RPA Use Cases In Accounting :
Accounting and finance is a dynamic and diverse field. As dynamic as it sounds, the field involves dealing with a large volume of data and figures on a daily basis which often becomes cumbersome and boring for an average human. Robotic Process Automation finds a lot of uses and applications in finance.
Here is a glimpse of the size of the RPA market in USA –
The graph gives a fair estimate as to where the market is headed in the coming years. The global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market size was valued at USD 357.5 Million in 2017 and is expected to register at a CAGR of 31.1% over the forecast period.
Robots can perform even these cumbersome jobs very consistently and most importantly without any complaints! Thus there is a significant room for robots and artificially intelligent devices in accounting. Focusing on the same, here we have brought you the top seven use cases of Robotic Process Automation in accounting –
- Portal Queries And Price Comparison – Established firms and large organizations in business are involved in a lot of dealings. With a lot of suppliers and workers, it becomes really difficult at times to handle it all. Lack of integration is a major shortcoming of finance portals these days. However, robotic process automation can be useful here. Instead of allocating a particular staff member for logging in and logging out or tasks like copying and pasting data, a robot can be employed to connect to all of the concerned portals. The robot will automatically gather or post information, the timings for which can be preset. Apart from that, robots can help you keep a track of fluctuating prices of a product. It can effectively keep a track of all the changes and suggest you the best deal. As if this were not enough, the robot can even look into the web code and catch the catalog pricing.
- Supplier On boarding and Market Intelligence – A lot of finance companies in business today make use of invoice portals to make e-invoicing a seamless experience. However, an important point to note here is that the process of on boarding new suppliers is still manual. The industry can employ robots that vet new suppliers. This will include a detailed analysis of their credit scores, tax data, and other relevant information. Apart from that, it is crucial to vet the credentials of suppliers from time to time in order to make sure that they meet your threshold. This again is a manual task which can be done by robots! A robot, after all, can deliver a deliver a full report with a greater precision and accuracy as compared to a human being.
- Daily Profit and Loss Statement – Finance companies dealing in the trading companies need to keep a track of profit and loss on a day to day basis. It is surprising to see that even some of the well-established firms make use of traditional tools like excel to prepare these reports. These legacy tools and manual effort that goes into preparing these reports is too time-consuming to be practical. A study conducted by UiPath shows that automation of this process can reduce the time consumed from 60 minutes to 20 minutes! Not just that, the reports prepared would be highly accurate and precise.
- Dual Purpose Audit Tests – Robots, if programmed, can effectively perform calculations involving the price and quantity in various sales invoices, sales orders, and shipping documents used daily in a general finance setup. Robots can generate consistent alerts for sales transactions that register noticeable differences in price and quantity. Automation of these manual processes can assist the auditors in allocating their time towards activities of greater value. This will ultimately result in an increased audit quality and help the auditors get a better understanding of the situation.
- Accounts Payable – Accounts Payable, undoubtedly, is a field of finance and accounting that requires maximum manual effort and is often termed as cumbersome and boring. It brings along a large volume of unstructured data. This unstructured data needs to be processed but just the thought of doing it manually can throw anyone’s mind out of order. To aggravate the issue, traditional OCR solutions, either do not perform the job with commendable accuracy or break down completely as the format of the incoming document undergoes a change. RPA can be of great help here as making use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning makes the solution precise and accurate. Moreover, it covers all formats and does not break down at the sight of change. You may even extend the idea to responding to various vendor inquiries, processing vendor invoices, and managing vendor payments. This will reduce the workload on the staff and make the process quick and accurate.
- Maintain Data Consistency – The details of the customers and even the clients are dynamic. They keep on undergoing change and need to be updated consistently. The volume of data involved can become overwhelming with time and may require computer help. Software bots can be called to your rescue here. Making use of bank statements as points of reference, these intelligent bots can extract all the useful and relevant data while updating the records simultaneously.
- Order Exception Processing and Delivery Reconciliation – Sales orders in any finance company often tend to have a lot of stipulations. For instance, this can involve holding the price for a number of days. You can effectively employ an artificially intelligent robot here to perform an automated price check and save a lot of time and effort. Not just that, the bot can even verify the current price against the sales order! How cool is that! Further, it can check and approve all the matching orders while bringing the exceptions or discrepancies, if any, to the notice of its manager.
Accounting is a diverse field. Whether it is business development, travel, and tourism or any other department, accounting finds its way. With the retail industry expected to reach a mark of $27.7 trillion in global sales by 2020, accounting is surely going to be on an all-time high. It is important to change the way stuff is done in accounting as revolutionizing the accounts department of any organization can lead to a holistic boost of efficiency.