RPA Scales Business Process for Finance and Accounting Teams

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Have you dreamt of software that can replicate the manual processes your team has to perform?  What if you could automate standard processes and keystrokes to enable employees to perform more value-added work such as variance and root cause analysis? Could you build a business case to implement Robotics Process Automation (RPA) software to help achieve your dreams?

The reality for organizations is that continuing with outdated processes of entering and reviewing numbers manually is not just time-consuming and prone to error, it affects the bottom line on a deep level. The advantages of integrating RPA are abundant 72% of organizations will be working with RPA within two years. Contrary to popular belief, RPA can easily sit alongside existing infrastructure (often controlled by IT and government) and because of this, a large integration is often not necessary. Organizations can take their time integrating what they feel is most useful to their organization’s needs. In addition, with RPA being utilized, accounting teams are shifting to a more advisory role. Increasingly, accountants have become business partners, not just number crunchers. Where software is limited, accountants can leverage their financial knowledge, understand a client’s business goals as well as build data predictions to help add value on a larger scale.

Whether you are looking to start your RPA systems, fill the gaps or stabilize them, finding the right strategy is essential. We outline three key benefits to integrating and building RPA into your organization’s manual processes:

Filling the Gaps

In a lot of instances, integrating a fully fleshed-out RPA system across teams simply isn’t needed for organizations. Certain automation offers more value than others. For example, managing contract renewals is also a time-consuming activity for companies. RPA tools can be used to automate the process of communication between a renewal representative and the customer with an expiring contract. They can be used to send email reminders featuring important information and handle straightforward renewals. In addition, as many organizational leaders know, chasing down invoices can be incredibly exhausting and generate enormous amounts of paperwork that’s juggled at once. RPA tools can be implemented to check invoice statuses and notify teams if certain documentation is missing or in error. For organizational leaders, this is a game-changer by rectifying payment delays and in turn improving cash flow.

A Cost-Saving Machine

RPA utilized at its best is that which mimics the basic actions a human user would ordinarily do but on a much higher scale. The processes that reap the most cost-saving benefits are those that are highly repetitive, rule-based, and use structured data. It’s all in the numbers – RPA vendors estimate 25–60% cost savings due to RPA roll-out. So how do you identify what automation will reap the most benefits? Start with the areas that are the most labor-intensive or involve repetitive, rule-driven work. One of the best use cases for many mid-market organizations is automating account receivables, largely because it impacts cash flow on such a deep level. In addition, mismanaging this essential accounting task can result in undesirable cash gaps – and for an organization’s leader, this can be a headache. A simple use case that can make a big impact is automatically sending invoices to clients through one system. The earlier the customer receives the invoice, the earlier he will pay, which will remove a delay in payment. Got the invoices down? Now it might be time to move on to automated customer credit monitoring, follow-ups, and sales quotation generation.

Analyzing Data for Growth

Implementing RPA software means that not only strategic facing roles, like analysts, can get in on helping influence business outcomes — accountants can now get in on the action! This allows accounting teams to become data miners, freeing up valuable time that once was dedicated to manual processes, and allowing them to take a deeper look at numbers to understand the data and adjust.

These new focuses range from profit predictions to business losses, claims, fraud, and others. They can also easily identify trends based on both historic and recent data to make recommendations for management based on these insights.

For example, let’s say the organization is keeping track of a client for an insurance organization. Those accountants can keep a close look at any variances in premiums year after year. If premiums went up by a larger amount than was expected, then the accounting team can flag this, and start identifying why. Is it because of rate increases, or are there other factors at hand? Is it because they are losing customers, or are they not getting the right valuations on insured properties? All of these factors, and questions, benefit the bottom line.

Making it Work for Your Organization

Ready to start or take your RPA to the next level? You’re going to need the right talent to not just implement, but identify what automated tasks give you the highest value, cost savings, and free up valued time; thus allowing for a strategy to flow in other areas.  Whether that’s data forecasts, year-over-year variances, fraud activity, or general insights that could help the organization grow.

Incorporating RPA into your organization isn’t just an automation game-changer, it’s moving the needle forward. We can provide the talent you need to streamline your accounting processes and refocus your team on value-added activities. Reach out today.