Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is really shaking things up in the finance and accounting industries. It’s been completely changing the way tasks are done in these important sectors. Every day, there are millions, if not billions, of transactions, reports, and sensitive client information that financial institutions deal with. The tool to optimize those processes, simplify, and even secure them is gaining a lot of traction. And here we are speaking about RPA for finance.
This top-notch solution is proving to be a game-changer. When it first appeared, it was primarily used in industrial manufacturing. However, nowadays, RPA is being used in many different industries. It has been shown to be flexible and powerful. It can be applied in various ways and automate the processes that require a lot of resources. Later in the article, we are going to speak about its benefits and applications. Let’s find out more about RPA first, though.
Defining RPA in finance and accounting
RPA is a cutting-edge technology that belongs to the category of “smart solutions.” It involves the use of different advanced software, which is usually called software robots. Through artificial intelligence, programming, and machine learning, developers can set these robots up to conduct tasks that used to require human intervention and a lot of time. Examples of such uses are automated tax calculations, reports management, card processing, etc.
Globally, the market of RPA in finance and accounting is growing every year. It is expected to evolve up to $11 billion by 2027. It can be a huge leap considering the fact that in 2019, this number was $1.4 billion.
In the world of accounting and finance, RPA acts like a digital workforce, driving efficiency and development. It carries through handling routine, rule-based tasks and basic operations in a way that’s very similar to how a human would do it. To some it may sound scary, kind of robots taking over. But it is rather a way of co-existing with modern solutions and making a difference.
Key principles of RPA in finance and accounting
RPA isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Implementing RPA involves carefully looking at different solutions available in the market to find the best one for a specific company. RPA software can work independently of applications and underlying systems, making it relatively easy to implement. While it doesn’t require the deep technical knowledge of traditional automation, human interaction is still important for quality control and maintenance.
So, what are the main principles wrapping up?
- Diverse solutions evaluation – it is flexible and can adapt to very specific needs;
- Independent operation – easy to modify and integrate into existing workflows;
- Ease of implementation – it is adaptable to any system and is much easier to implement than other traditional automation tools;
- Limited technical knowledge requirement – it has a user-friendly interface, efficient speed, is cost-effective and accessible to various professions due to the low demand for technical expertise;
- Human interaction for quality control – human interaction is vital, and it requires regular monitoring to ensure everything works properly;
In simpler terms, think of RPA as a flexible toolkit for organizations. It lets them carefully choose and use the right tools, making the most of RPA’s transformative capabilities. It’s akin to having a reliable assistant who understands the specific requirements of finance and accounting and adjusts to the changing needs of modern businesses. It’s not a one-and-done solution; rather, it’s an ongoing adaptation, much like a dependable companion that matures and evolves alongside the organization.
Main benefits of RPA in finance and accounting
As we have already mentioned, using RPA in finance and accounting has many advantages. Let’s tackle them, and you can make a more informed decision on whether to implement this solution in your organization.
#1 Time efficiency
RPA saves finance and accounting departments a staggering 25,000 hours of work, freeing up valuable time that can be redirected toward more strategic and revenue-generating activities.
#2 Saved resources
The financial industry stands to benefit from a 40% reduction in labor costs through the implementation of RPA solutions. Rapid task execution by RPA not only saves time but also optimizes budget allocation throughout the organization.
#3 Integration with existing systems
As we have already mentioned, unlike traditional automation methods, RPA seamlessly integrates with existing corporate systems such as ERP or CRM. Operating with the same level of security and access as a human, RPA ensures uninterrupted workflow.
#4 Fewer mistakes
In the delicate and sensitive world of accounting, RPA eliminates the possibility of human errors that can accumulate and result in substantial losses for the company. Automation of manual accounting procedures becomes a shield against potential inaccuracies and fines.
As workload fluctuates, RPA showcases remarkable scalability. Instead of hiring new team members to manage increased workloads, you can just scale up the RPA solution effortlessly when needed.
#6 360-degree visibility
Integrated systems provide financial teams with a comprehensive, 360-degree view of all accounting processes happening. This improved visibility drives informed decision-making processes within the organization.
The best examples of RPA use in finance and accounting
The practical applications of RPA in finance and accounting are diverse, impacting various aspects of daily operations. We’d like to define the most common examples.
#1 Financial reporting
RPA streamlines the monitoring of financial performance through the generation of transparent and accurate reports. This includes income statements, variance analysis, balance sheets, financial close processes, and management reports. Anything that simplifies and optimizes the workflow for accountants.
#2 Invoice processing
In sectors like Fintech, where managing invoices is a daily necessity, RPA proves its benefit by automatically processing invoices. As a result, it minimizes errors and reduces the need for human intervention.
#3 Expense reporting
Automating the complicated and costly process of expense reporting using RPA results in substantial cost savings. Moreover, it guarantees enhanced accuracy and improved adherence to all company policies.
#4 Credit and debit card processing
RPA can easily conduct the validation of customer information and credit card approvals. It is a rather minor but important task that can significantly reduce processing time from weeks to hours.
#5 Financial planning and forecasting
RPA assists in accurate financial forecasting by collecting, storing, and transforming data based on historical information, facilitating seamless variance analysis. It really improves crisis management as it can easily analyze various cases to consider.
RPA services in the accounting sector automate tax calculations, compliance processes, and the submission of reports to tax authorities. This traditionally complex area can be streamlined and become transparent.
#7 Payroll management
The time-consuming process of employee payroll management benefits from RPA automation. Managers and account managers are able to ensure data accuracy in tasks such as data extraction, timesheet validation, and payment calculations, as it is all done by RPAs.
In conclusion, RPA is really changing the game in finance and accounting. As financial institutions look for ways to be more efficient, reduce costs, and avoid errors, RPA is here to help them. be one of those who streamline processes and focus on their main responsibilities.