Accounting is an indispensable part of organizations of all sizes, be it SMEs or large corporations. The department helps manage expenses, profit and turnover and if not done properly it could negatively impact the balance sheet and potentially lead to other severe ramifications including huge money loss. US companies pay $7billion in IRS civil penalties due to incorrect data handling and spreadsheet errors. According to another study, improper data entry is responsible for 27% of accounting mistakes.
Companies using legacy systems realize that manual errors are one of the common and biggest reasons for accounting mistakes and are actively trying to find artificial intelligence solutions. But it is important to remember that investing in AI systems simply because they ‘sound like a great solution’ will not help, but identifying processes that could benefit from automation is the key to success. Integrating AI through robotic process automation in finance and accounting departments will eliminate manual work that is repetitive and mundane in nature, allowing employees to skip the boring work and perform creative or critical higher value tasks.
What are the benefits of RPA services for accounting and finance?
360-degree visibility: In contrast to legacy systems, RPA can fluently interact with existing systems like ERP or CRM to manipulate data, set off responses, review reports and troubleshoot problems and carry out remediations in a secure manner. RPA solutions can provide a 360-degree view of all accounting processes as they unite disparate systems, helping executives to understand the logic behind financial reports and make well-informed decisions.
Saved cost and time: Many enterprises find RPA solutions to be transformative due to the immediate results they see in regard to saved costs and time. RPA solutions in accounting and finance can help save 40% in labor costs and nearly 25000 hours of work can be avoided. The saved hours can be utilized in creative brain-storming sessions or other revenue generation activities. Reducing human errors also helps companies to be compliant, saving financial repercussions while improving quality of services.
Resource optimization: RPA can help optimize your resources by handling routine and time-consuming work 10X faster than humans. They are available 24/7, reliable and perform tasks with accuracy. Using intelligent bots for the mundane work, improves employee engagement and retention as they feel valued when performing more critical thinking involved higher order tasks.
Scalability: Accounts and finance departments often find themselves handling increased workload during financial year closure or audit activities and hiring resources to manage the workload could increase costs. With RPA services for accounting industry, enterprises have the flexibility of scaling up or down. If there is an increase in workload, bot output can be scaled as needed to match the requirements.
Use cases of RPA in accounting and finance:
Report generation: Financial process automation streamlines report generation by collecting, consolidating and analyzing financial data. RPA bots gather data from various sources, execute calculations, generate statements and present reports in a standardized format. The accurate information enables everybody from CEO to executives to look at the same numbers, providing a single truth of data for effective decision making.
Expense management: Expense reporting is pivotal for structured bookkeeping and financial management, but it could be a tedious and costly affair. Statistics suggest that producing one expense report costs $27 when done manually and it only costs $5 when automated. RPA can populate data into expense reports, link receipts to corresponding entries, authenticate expense logs, flag policy violations and data discrepancies.
Invoice processing: Accounting and finance industry deals with invoice management on a daily basis. This complex and time-consuming task can be dealt efficiently with intelligent automation. According to statistics, it takes an average of 10.1 days and costs $12.44 to process an invoice manually, but with an RPA automated system it is reduced to 3.9 days and the cost comes down to $3.06 on an average.
Account reconciliation: RPA can bring the much-needed clarity to the reconciliation process by automating the comparison of financial records like bank statements and ledger entries. RPA bots can extract and reconcile data from different systems, compare customer invoices to vendor accounts, match payment details to company data and offers real-time visibility.
Payroll management: Managing employee payroll is a complex, tedious and time-consuming process that often puts pressure on the finance department. Automating it with RPA could be extremely beneficial for an organization as the process involves many sub-tasks like staff information authentication, data extraction and entry, timesheet validation, scheduling payments and calculating pay-outs. RPA provides 100% accuracy to payroll management and helps take a heavy load off the finance department.
RPA is highly appreciated in finance and accounts sector as it is ideally suited to handle vast amounts of numbers on a daily basis without errors, bringing clarity to processes. A Deloitte survey found that implementing RPA services for accounting improved compliance by 92%, productivity by 85%, accuracy by 90% and reduced costs by 59%. The transformative benefits of the technology have led not just the big players, but also small firms and start-ups to adopt RPA and achieve quicker results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top 3 benefits of using RPA in accounting?
· Eliminate manual entries and errors
· Enhanced accuracy and compliance
· Reduce costs and resource optimization
How does robotic accounting work?
Software bots, designed using RPA technology, eliminate the need for manual input in the accounting process. They are programmed to perform tasks in a rule-based manner and help in extracting, comparing and organizing data in a streamlined system for effective bookkeeping.
How to implement robotic process automation?
With wide spread adoption of RPA, it has become easy to implement intelligent automation. It can be implemented across various functions and technology systems to perform a wide range of tasks. The most important thing to consider is the correct identification of processes that can benefit from automation and the right implementation partner to avoid pitfalls.
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