Finance and Accounting

The strategic role of RPA in finance

Finance functions are long overdue in transforming from mundane number crunching to having a say in high-value, forward-looking business thinking. Here’s looking at the unexpected ally finance has to help achieve this goal — robotic process automation (RPA).

Finance might not be the first application that comes to your mind when you think about RPA. But, according to Gartner, more than 80% of finance executives have implemented or plan to implement RPA.

Why do finance functions need RPA?

RPA in finance helps gain the most precious commodity of all — time.

Finance departments are stretched thin for both time and resources, and everyone from the C-suite to sales requires structured financial data and astute analysis that can help make timely business decisions.

Besides, a highly saturated BFS sector is striving to stay relevant and competitive in an evolving finance automation market. Using advanced RPA software to automate manual tasks and mitigate errors allows companies to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, improve accuracy, and meet compliance mandates.

Benefits and applications of RPA in finance

Here’s a quick look at some key benefits of RPA implementation in finance and accounting.

  • Digitise and automate tasks:

    Smart bots can perform accurate financial data entry and re-entry tasks, thus automating redundant jobs.
  • Avoid errors in processes:

    Automation is the right fit for rule-based processes that populate insurance and mortgage enterprises. RPA bots can do all the searching and comparing, minus the costly mistakes.
  • Automate documentation and standardisation:

    RPA streamlines the finance and accounting space by enabling the standardisation of official documentation and maintenance of critical data and customer records.
  • Achieve better efficiency and returns:

    The influx of automation in the finance space leads to process transformation. And, efficient processes and business functions translate into gains.

In a survey, 92% of respondents say RPA met or exceeded their expectations in compliance improvements. They also indicated satisfaction with improved quality or accuracy (90%), better productivity (86%), and reduced costs (59%).

How does RPA work in finance?

RPA uses software robots to execute business processes using the same interfaces people use. It needs standardised financial processes, digital forms and workflows, and the right software integrations to ensure communication.

With RPA, enterprises can automate finance tasks like accounts reconciliation and financial statements with minimal human intervention.

RPA use cases in finance and accounting

Here are examples and applications of RPA in finance.

  • Procure to pay:

    RPA modernises the vendor invoice collection and allocation tasks by functioning on a predefined set of rules.
  • Order to cash:

    Smart automation can facilitate exhaustive analysis of product orders, sales quotes, customer credits, invoices, and payments.
  • Record to report:

    RPA makes it simple to record journal entries automatically, reconcile accounts, and manage everyday transactions while maintaining a thorough audit record.
  • Client onboarding:

    RPA bots gather all key customer information using technologies like optical character recognition to make the client onboarding and KYC process reliable and streamlined.
  • Intercompany reconciliation:

    Downloading statements, creating a workflow for customer accounts, validating transactions, and reporting discrepancies — RPA can take all the stress out of bank reconciliations for the accounts department.
  • Financial planning and forecasting:

    RPA can be set up to analyse historical data, collate financial statements, and generate forecasts, freeing the skilled workforce to create and execute strategies.
  • Tax reporting automation:

    RPA replaces manual tasks like collecting data, generating reports, calculating the tax payable, and reconciling tax data.
  • Accounts receivables and payable automation:

    RPA can keep accounts receivables in check to maintain a good financial standing and negligible cash gaps by taking over all the manual tasks. All invoices can also be matched with the purchase orders, thus saving time and effort in accounts payable.

A McKinsey case study showed that after unlocking the full capabilities of automation, month-end closing processes lasted just two days instead of two weeks. Strategic and timely RPA implementations can save time and deliver cost benefits for F&A teams and entire businesses.

Infosys BPM and RPA in finance and accounting

Robotic automation is part of the 5-lever digital strategy that we at Infosys BPM use in our digital finance services ecosystem.

We can successfully scale RPA programs for your finance and accounting function, with a 1,200-strong team of RPA experts and consultants, delivering winning implementations to more than 60 F&A clients worldwide.

The future of RPA in finance looks bright. See what our Digital Finance solutions can do for you.

Recent Posts