Robotic Process Automation has enabled businesses to streamline their business processes by using automated software bots to handle mundane, labor-intensive and repetitive tasks.

One of the most popular and beneficial applications of RPA technology has been in the finance and accounting departments as it usually involves routine tasks that are tedious, predictable and need strong attention to detail. These tasks are crucial for the overall functionality of a business and are susceptible to human errors that can lead to significant costs and time consuming to correct. As a result, the repetitive nature of the tasks makes them ideal for the application of RPA bots to handle.

RPA bots work by integrating themselves with existing architecture, meaning they do not disrupt the processes already put in place, they merely augment them. In contrast to the traditional methods, RPA can be integrated at a relatively low cost and time frame.

Here are a few other key benefits of RPA in accounting:

Increased Productivity
RPA bots can be programmed to replicate human actions inside a given workflow. Some of the actions a bot can replicate are logging into applications, reading, extracting and inputting data, moving files and folders, filling forms, scrape browsers etc. Another added benefit is that while the bots are handling these tasks, teams can be deployed to more strategic assignments that hold more value and increase the overall productivity of the company.

Consider the amount of time spent on gathering and feeding data related to invoices. As all the information needs to be extracted from different systems, completing this task manually can be prone to human error and a lot of repetitive work. However, RPA bots can interact with multiple data sources, collect all relevant information and feed it into the system

Save Time
When we entrust robots to accomplish tasks, it saves a lot of precious man-hours. Take into consideration the processing of invoices in different formats and layouts. It can be a daunting task if given to a regular employee. But if it is entrusted to a digital assistant, it can utilize its optical character recognition software to identify different types of invoice formats and process them instantly. This results in a quicker turnover of documents for approval as well as a quicker turnover for clearing suppliers invoices.

Better Accuracy
One of the main benefits of RPA in accounting is its ability to eliminate errors. Finance and accounting departments usually have to work with critical numbers which, if misreported, can cause significant costs and damages to any business. As a result, accountants are quite often under a great deal of stress to avoid errors while entering data from a particular system to another and while preparing reports.

However, RPA software is programmed to follow a set of rules and can accomplish tasks without breaks or losing focus. With the addition of machine learning and OCR, RPA software can process data without mistakes, leading to increased overall accuracy, consistency and compliance.

Higher Compliance
As mentioned in the last point, RPA in accounting also leads to improved compliance. Business environments and regulatory regulations keep changing and staying compliant with these changes can become challenging, especially when it deals with recording processes for historical audit. When RPA is applied in these cases, the bots decrease the chances of error to none and each step has a path for ensuring complete compliance with financial regulations.

Better Customer Service
Setting up an RPA system enables businesses to improve their customer service, gain a competitive edge and scale operations at a fraction of the cost. Automating most of the repetitive, manual and time-consuming tasks using RPA bots leads to increased accuracy of results, decreased oversight and exception handling and intervention when required in the process. This ensures a high level of customer service with clients and increased strategic options for your team to explore.