Manual data processing, especially those involving numbers, has a high probability of human error. This process is not only time-consuming but also quite expensive. A practical solution is RPA, robotic process automation in the financial sector. Financial institutions have long used RPA for financial and accounting processes. The technology is developing rapidly and can process data more efficiently than humans, saving huge money.
The figure above clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of implementing RPA in the financial sector. Unlike manual processes, automated processes run smoothly.
According to Gartner, the effectiveness of RPA in the financial sector can also be judged by the fact that around 80% of financial executives have either implemented or are planning to implement robotic process automation into their business processes.
The technology has evolved from performing simple automation tasks to handling complete automated reports, data analysis, and forecasting in conjunction with other technologies.
As well as saving on human resources costs, processing huge, repetitive data-related tasks can be used more efficiently with a focus on more meaningful results.
Examples of RPA use in finance
Let's look at some examples of RPA use in the financial industry that will undoubtedly be worth the investment.
Financial organizations are often heavily associated with cash inflows and outflows. The repeated task of creating purchase orders for different clients, forwarding them, and getting them approved is not only monotonous but also fraught with manual errors.
Order processing with RPA, integrated with artificial intelligence, will eliminate the possibility of errors and enable competent data collection to create P-shaped orders. A computerized approval matrix can be created and routed for approval without human intervention with an automated system. Simplicity, efficiency, speed, and cost savings are some of the most apparent benefits of RPA in finance for order processing.
Invoice processing is also a repetitive and tedious task, especially when invoices are received or generated in different formats.
As customer-oriented organizations, financial organizations have difficulty promptly producing correct invoices in the formats required by the customer. In addition, the approval matrix and process can lead to a lot of rework in terms of correcting formats and data. Automation can take over the tedious, repetitive task of ensuring that invoices are correct and quickly sent to the appropriate approver.
In general, accounts payable and receivable can be fully automated with RPA in the finance industry. The compilation and verification process can be virtually eliminated, as the machine can perform the tasks of matching invoices with the relevant POs.
This is a major benefit of RPA for the accounting department. RPA bots make the task fast and consistent, auditing and reconciling data at each step and in each process with minimal human intervention, incorporating the core elements of these tasks. Human intervention is only necessary when the data reflects discrepancies.
Travel and expenditure
Preparing travel requests, checking expense categories, required approvals, necessary supporting documents, etc., is time-consuming for accounting staff, which can delay their processing.
Ensuring that expense records are in line with company policies and creating expense reports becomes easier with the implementation of RPA in corporate finance. Expense reimbursement can be managed in a timely manner by automating the process. Policy violations and data discrepancies can be brought to the attention of relevant individuals/departments through automated alerts.
Collecting data for tax calculations, creating the tax base, preparing reports, etc., if they are automated and performed by RPA bots, reduces the number of repetitive tasks and inaccuracies when performing these tasks manually. Figures and numbers must be accurate to the decimal point to eliminate inconsistencies when reconciling and processing data.
Although most businesses carry out their process using tax processing software, there is still significant manual work. Much of this manual work can be done using RPA bots to reduce time and cost while ensuring greater accuracy and compliance parameters.
Budget planning and forecasting
Accurate data collection using RPA bots from various reports and systems will help create variance reports, providing multiple angles for viewing and analyzing the data. Based on historical data and current information, you can compare and identify trends, which are proven successful ways of forecasting and planning your business.
Daily tracking of business transactions, profits, and losses helps you plan ahead and alert you to problems in time. Being proactive in managing and resolving these problems will keep you from losing money. Changes can be implemented to correct and improve existing business practices and processes.
Banks and financial institutions need to generate extensive reports reflecting performance, statistics, and trends, which include huge amounts of data. Manually collected data will be tedious and unreliable. However, robotic automation of finance and accounting processes makes it easier to collect data from a variety of sources and data presented in different formats. Comparing, reporting, and analyzing this data leads to better forecasting and planning.
To overcome workflow bottlenecks and potential human errors, start using AI and ML-based robotic process automation in finance and accounting. This will also help eliminate inefficiencies that lead to poor customer service. Repetitive and monotonous tasks prevent employees from working to their full potential. With robotic process automation, businesses can regularly analyze customer behavior with data and reports generated by RPA bots to ensure sustainable growth.