Why Robotic Process Automation will transform finance

Kiandra - 11/05/2021
With banks, institutions and financial professionals under tremendous pressure to optimise costs and boost productivity, the financial services industry is primed for Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

There’s no doubt about the necessity to further automate finance processes – as these processes involve low complexity but high-volume manual processes where the risk and impact of an error is high.

Nowadays, most finance professionals, like CFOs, are busy running the organisation, focussed on operational activities. There is a deficit in time and resources for value-adding activities like analysis and providing insights. Automation serves as a key enabler to free up those important resources.

Finance professionals can not only provide real-time insights into the status of the business but, with advanced predictive algorithms, they can look into the future and proactively steer the business.

The McKinsey Global Institute forecasts a second wave of automation and AI in the next couple of years, stating:

In financial services, automation in the form of “straight-through processing,” where transaction workflows are digitized end-to-end, can increase the scalability of transaction throughput by 80%, while reducing errors by half.

Late last year, Gartner estimated that global RPA software revenue would reach $1.89 billion in 2021, 19.5 percent more than 2020 levels, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner:

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19. Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimization initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn’t going away anytime soon.”

Gartner further expects the RPA market to grow at double-digit rates by 2024, which only further shows how much potential of this technology.

So, where of you start when it comes to RPA? We get asked a lot of questions around automation and how to utilise it to boost productivity. The following are 5 common requests on how to use RPA:

1. Scan, read, extract data and store PDF documents
2. Collate data from multiple systems to generate a report
3. Transcribe info from one system into another
4. Match or compare data from one source to another e.g. invoices and purchase orders
5. Organise unstructured data

And the answer is yes, RPA can automate all of these tasks.

For example, our recent work with ESTA, essentially took the manual Excel process out of the office and automated it, freeing up time for more analytics and smarter use of company data. We were also able to put in data rules to assist in extracting specific information for better reporting.

We also worked closely with Western Australia Health to automate their invoicing system – again freeing up resources and making the financial processes more efficient.

RPA is the new frontier in automation and it’s time to get started if you haven’t already. If you are interested in adopting RPA in your organisation, contact us for a free demo.

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