The end of the year is the perfect time to catch up with friends and family. So, on the Christmas eve, I met an old friend, who is now CFO of a leading firm. We spent a great time together, talking about old times and sharing work experiences. He said, “Being a CFO is not an easy task. You are on a continuous expedition to reduce costs, increase productivity and improve reporting.” And, with this, we raised a toast to all the CFOs, wishing them luck for the coming year.

It’s given that the Finance and Accounting (F&A) processes are still supported by the enormous amount of routine, mundane human tasks. And, CFOs face the challenge of reducing overall costs while managing these high-volume transactional processes.

As CFOs plan for 2018, there is a need to automate these repetitive, mundane tasks.

Getting the real advantage from RPA

CFOs are looking out for ways to facilitate faster operations and boost efficiency in their Finance & Accounting processes. And, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can come to their rescue.

With RPA, you can improve efficiency and reduce costs by replacing human work steps with bots. And, as a result, you free your workers’ bandwidth to perform more constructive tasks.

RPA offers galore benefits with various use cases in Finance and Accounting, Sourcing and Procurement, Regulatory Compliance, Financial Risk Management and others. However, RPA alone cannot deliver all of this.

You can leverage RPA to automate the mundane tasks in a business process, but BPM is what you need to transform processes end-to-end. The real advantage comes when you leverage RPA along with BPM capabilities.

Leveraging RPA and BPM together, you can enhance your strategy by automating the routine tasks and enabling continuous process improvement.

RPA in Accounts Payable

RPA along with BPM can prove to be instrumental in achieving higher efficiency in Accounts Payable (AP). Bots enable you to operate 24×7 and achieve better throughput. And, at the same time, BPM capabilities allow you to manage exceptions and drive process improvement. The duo can redefine the AP process by orchestrating processes and eliminating errors.

Here’s how you can create value with RPA in Accounts Payable processes:

  • Procure to Pay (AP) – You can streamline the intake of vendor invoices with BPM, and auto-assign invoices to workers based on pre-defined rules. With bots in place, you can reduce manual hand-offs and check vendor invoices & payments. Further, leveraging BPM’s case management capabilities you can manage vendor/supplier inquiries/disputes.
  • Order to Cash (AR) – You can analyze and establish sales quotes, and validate sales orders with bots. Leverage BPM’s Business Activity Monitor to monitor customer credit. Easily create, distribute and track customer invoices, and process customer payments.
  • Record to Report (GL) – With bots, you can eliminate manual work and mimic human actions to record journal entries. The solution can help reconcile accounts, collaborate and manage intercompany transactions, and maintain a detailed accounting master data for audit and regulatory purposes.

With RPA in place, Finance and Accounting departments can transform their current processes. You can automate all the manual work steps, eliminate repeatable tasks, and achieve tangible value and efficiency.

Well, as a CFO, if you are planning for 2018- it’s time to explore RPA and BPM technologies and take the first steps. Read this whitepaper to know how to get started. Meanwhile, I will share this with my dear CFO friend.