I saw this interesting post today on Yahoo - Majority of Finance Organizations Need to Improve Operational Efficiency But Don't Know How Technology Can Help Achieve Change, Accenture Survey Finds. It is clear even from the summary in the press release that finance organizations, like most others, need to get to Straight Through Processing (STP). Of course like most organizations aiming to move to STP they struggle with how to eliminate manual review steps or, put another way, with how to automate key decisions within the process. Although workflow, OCR and the other technologies identified in the report are key, these will not eliminate manual decision-making. They might reduce or eliminate manual reviews for incomplete or poor quality data and should be able to eliminate manual re-keying etc. To eliminate manual compliance checks and manual decision-making about business issues, they will also need to use business rules technology. This would allow the finance department to specify the rules to enforce for compliance and the rules for making choices in a business sense. Business rules technology would let the business own these rules, verify these rules and be able to demonstrate which rules ran for which transaction. Without a business rules engine in these processes, STP will remain a goal not become a reality.