Digital Transformation » Technology » How RPA can reduce the repetitive day-end finance drag

How RPA can reduce the repetitive day-end finance drag

The technology allows employees to maximise their human potential on vital tasks, says Antony Edwards, COO of consultancy Eggplant.

For many organisations, ‘day-end closing’ is a time-consuming accounting and administrative task. Eating up around an hour and a half each day, it is a necessary – yet repetitive – part of the working day.

Alongside taking up time, these tasks also provide the opportunity for error and inaccuracies to occur. There’s no doubt that day-end closing requires specific expertise and can be difficult to complete if the required training hasn’t been completed.

If errors do occur, more team members must be at hand to resolve issues. Ultimately, the process can be an end-of-day pain that many organisations wish they could avoid.

Although many financial institutions have legacy software and old IT systems, introducing emerging technology into financial processes can significantly reduce the amount of time spent completing the day-end tasks and can give back valuable time.

Saving time and energy

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) empowers organisations to automate various processes across the business. From repetitive data entry to completing easily-automated tasks, RPA can not only save employees valuable time, but can also increase the efficiency of operations.

For example, for finance teams in particular, RPA can enable teams to visualise the process and identify common actions. By doing this, the team can consequently find ways in which to streamline the process and can speed up the time that each process takes.

When it comes to day-end actions, RPA can tally up day sales from POS systems, email those figures to managers, can check that sales and inventory figures match up, and can raise requests for additional inventory where stocks in store are low.

The crucial end-of-day actions are therefore completed accurately and efficiently, freeing up staff members to complete other important tasks that require human decision making.

Making complexity easy

A problem with some financial organisations is that they have a multitude of software and systems, but none of them can talk to each other. For employees in particular, this makes completing some processes much longer – and much more frustrating.

As many RPA offerings have evolved from Business Process Management software (which often rely on Windows alone), only advanced RPA can automate a process that is deployed across a variety of device types and platforms.

For the financial services industry in particular, organisations need RPA that can be used across both mobile and fixed device types, while also including different types of user in the same application.

With advanced RPA, employees can take data from an Excel spreadsheet on a standard PC, move that data into a mobile expenses report on an iPad, and can then enter a record into the company’s mainframe.

Instead of relying on those employees who are technically trained in day-end processes, RPA can empower non-technical employees to manage processes – and is therefore aimed at the core of the business, rather than technical experts or developers.

For example, employees have the ability to easily amend data values and manage the RPA functionality without the need for technical training.

Embracing RPA to streamline day-end processes will not only impact individuals in the organisation, but it will significantly reduce the workload of entire finance teams and departments.

This allows the employees to maximise their human potential on vital tasks – while the robots get to work doing what they do best.

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