Robotic Process Automation in Finance And Accounting: 10 Use Cases 9 Feb 2021
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA is a software that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) and has Machine Learning capabilities to manage repetitive, high-volume tasks. It replaces humans, meaning the repeatable tasks that are performed manually can be done with the utmost precision and accuracy via RPA. It stimulates the human’s way of executing the tasks by interpreting and recording existing applications, activating interactions between systems, manipulating data, etc.
Robots are instilled with technology that gives them the potential to learn from history – data patterns and decisions. The prior pattern helps them to come up with their own decisions. Nevertheless, it requires human supervision to select the methods that will lead to achieving the goals.
RPA has given a new dimension to financial services by taking automation to the next level. It helps with operational accounting, general accounting procedures, and automates all the mundane tasks eliminating the need for a human to sit in front of the computer screens. Besides, it also helps with financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and other revenue involved tasks.
RPA can naturally find its way in a shared service environment and serves as a revolutionary replacement for the human workforce.
Real-time use cases for RPA in finance and accounting
1 – RPA in Accounts Receivables
Accounts Receivables (AR) are directly related to cash flow in an organization. It is a vital segment that decides the fate of the financial stances of the company. Leaving it unattended will create a huge cash gap and impact the daily operations. It is the credit debt owed by customers for their purchases.
RPA in Accounts Receivables can wipe out man-made errors and negligence. Besides, it helps to keep DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) at bay. RPA in AR will automatically email the invoice to the clients, which will take care of early payment clearances. It helps us to be less reliant on the documents.
RPA in AR sectors involve:
- Invoice distribution
- Sales quotation generation
- Monitoring customer credits
2 – RPA in Accounts Payable
Handling Accounts Payable (AP) manually is an intense task in the accounts department. It deals with unorganized vendor invoices that have to be checked with the company’s purchase order history before releasing the payment.
By allowing RPA bots to take over the AP, the invoices will automatically validate against the POs and will go to the inbox of the approver. With RPA, it will become a straightforward process to clear the payments and solve any issues that arise with it.
RPA in AP sectors involve:
- Vendor invoices handling
- Validating vendor’s invoices with the PO
- Processing the payment
- Answering vendor’s inquiries
3 – RPA in Onboarding Clients
Allowing RPA to gather your client’s information will help you make an informed decision about doing business with that client. The bots will scour the complete information about the client and send a report to the compliance manager. It eases your KYC process during the onboarding of your clients.
4 – RPA in Reconciliations
Accounting is, by default, a strenuous process, and not to forget, during the financial closure every month and annually, the stress goes beyond imagination. The whole accounts department will be on a hamster wheel juggling between financial papers and accounts. And this mayhem is certain to leave a few things unnoticed until someone brings it up.
Overtime work, continuous stress, data extraction, multiple data entry, lots of attention, lots of clarifications, and the list goes on during the financial closure times.
With RPA, all this mayhem can be controlled and the teams can operate in a very efficient manner. The finance team will have to match the data against the accounts and key in the steps to be performed. The robots will take care of the rest, which will otherwise be the responsibility of the team. The software will detect the discrepancies making it clear for the team to ask the right questions and not spoil the relationship with the clients or banks.
5 – RPA in Travel and Expense Processing
A business entails business trips and official meetings to different places. The trips incur expenses during the trip. And the return of the people will bring a trail of invoices and receipts. It is only fair that the accounts team records every business expense in the expense report and helps travellers with their money. But it is not a cakewalk.
When these invoices and receipts are processed manually, it is often discovered that some of them don’t qualify as a business expense. And this would directly collide with the compliance and create a negative atmosphere.
With RPA software, robots can pull data from the submitted forms and validate it against the company policy and norms so both the accounting team and the employee can be sure of not misusing the policies.
6 – RPA in Investment Management
RPA platform can be your personal investment manager and a financial advisor. Bots can be fed with an algorithm to monitor and track the past and real life-time investment value. They possess the ability to evaluate the portfolio and handle the risk. With the necessary information and the real-time changes in the market, you will be able to make an informed decision about your investment.
7 – RPA in Financial Strategy and Predicting
Financial planning requires you to look well into the future and have targets to be set. You can feed the bots to understand the past data and prepare financial reports and statements from the analysis. These reports can then be used to create an organizational plan of action, financial prediction, and variance reports.
8 – RPA in Operational Accounting and Finance
The company’s bank account balances must be uploaded to the treasury systems. It is very time-consuming. RPA software can help with interpreting the data into a format that treasury systems can process. And when required, the RPA bots will directly send the reports to the staff in charge of auditing.
9 – RPA in Financial Report Preparation
In order to keep track of the company’s financial performance, profits and loss must be monitored on a daily basis. However, manually monitoring and keeping track of daily profits and loss is time-consuming, laborious, and prone to errors. RPA can replace this process by recording the daily profits and loss of its software and give a report whenever required by the financial personnel. Besides, there will be zero inaccuracies.
10 – RPA in Reporting Tax
Taxing is a complicated task, and when it involves manual efforts to combine data from different systems and individuals, the whole process will lead to chaos and unnecessary arguments. Instead, RPA bots can gather the data from all the systems into a single software, so the data gathering, report preparation, tax calculation, tax details, etc. can be handled by a single person more clearly.
Accounting Software has been on the rise and has gained the trust of the financial workplaces, and have made financing and accounting a considerably seamless task.
The use cases substantiate why financial organizations are leaning towards the RPA software. The accountants feel less strenuous and are motivated to spend more time on challenging tasks rather than repetitive, chaotic tasks. As a whole, the company can see an upsurge and also provide great customer satisfaction.