How to maximise efficiency with RPA in accounting

How to maximise efficiency with RPA in accounting

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Robotic process automation (RPA) is regarded as one of the prime use cases of Artificial Intelligence. According to the Global RPA Survey by Deloitte, 78% of businesses that have invested in RPA will be growing their investment over the next three years, and 90% have already seen an improvement in accuracy.

In particular, RPA in accounting has attracted interest as one of the best ways to ensure error-free processes and accurate data analysis.

Essentially, RPA mimics human actions and software interactions to automate rule-based tasks for greater accuracy and efficiency. From invoice processing and tax filing to bank reconciliations and customer profile building, the applications are widespread.

This blog post will explore how you can maximise efficiency with RPA in accounting, streamline your workflows, and focus on strategic tasks that add real value to your business.

Eight applications of RPA in accounting

1. Automated accounts payable and receivable management

Robotic accounting can systematise the process of invoice generation and tracking to ensure transparent processing of end-to-end payments.

It can also set up optimised workflows for accounts payable approvals, making it easier for accountants to set up and maintain processes for paying different suppliers. This ensures that money enters and leaves the system accurately and on time.

2. Comprehensive account reconciliation

This is one of the most critical applications of RPA in accounting. It takes mere minutes to compare internal account balances with external statements and flag any necessary reconciliations or indications of fraudulent activity.

3. Automated bank statement downloads to reduce discrepancies

With RPA, accounting teams no longer need to waste their time and energy in manually reviewing and validating online transactions. They can simply run an auto-analysis of the bank statement and address any flagged areas.

RPA in accounting also enables the creation of tailored applications for tasks like long-term archiving, sophisticated data comparison, and automated journal entries. This saves businesses a lot of time and money.

4. Robust data management

Financial data is often unstructured and spreads across multiple systems, making it harder for accounting teams to collate it for use. RPA can rapidly move and organise data as necessary to help accounts pull what they need to create reports or generate analyses.

RPA can also significantly streamline the process of claiming R&D tax credits by automating repetitive and data-intensive tasks. It helps gather and organise the vast amounts of data required for the claims, ensuring accuracy and compliance with regulatory standards.

This reduces the manual workload, minimises errors, and speeds up the entire claim process, allowing businesses to focus more on their innovative activities rather than administrative tasks.

5. Easy preparation of financial statements

With RPA, preparing up-to-date financial reports, such as management accounts and cash flow statements, becomes a breeze. Accounting teams can generate fresh reports every day, should they need to, and prepare the statements for the month-end financial close in a matter of minutes.

6. Streamlined travel and expense processing

With RPA, preparing up-to-date financial reports, such as management accounts and cash flow statements, becomes a breeze. Accounting teams can generate fresh reports every day, should they need to, and prepare the statements for the month-end financial close in a matter of minutes.

7. Enhanced relationship management

Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations call for due diligence when onboarding new clients at financial institutions. RPA in accounting can streamline the customer onboarding process by rapidly collecting the necessary data.

It can monitor credit ratings and scores, complete eKYC processes, and analyse any default risks. It can also help with speedy account closure. This helps accounting teams focus on getting to know the client better at a personal level and thus offer the most valuable strategic advice.

RPA in financial services helps institutions manage high-volume transactions, ensure compliance, and improve customer service through faster processing times and accurate data management.

8. Cost savings through outsourced accounting

With RPA in accounting, businesses can now conduct activities like bookkeeping, tax returns, and annual accounts preparation automatically and at much lower costs or ask an external accounting partner for help.

This not only reduces the burden on in-house staff but also ensures high accuracy and compliance, allowing companies to allocate resources more efficiently and focus on core business activities.

These tips are particularly helpful to anyone operating a cash flow-dependent business. That said, they apply to both B2B and B2C companies looking to boost their bottom lines.

Things to keep in mind when implementing RPA in accounting

As with any new tech, having a plan for RPA usage is key to its success. Here’s how to make the most of the RPA solutions you implement:

  • List all your current manual processes and rank them in order of complexity. Pay particular attention to the high-volume and repetitive processes (which RPA is best suited for).
  • Document in detail the steps involved in each process as they stand.
  • Have all relevant data brought into a centralised location as far as possible, or at least be aware of where your data is stored. Having access to accurate data is vital for RPA to function properly.
  • Define how you would like the processes to ideally look, along with a clear end goal for the RPA software. Include stop points for the accounting team to review the work.
  • Test the deployment of the RPA software in a small way to see if it’s yielding the results you wanted and if the datasets provided are accurate. Once you and the team have agreed on changes to make, and once the output is where you want it to be, you can deploy RPA at scale.

Final words

According to Ernst & Young, RPA can help financial services achieve cost savings of 20-60% of baseline FTE costs. As accountants restructure their processes to meet the evolving needs of modern-day business, the benefits of RPA in accounting include enhancing speed and accuracy.

Far from replacing accountants’ jobs, RPA will free them up for the truly high-value tasks and help them always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

  • Unable to achieve your larger financial goals?
  • Struggling with your accounts in Excel?
  • Frantically chasing tax deadlines?

Gain clear visibility and control over your business.

Our UK-based accountants help businesses become more productive, profitable, and powerful with our customised accounting. Let us handle your financial complexities so you can focus on growing your business.

Contact 3E’S Accountants today!

Dishant

Author

Dishant
Dishant Desai, an ACCA-qualified Partner and Director of Operations at 3E’S, brings a wealth of experience from 14+ years in UK accounting. He likes to write about innovative tax strategies and cloud accounting solutions to optimize individual and business financial health.
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