Process financial data much faster than people!
Digitize your F&A operations faster than you can imagine, and even help avoid human errors, with robotic process automation.
Martin N. Gregersen
16 February, 2021
Automation is rapidly changing the operations scenario in every industry after its massive success in the manufacturing sector. Robotic process automation has long surpassed the barriers of challenging perspectives and rigid mindsets that hesitate from adapting to the fruitful amalgamation of the technology with their workflow.
Keeping up with the pace of the fast-changing world, tasks like sales prospecting and digital marketing have been successfully integrated with automation software. Similarly, the finance and accounting industry has been thoroughly revolutionized through robotic process automation.
Robotic process automation
The popularity of robotic process automation in the field of accounting, in principle, is the use of software and applications that decrease the amount of human labor and intervention in the processes related to the finance department. The emergence of this term and the technology was first observed in the early 2000s and was used to refer to any method system or tool that automates manual processes. Initially, considered as the human replacement, business process automation is now correctly visualized as the mere bionic arm that facilitates the productivity and efficiency of the staff. These software are designed to mimic the activity of a human being carrying out the tasks that are repetitive, dreary, and uninteresting in an accurate, quick, and tireless manner. Such aids open the calendar for employees to focus on processes and operations that require human strengths such as reasoning, judgment, emotional intelligence, and interaction with the clients.
Due to increased traction in a variety of finance and accounting firms, business process automation is becoming a staple in most organizations. Successful strategic implementation of robotic process automation leads to streamlining operations and acts as a major advantage for organizations undertaking digital transformation. RPA implementation is challenging and one should use all the help they can get to choose the appropriate tools.
Appropriate implementation involves thorough research. It is essential to keep the staffers aware of the robotic process automation and educate them as the technology can lead to angst if not curated clearly. Implementation is vital because there is also a necessity to check that the automation processes cannot be manipulated easily. Handling the concerns and fear that surround the business process automation as for every worker associated with the process comes across either the chance to move on from email tasks, uplifting the engagement and job satisfaction, or feel threatened with the enormity of the task of learning new skill sets to work alongside the software or the tool. Proper planning and consideration from the management can aid in adequate acknowledgment of the changes that automation will bring along.
The value of robotic process automation is immense in the finance and accounting industry. It offers major business advantages that have occurred as a result of the power of software and automation.
Automated import and centralization of the transaction sources data from multiple platforms. It ensures to impart intelligent automation rules for creating a structured and consistent approach to managing as well as successfully handling the most onerous accounting tasks. One can apply pre-posting validation to journals and automatically match the transactions across the various business applications; certain error-prone, manual processes are effectively eliminated which improves the speed, and accuracy of the accounting workflows.
Greater return on investment
One of the great benefits of robotic process automation is that it significantly reduces costs. Apart from the enhancement of the return on investment in the first year itself, there are various long term advancements in terms of the company’s growth. Highly regulated industries like insurance and banking are now comprehending that automation is a cheap and fast way of applying superior capability to the problem of compliance.
Significant insights and analytics
Any business, let alone one involving finance and accounting, leaps further when important decisions are made by learning from previous insights. Business process automation holds the capability to organize, analyze, track reports, monitor as well as store valuable data in the database. This information proves helpful for improvement of current operations and for rectification of any errors in the current workflow.
The implementation of robotic process automation can pose challenges with no guarantee of success like other technological initiatives. It is important for the organization to address such potential pitfalls and consider appropriate actions for prevention.
Lack of training and hesitation
The most crucial factor is that management has to be ready to adapt to the change and overcome the hesitation quickly. The uncertainty can be eliminated during the evaluation period of the software. The organizations have to spare enough time for training the employees as well. An educated or trained staff will be able to integrate the automation in a much more fruitful way. Spending time upfront by providing a brief about the tool and robotic process automation before diving straight into any specific project can be effective to create awareness and efficiency and build in-house expertise.
Striking the right balance
Robotic process automation cannot be the cure to fixing every broken operation or process. One has to start small but smart in terms of choosing the processes that need to be automated. Make sure that the momentum is set in the appropriate manner in the first few use cases for associating the technology with successful outcomes.
Include IT support, security input, and app developers
Some businesses perform the grave error of excluding information security manners from providing their valuable inputs. The deployment of these tools can become exponentially more easier and beneficial with the involvement of a qualified IT team. The inclusion of all the teams helps an organisation understand the impact of business process automation and the parameters of using the software in different environments.
The trends in different industries indicate a quick rise in the incorporation and implementation of robotic process automation. Test the modifications before implementation, adapt to the new challenges, and observe the thorough benefits that accompany the robotic process automation for the upward progress of the company.
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Q. Will automation replace accounting and financial professionals?
Not really, but in fact, automation will offer a huge opportunity for accounting and finance professionals to upskill themselves and meet the requirements.
Q. How can I use robotic process automation in invoicing?
In customer onboarding and invoicing, with RPA, you can process customer forms, master data, aggregates invoice data and trigger PO/invoice on sales order and goods receipt.