Robotic Process Automation: Transforming the world of finance

Authored by: Loreal R. Jiles

We live in a defining second in historical past when companies want a reformed strategy—with rising expertise maturing and shoppers anticipating a quicker tempo of supply—groups are overworked, and agility has change into a compulsory requirement. Consequently, the position of finance and accounting is evolving to assist these great adjustments.

In 2019, the IBM Institute for Enterprise Worth printed the report “The enterprise information to closing the talents hole” wherein it indicated a staggering “120 million employees on the earth’s 12 largest economies may have to be retrained/reskilled within the subsequent three years because of clever/AI-enabled automation.”

As CFOs implement plans to organize their groups for the longer term, finance and accounting professionals are beneath strain to boost their worth providing and scale back prices whereas buying new abilities.

Rising digital applied sciences present the finance and accounting perform with a path to satisfy these aims whereas assembly enterprise demand for superior analytics, environment friendly operations, and strategic choice assist.

Robotic course of automation

Robotic course of automation (RPA) presents a transparent and sustainable avenue to remodeling the finance perform.

Though a number of digital instruments will be leveraged to automate finance and accounting processes, RPA is at present recognised as one of many few rising applied sciences able to automating a big quantity of finance and accounting end-to-end processes.

The significance

In a latest RPA webinar hosted by IMA, attended by almost 1,500 finance and accounting professionals from all all over the world, 34 % of individuals acknowledged RPA could be the rising expertise with probably the most vital influence on the occupation within the subsequent three years.

In India, RPA is certain to create new units of job alternatives for folks.

In accordance with a latest report, the RPA market in India will develop at a CAGR of above 20 % throughout the forecast interval of 2019-2025.

The report says the RPA market within the nation is pushed by the rising demand for automated accounting and course of administration.

Additional, to make sure automated transaction processing improves over time, RPA distributors are additionally specializing in creating best-in-class clever course of automation bots that study as they work.

Companies which have integrated finance and accounting professionals into their RPA program have reaped the advantages of extra strong automation options, less expensive implementations, and improved worker satisfaction.

Not like what some may assume, RPA at scale—or fully-leveraged—could possibly be an ideal resolution for a small or mid-sized enterprise with overworked finance and accounting groups needing reduction and leaders in search of to raise their restricted sources’ providing.

By implementing RPA, start-ups can reassign their groups to extra urgent issues as soon as their schedules have been cleared of repetitive work. It may equally function a monumentally transformational initiative in bigger enterprises the place alternatives in different components of the organisation could also be delivered to gentle.

Particular to finance and accounting departments, crew members who study of this expertise, proactively practice workers on RPA, and/or lead RPA applications, have a tendency to realize extra advantages, each professionally and organizationally, than these on the receiving finish of automation options.

Organizations with finance and accounting features which might be geared up with enterprise professionals who’re cross-functionally educated discover themselves far forward of their friends with extra time to give attention to greater value-added duties.

The historic nature of the finance and accounting perform’s position dictates that a lot of its processes are repetitive and rule-based—two of probably the most important standards in figuring out good RPA candidates. Subsequently, it’s not shocking that the majority RPA implementations start within the finance and accounting division.

The Influence

As RPA is an rising expertise with one of many lowest obstacles to entry, the influence of RPA on the finance and accounting perform is two-fold:
Finance and accounting processes will probably be automated with RPA
Finance and accounting professionals can upskill with RPA

Misconceptions about RPA expertise cross a number of extremes—from “It should automate all of our jobs” and “Solely IT can implement it” to “RPA couldn’t probably do what I do” and “RPA has no applicability to finance and accounting processes.”

Every of those misconceptions will be dispelled by way of information of what RPA is and the precise functionality of the expertise.

Most RPA software program are made up of three main parts: the bots, a bot supervisor, and a workflow design module.

The bots carry out processes, the bot supervisor allows scheduling and allocation of developed processes, and the workflow design module is the place processes are developed.

Though it’s tempting to say—and is extensively stated—throughout an RPA implementation, folks don’t create bots. The reality is, they develop the processes that bots will carry out.

In organizations which have made progress alongside the RPA journey, they function in an surroundings the place finance and accounting professionals work alongside human and digital co-workers. They obtain knowledge from bots and provide inputs to them for processing. This can be a completely different world—the expertise to make this a actuality already exists and is at present in place in lots of enterprises.


As RPA distributors strengthen their native choices and progress with integrating expertise partnerships, the complexity of the processes digital teammates can carry out with clever RPA will undoubtedly enhance. And despite the fact that widespread democratisation of RPAis the idea of a bot for each worker, should be far off, digital teammates are already on the payroll and leaders are gladly assigning them finance and accounting duties.

Welcome to the brand new period of man and machine!

—Loreal R. Jiles, Director of Analysis – Digital Know-how & Finance Transformation, Institute of Administration Accountants (IMA). The views expressed are private.

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