-compliant templates and reduces the time spent on adjustments with one-click formatting.

Streamlined document reporting:

Financial workbooks are peppered with complex formulas and charts, which can take hours to build and fix. With easy access to intuitive modelling tools and shortcuts, UpSlide cuts creation time in half to deliver better quality, error-free financial reports.

Efficient content management:

Content sourcing and re-creation can be time-consuming and result in unwanted disputes due to non-compliance. The provision of a centralized library within Microsoft 365 allows managed access to corporate content with instant notifications on changes to approved content.

Data consistency across documents:

Excel data shared across different document formats are prone to human and versioning errors. With seamless integration between formats, thousands of Excel data points can be exported and updated with unbreakable links.

Reduced proofing time:

Proofing and ensuring the document is error-free is time-consuming and prone to human errors. With automated proofing capabilities, users can fix documents in seconds and identify errors that might escape the naked eye.

Retaining employees will remain a challenge in 2024. Companies must establish effective processes and nurture their workforce to stay operationally resilient and flexible in the face of ongoing challenges. This evolution will advance with AI, which can go a long way in keeping costs down and staff motivated, but they should be applied to the proper use case scenarios relevant to the financial services industry to make it truly effective.

UpSlide’s technology has been solving challenges for financial services clients, including KPMG, UniCredit, and BNP Paribas, for over 12 years, and using AI will be no different as the company has started to incorporate AI-powered features that address critical challenges in productivity branding and collaboration within Microsoft 365.

Ultimately, technology should provide the automation and flexibility to reduce stress, maximizing the staff’s potential and leading to higher staff retention.


References:
1. 2024 banking and capital markets outlook. Deloitte Center for Financial Services.
2. LemonEdge finds burnout is causing 31% of financial services employees to leave the industry. The Fintech Times.