Finance and accounting (F&A) comprise mundane tasks highly suited for automation. Gartner cites that 89 percent of general accounting operations and 72 percent of financial controlling and reporting are automatable. Let’s take a look at the list of RPA-fit areas within the Finance & Accounting function:
- Standardized journal entry processing
- Data entry and payment preparation
- Validation analytics, allocation, and posting to ERP systems
- Financial planning and analysis
- Financial and external reporting
- Cash management
- Operational F&A
Companies that have successfully implemented RPA in their F&A departments have seen higher financial profits. It’s no wonder that Accenture’s Finance 2020 Report estimates that automation will eliminate up to 40% of organizations’ transactional accounting work.
It is said that effective RPA deployment requires a well-thought-through approach. Processes must first be thoroughly analyzed for needs and gaps. The next step is to measure the time and cost savings that RPA would deliver. Finally, the operating model must be identified based on both organizational needs and constraints, and tool and vendor evaluation. The manpower freed up by RPA should be deployed profitably for both the organization and employee. More fulfilling, higher-value work heightens employees’ job satisfaction and productivity and boosts employee value. Automation may reshape the finance department itself with new skillsets and employee profiles. Implementing RPA can be done either for one-time, as-is processes or as part of new end-to-end process automation. It is compatible with existing software systems, which, along with the fact that they are bought ‘per task’, keeps outlays low and without lock-ins.