The Rise of Automation in Finance

The Rise of Automation in Finance

Finance leaders are under constant pressure to do more with less. So, it may not be a surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a valuable asset in today's business environment to help finance departments provide more value with less effort. That's why forward-thinking CFOs are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to help them meet the ever-growing demands of their jobs.

Automation can help CFOs save time and money by providing rapid responses to the needs of the business, freeing employees to focus on more strategic work. It can also help to improve financial reporting and compliance by providing accurate and up-to-date data. In addition, RPA can help CFOs make better decisions by providing them with real-time insights into financial data. As a result, RPA is quickly becoming a must-have for CFOs who want to stay in step with technological developments.

A Digital Transformation Hack

An increasing number of finance professionals are turning to automation to catapult their departments from outmoded data processing to strategic partnering. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, the number of CFOs embracing technology has grown tremendously, with 60% of traditional finance tasks now automated. That statistic is up from 34% in 2018.

There are bounds of critical benefits from RPA, such as increased productivity, higher speed, reduced errors and higher competitive strength in the market. It can also boost employee morale by eliminating tedious tasks.

One of the biggest concerns business leaders may have regarding automation is the elimination of workload for employees. However, this fear doesn't need to be a reality. Technology can help with the nuts and bolts, but at the end of the day, it takes human ingenuity to see beyond the status quo. It takes people to develop new ideas and find innovative ways to improve the bottom line. Finance employees play a vital role in developing strategies for growth and ensuring that businesses run efficiently. In other words, technology may have changed the finance landscape, but it still needs people to thrive.

Getting Started with Automation

If you're interested in using RPA to streamline your financial tasks, processes that require high levels of audit and oversight are great places to start.

Some examples of those processes include:

  • Accounting changes
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Accounts receivable/payable
  • Operational finance and accounting
  • Account and bank reconciliations

For example, accounts payable automation can significantly improve efficiency in the back office. By automating processes like those above, businesses can reduce the risk of errors and improve compliance. In addition, RPA can help to improve the efficiency of audits by providing a clear audit trail.

Automation goes beyond mundane financial tasks—it can benefit cybersecurity and lease accounting changes. For instance, automation tools can assist with SOC 2 reports or help with the adoption of new leasing standards, such as ASC 842.

When you're ready to start the automation journey, you must become familiar with all its moving parts—objectives, methods, practices, examples, challenges and products. It may be helpful to attend classes, webinars or conferences on the subject, or to read white papers and case studies. Talk to other people in the financial industry who have experience. And most importantly, hire an experienced advisor to guide you along the way so you can avoid missteps.

Starting small and setting realistic goals for your first year is essential during implementation. You can grow to more advanced tools over time. By taking it one step at a time, you can get a feel for how RPA works and what benefits it can bring to your business. You can also avoid the potential pitfalls that come with implementing new technology.

Gaining Valuable Insights

Automation isn't just a way to expedite the tedious tasks that take up your valuable time—it's a way to harness the data your company already has to improve efficiency and competitiveness. When you free up your staff from busy work, they can devote their energy to analyzing results and focusing on the bigger picture.

By assessing the data collected through RPA, companies can gain insights into trends and patterns that they may not have otherwise noticed. This information can then be used to make better decisions about everything from product development to marketing. It can also help with forecasting and risk management. In a rapidly changing world, having access to this type of data can give companies a significant advantage. As more and more companies adopt RPA, those that can make use of its full potential will be the ones that reap the greatest rewards.

The Next Generation of RPA

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly adept at understanding and responding to the complexities of the world around us. Automation now goes beyond algorithms following the rules or repeating the same tasks repeatedly. Algorithms can identify patterns and make predictions based on data. They can track tasks that you're performing daily and provide feedback on efficiency; they can also show where you can eliminate steps. This more sophisticated level is known as RPA 2.0.

The fundamental difference between RPA and RPA 2.0 is simple. It boils down to AI. On a basic level, RPA is software that automates tasks. The next generation of RPA integrates AI and machine learning to learn and improve over time. So, while previous versions of RPA streamlined productivity, RPA 2.0 increases flexibility. It allows businesses to adapt quickly to changes, transforming the competitive landscape.

The future of RPA 2.0 is still being written, but it has the potential to revolutionize how we approach automation in many industries and across business process functions—from finance and accounting to customer service to manufacturing.

Next Steps

Automation is revolutionizing the business world as we know it. By automating simple, routine tasks, companies can focus on more important matters and improve their bottom line. If you're curious about RPA or want to learn more about how it can benefit your company, contact us today.

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The Rise of Automation in Finance leaders are under constant pressure to do more with less. So, it may not be a surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a valuable asset in today's business environment to help finance departments provide more value with less effort. 2022-08-16T17:00:00-05:00

Finance leaders are under constant pressure to do more with less. So, it may not be a surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a valuable asset in today's business environment to help finance departments provide more value with less effort. 

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