When and how to use RPA in finance and accounting

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With the need for automation in business processes growing rapidly, systems requiring manual input are slowly becoming a thing of the past. We are now seeing the introduction of technologies like RPA paired with intelligent data software revolutionizing the world of data processing as we know it, bringing systems and data together to streamline those critical business processes.

How is RPA used in business?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most exciting technologies in the world of business today. While the manufacturing industry already uses RPA in giant armatures and robotic fabricators, assembling materials from small plastic components to cars. This level of automation is now flooding through to the back-office, automating processes that typically require tedious human intervention, but not with the use of physical robots, but with software bots.

How can RPA be used in finance and accounting?

RPA is now being used to transform accounting processes, with new tools and increased commercial awareness of the value of automation. RPA user cases in finance and accounting have continued to develop over recent years, including;

  • Optimizing journal entries
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Expense management
  • Credit control
  • Financial reporting

How can RPA streamline processes?

Purchase Order Processing: Processing purchase orders manually and seeking to send them for approval can include a multitude of delays if completed manually. Invest in an intelligent data capture tool like CloudTrade to extract critical information from your POs and automatically post this into your back-end system, configure an RPA bot to do your repetitive processes such as informing departments of new orders or activating workflows.

Invoice Processing: Invoice processing has challenged many AP departments when invoices arrive at their desk in different formats. RPA could be doing the small, repetitive manual tasks your team is spending time on. When combined with accurate data capture technology, RPA can perform its tasks seamlessly, because it’s being fed 100% accurate data.

Improved Financial Reporting: The time for going with your gut has gone. Smart business decisions must rely on the data produced by your business. Providing decision-makers with accurate reporting is crucial to growth. By implementing RPA, your finance team is freed up to focus on more critical tasks like producing deep data insights for your management team.

Basic Accounts Reconciliation: RPA robots can be implemented to manage the basic elements of accounts reconciliation, so human input is kept to a minimum until there’s an issue that’s flagged by the system.

See our top ten tips for improving RPA bot's performance here.


How can you prevent errors in the RPA process?

RPA bots do simple, repetitive tasks, yet they will fail if incorrect data and instructions are sent to them. Errors in the data create a lot more work than is necessary, increasing the risk of additional costs to the business and a number of operational issues.

Data key entry is a time-consuming, expensive, error-prone process. If you’re going to invest in bots to run repetitive business tasks, you need to pair this process with intelligent data software to ensure the bot is being fed the accurate data needed to easily process the information to your systems.

Many solution providers that offer RPA now understand that intelligent data capture is an essential additional service needed to ensure complex business process automation runs smoothly.

Why give your robots anything less than perfect data?

CloudTrade’s ability to capture line-level data, combined with an RPA solution, allows your business to easily automate document processing operations from end to end with unprecedented levels of detail at the line level.

Our solution provides validated data at the point of entry to ensure all incoming documents meet business-specific data requirements, enabling straight-through processing. We guarantee the delivery of perfect data into your RPA workflows every time, ensuring your bots are given the accurate information needed to perform their value-added tasks.

Download our flyer "CloudTrade and Robotic Process Automation" to find out more about our data-capture solution and how it works alongside RPA tech.