Manual data processing, especially that involving numbers, has a higher scope of human error. The process is not just time-consuming but is quite expensive as well. The effective solution to the problem is RPA, robotic process automation in finance. Financial institutions have been using RPA for finance and accounting processes for quite some time now. The technology is evolving quickly and can handle data more efficiently than humans while saving huge costs.
The figure mentioned above clearly shows the effectiveness of implementing RPA in the financial sector. As against manual processes, the automated processes run smoothly.
The effectiveness of RPA in finance can also be gauged by the fact that about 80% of the finance leaders have either implemented or are planning to implement robotic process automation in their business processes, as per Gartner.
Hyper automation will not be the wrong word to describe RPA in finance and accounting as it can perform up to 30 times more work than a human. The technology has evolved from performing simple individual tasks of automation to processing full-fledged automated reports, data analysis, and forecasting while interacting with other technologies.
Along with saving costs on human resources, by handling huge, recurring data-related tasks, the same can be utilized in a better way with a focus on more meaningful outputs.
RPA Use Cases in Finance
Let us explore some of the RPA use cases in finance that surely will be worth the investment you will make.
Fintech organizations are often heavily involved in cash inflows and outflows. The repeated task of creating purchase orders for different clients and forwarding them, getting the approval is not just monotonous but is prone to mistakes if done manually.
Processing the same through RPA integrated with AI will not only eliminate the possibility of errors but will smartly capture the data to create P’s. With the automated system in place, an automated approval matrix can be created and forwarded for approvals without human intervention. Simple, effective, quick, and cost-saving are some of the most obvious benefits of RPA in finance for PO processing.
The invoice processing tool is a repetitive and tedious task, especially if the invoices are received or generated in varied formats.
As a customer-centric organization, financial organizations struggle to raise correct invoices in the client-required formats on a timely basis. On top of that, the approval matrix and process may lead to a lot of reworks in terms of correcting the formats and data. Automation can take up the tedious repetitive task while ensuring the correctness and forwarding the invoices to the aligned approving authority in no time.
Overall accounts payables and accounts receivables can be wholly automated with an RPA in the finance industry. The maker and checker process can be almost eliminated as the machine can perform the tasks of matching the invoices with the relevant POs.
This is a critical business process that might take up a significant number of business hours for the accountant or team of accountants to ensure the balance comparisons are accurate. Back and forth references and logins required into different systems require the eye of a hawk to ensure no errors were made and the numbers are compared accurately.
To understand it better, an organization with different functions and sub-companies follows different structures and processes in maintaining its accounts. Bringing all of them into a common format of processing might not be possible based on the business requirements and client needs. However, the central team faces challenges in reconciling the accounts of all the departments/sub-companies. The process is tedious, error-prone, and repetitive. Implementing RPA can bring relief to the central team.
This is the primary benefit of RPA for accounting. RPA bots make the task quick and consistent by auditing and reconciling the data at every step and process with the minimal human intervention of incorporating the basic elements of these tasks. Human intervention is only needed when the data reflects misalignments.
Collating data for tax calculations, creating tax basis, preparing reports, etc., when automated and performed with the help of RPA bots reduces repeated task redundancies and inaccuracies that might happen while performing the same manually. Digits and figures are required to be accurate to the decimal places to eliminate mismatches in the reconciliation and data processing.
Although most businesses run their process through tax processing software, there is still a significant amount of manual work involved. Most of this manual work can be done using RPA bots to reduce time and costs while ensuring better accuracy and adherence to compliance parameters.
Budget Planning & Forecasting
Fetching details with the help of RPA bots from various reports and systems with accuracy will help in creating the variance reports providing various angles to view and analyze data. Based on historical data and current information, comparison and trends can be drawn upon that are the proven successful ways to forecast and plan your business.
Keeping a track of business transactions and profit and loss daily help you plan ahead of time and warns you of the issues on time. Being proactive in managing and handling these issues saves you from losses. The changes can be implemented to correct and improvise the existing methods and processes of business.
Banks and financial institutions are required to generate extensive reports that reflect performance, statistics, and trends that involve huge data. The data extracted manually will be tedious and unreliable. However, robotic process automation in finance and accounting facilitates gathering data from different sources and data present in different formats. Collating, reporting, and analyzing this data leads to better forecasting and planning.
Payroll processing is one of the most important processes for any business. Timely and accurate processing leads to building a happier workforce that, in turn, leads to the building of a satisfied customer base and a successful business.
With financial institutions having their presence in multiple locations across the globe, capturing the productivity, attendance, and tax regime as per the geographical location becomes tedious. Collecting such data and performing calculations is prone to errors that might lead to dissatisfied employees. RPA provides you with a breath of fresh air by automating the whole process. Timely and correct calculations lead to happier employees.
Performing the tedious tasks of timesheet validations, deductions calculations, tax calculations, overtime payouts, etc. can be managed by RPA bots with zero errors and delays.