When we come across the word automation, we think of robots in sectors such as manufacturing and retail. Images of robots in factories like Tesla’s Gigafactory and customer service robots like promo Bot in Russia come to our minds. But automation need not be limited to just one industry or sector. Digital technologies have developed tremendously in the last decade and have made inroads into many industries and sectors. The instances mentioned above and many other automation instances in factories also use advanced digital technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, the finance industry is not left too behind to leverage automation to stay ahead in the competition. One such digital automation technology that can reshape the finance industry is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This blog explores how RPA is reshaping the finance industry.


What is RPA? – A Brief Primer

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software. Just like people, software robots can do things like understand what’s on a screen, complete the right keystrokes, navigate systems, identify and extract data, and perform a wide range of defined actions. RPA software generally has AI and ML capabilities to perform mundane, high-volume, rule-based repetitive tasks which were previously performed by humans.
Often, many tasks in finance and accounting are done manually. This due to the lack of appropriate technologies or a fear that mistakes might prove costly especially given the intense and high-risk nature of this industry. However, the financial industry is turning to digitization due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies have now become aware of the right rule-based processes to automate. Often RPA is contrasted with traditional automation. One way to think about the difference between both is liken them to the cruise control mode in an automobile and self-driving mode car.

Where can RPA be used in Finance?

Purchase Order Processing
A large amount of time is spent processing purchase orders and routing them for approval to acquire critical goods and services. A software robot can be configured with intelligent data capture tools to scan POs, and set up approval requests by feeding them into the appropriate system.

Invoice Processing
Invoices may arrive in different formats thus presenting a consistent challenge for the back-office staff. Similar to the software bot used in PO processing, a different software bot can be configured to handle the processing of invoices. In case the data varies too much from what is expected or the bot grades its confidence on the lower end of the scale, such invoices can be flagged for a manual review.

Basic Accounts Reconciliation
A clerk can lose much valuable time logging back and forth between different systems while comparing the balances of critical accounts. Also, this activity is prone to errors. RPA bots can easily handle many of the basic elements of such basic tasks while being accurate to support future audits.

Improved Financial Reporting
Accurate and detailed reporting is the cornerstone of any enterprise as it provides the decision makers with vital, accurate information. With robots handling more of the mundane finance tasks in the office, employees can devote additional time to producing the deep data insights necessary for making smart choices.

Revenue Audits
Ensuring you have a clear view of cash flow and your numbers are accurate are essential steps for keeping the business on track each day. Robots can handle many of the comparative tasks required within general revenue audits, taking the legwork out of the process while keeping you in control of producing detailed reports.

Benefits of using RPA

RPA helps banks and financial firms to enhance overall customer experience by reducing manual efforts, offering better compliance and mitigating risks. Moreover, there is no additional infrastructure cost involved in adopting this low-code technology.

benefits of RPA


RPA allows companies to manage high volumes during peak business hours by adding more robots and responding to any situation in record time. Additionally, it also allows them to focus on crafting strategies to grow their business by freeing employees from mundane tasks.

Scalability in rpa

Improved Operational Efficiency

Leveraging RPA for repetitive tasks can help banks and financial institutes to make their processes much faster, productive and efficient.

Operational efficiency in RPA

Risk and Compliance Reporting

Organizations can generate full audit trails for every process, allowing them to reduce business risk as well as maintain high process compliance.


Faster Implementation

RPA bots work 24/7 to reduce manual errors and achieve high accuracy at a very low cost. Also, it is very easy to implement and maintain the automation workflows because of the low-coding requirements.

RPA bots

Growth in business

RPA can handle both legacy and new data to bridge the gap between different processes. This allows the creation of faster and better reports for growth in business.

Future Outlook

RPA is increasingly being adopted by finance departments of various enterprises. A greater proportion of decision makers are realizing the importance of RPA and are actively incorporating it into their processes. A proper way to look at the RPA bots would be to consider them as virtual assistants who will take care of routine and repetitive activities, thus freeing up personnel to focus on value-adding decision making.




Latest posts by Kalyan Sundarmurthy (see all)