The phrase Robotic Process Automation (RPA) might bring about thoughts of artificial intelligence technology that dominates the IT world. However, this is not strictly the case. According to Gartner, by 2024, “nearly half of all new RPA clients will come from business buyers who are outside the IT organization.” The industrial use of RPA is becoming more common, and the finance industry is just one of the many industries to take advantage of all its benefits.
What Can You Automate in Finance?
Those working within the finance industry are no strangers to automation. Some instances of RPA implementation are more common than others. Let’s take a look at some finance automation examples.
- General Bookkeeping: Every dollar earned, business expense, and change to an account must be recorded. This is a time-consuming, and potentially error-prone process when done strictly by hand. Spreadsheet software like Excel was the first wave to make this process more accessible. New RPA software for industries like accounting makes bookkeeping a much easier process. Whenever a company receives a bill, they have to approve it before it can be accepted and payment can be made. Given the right parameters, RPA can perform both of these functions at a lightning-fast speed with incredible accuracy.
- Tax Compliance: Relying on a tax professional is a good idea when reporting to the IRS. Companies should also make use of RPA before spending large amounts of money and time on a third party to review their finances. You can determine your specific tax requirements beforehand with certain RPA functions. This means a company can often avoid paying someone to get this basic information on your behalf.
- Planning & Strategy: Budgeting and forecasting for the future of a business is a delicate process that needs to be handled with the utmost care. However, more minor elements can be automated to allow a team to focus on more value-adding ideas. RPA can be used to pull market data and compare it to both your organization and your competition to expose where your organization can improve. Automation can also maintain updates on investments that your team wants to stay updated with.
There are many other areas you can choose to automate, but it can be easy to overcomplicate processes or unintentionally slow down operations as you attempt to implement RPA. Partnering with a proven organization like Foulk Consulting will ensure that not only is the implementation of RPA a smooth process, but we help with the management of these elements as well. Our team can help improve the quality of your software and reduce development costs through IT process improvement initiatives.
When Should RPA be Used?
To effectively answer this question, a distinction must be made. RPA is not full artificial intelligence taking over a function. RPA simply uses bots to complete tasks and is only capable of performing the specific, rules-based functions they’re programmed to do. They can record data, but they cannot adapt and change how they act. This means that RPA, especially in the financial services sector, is best used in a hybrid model where individuals can step in at will and stop the bots to make any necessary adjustments. In essence, RPA should be used to automate any function where the “human touch” does not speed up or make the process more efficient.
Benefits of RPA in Finance
It is no secret that RPA is making a positive impact in the finance industry, and Gartner found that “around 80% of finance leaders have implemented or are planning to implement RPA.” Here are just a few of the benefits driving leaders to choose RPA.
- More Autonomy: The implementation and training on how to use RPA can cut down the reliance of a team on the IT department to perform their duties. The IT department can often be pulled away from its own vital tasks to assist other teams in understanding more technical elements. Our team at Foulk can step in to be the partner responsible for guiding your team on how to use these robotic assistants.
- Reduced Mistakes: At some point in time, we are all going to make mistakes in our jobs. Due to RPA bots being programmed to perform a specific task with zero deviation, this eliminates a majority of errors that come from humans, like a lapse in judgment from a long day of work.
- Automated Reports: Generating extensive reports for a quarterly or yearly assessment of a business can take a serious chunk of time from an individual or team. RPA bots can automate large reporting tasks such as reconciliations.
Foulk Consulting: Your IT and RPA Guide
Confidently implement RPA into your business operations with our team at Foulk behind your efforts. Whether you are new to the idea of RPA or just need extra support in the IT department, our experienced team has the knowledge and tools to get the job done. Contact us today to learn more about our services.