Financial processes automation in large enterprises in Uganda: case of Soliton TELMEC (U) Limited
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Universally, several researchers have demonstrated how financial process automation is important to any organization or business due to its role in enhancing efficiency in service delivery. Several large businesses in Uganda are getting hooked on the development as they reinforce their finance operations and consequently manage costs. The researcher conducted a study to examine financial process automation in these organizations and highlight the benefits of automation. A case study was done on Soliton Telmec (U) Limited, a large company in Uganda that would give a perfect generalization of similar businesses locally and others in developing economies. A qualitative research design was used and the target population was chosen purposefully for this study which included individuals with significant knowledge and experience in financial process automation. Data was collected by means of face-to-face interviews and 20 respondents from Soliton Telmec were interviewed. Results from the study show that RPA and AI form the backbone of financial automation systems implemented using a 3-tier configuration. The results further indicate that accounts payables, account receivables, general accounting, and supply chain are the majorly automated processes. While automation is a highly capital-intensive initiative with a high initial cost, the return on investment cannot be realized in monetary terms but rather qualitative measures such as the time and cost-saving realized after automation. Data analysis indicates the importance of employees’ involvement in the initial planning process which according to respondent data, positively correlates to the successful implementation of the automated financial system. Further analysis reveals several benefits of automation such as high efficiency, accuracy, and fraud detection. Future plans indicate that the process of achieving overall automation of all company processes is underway with an internal team created to build synergy. The researcher recommended 3rd party integrations to fully utilize the system, and the development of internal policies to ensure compliance and consistency in the automation. And finally, they should provide incentives to employees' operational levels to increase their commitment towards the implementation of the automated system.