Impact of Robotics in Finance and Accounting
We grew up hearing stories of Robots taking hold of the world and learning interesting discoveries about Artificial Intelligence. As a consequence, all of us have wished at some point in our lives to have robots to take care of our everyday mundane tasks and make our lives easier. Today, that imagination is taking the form of reality especially when we come across Japanese robotics; it leaves us in a state of awe. Jaw-dropped; we cannot help ourselves when admiring the human intelligence.
Varieties of robotics have helped us in multiple industries. We are going to analyze the impact of robotics in finance and accounting to grow our business. The working procedure of Robotics in Financial or Accounting services requires Robotic Process Automation. A fancy term, you must be curious! So what exactly is Robotic Process Automation or RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
In simple wording, RPA is software that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and possesses Machine Learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks. This method replaces human force, which means that the tasks that are performed manually can be completed via RPA with much more efficiency and credibility. The interesting thing about RPA is that it mimics our way of executing tasks by capturing and interpreting existing applications, manipulating data, triggering communications with other systems and so on via existing user interfaces.
Moreover, RPA is a feature of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). IPA portrays a range of automated processing including RPA cognitive technology and machine learning systems. If you are thinking about how robots can possibly have a learning experience, well surprisingly, this technology has the ability to learn from prior decisions and data patterns to come up with its own decisions. However, expert supervision is still required to choose the methods that are the best fit for the desired aims and goals.
RPA in Accounting and Financial Services
RPA has helped in rethinking financial services and it can automate a process as it is, making it a clear advantage of the solution. RPA effectively helps in operational accounting, which includes maintained data for accounts receivable, billings, collections and so on. It helps in general accounting procedures by taking care of allocations, adjustments and journal entry processing, etc. It means that the entire mundane task of data entry and making account of millions of daily transactions will not require a number of people performing these repetitive dull tasks by sitting in front of their computer screens all day long. Along with that, it also takes care of financial reporting, budgeting, planning, forecasting, and other treasury tasks.
If you are thinking that using RPA will have its own set of limitations and will not work in a shared service environment, well this is an incorrect assumption. RPA can be successfully implemented in shared service environments and, yes, not only that, it efficiently replaces human workforce while also minimizing the risk of human errors.
Why Robotic Process Automation?
So, why RPA? Are our systems not working just fine without it? As a matter of fact, people were equally, if not more, suspicious a few decades ago when the internet was introduced. Today it is impossible to even imagine a world without the internet. Then came the social media networking, and the next phase of our development is definitely RPA. The following are few major reasons for having RPA in Financial and Accounting Services.
RPA is cost effective. It significantly reduces the cost of manual labor by the automation of repetitive processes and it also eliminates the need for back-office resources.
There are no work-hour limitations; It works 24/7 and 365 days a year catering to customers. It also allows for much better customer care and more services.
The performance of a software robot is definitely better than an employee as it has the ability to do error-free tasks in minimal time at a much faster pace.
Considering the above-mentioned features, RPA in accounting and finance provides a more efficient system with fewer resources consumed.
A Revolutionized Future with RPA
Does RPA have the ability to revolutionize our future? Yes, it gives us the opportunity to have relatively short implementation timelines and low maintenance costs. RPA also extends the functionality of the present legacy systems; It is able to minimize the drawbacks related to inefficient and manual-intensive interfaces of those systems.
Other questions that come to mind are “What would happen to the human workforce? If the system is more efficient and all, what would become of a large labor force that is currently a part of a manual system? Wouldn’t the unemployment rate increase?” Well, the human work force would still be required even with the implementation of RPA, as training and the operational management of a robot is conducted by humans. The robots will also need to involve humans for insights and subjective assessments in decision making that they cannot make themselves.
An objection can be raised that the core skill-set will have to be changed and new technical skills with advanced analysis and interpretations will have to be introduced in order to manage the robotic systems. It will not only be very expensive, but also would require large scale education and the instructing of the work force. However, RPA offers an ultimate lower operating cost and high productivity in minimal time. It also offers increased productivity to human employees who would no longer need to do the dull, repetitive tasks. Moreover, many high-quality jobs will also be created for the people who can maintain and improve RPA software. Also, another one of the key advantages of RPA is that you do not need developers for configuration. Robotic Process Automation software is easy to use and manage, although it does require the testing and quality assurance.
It is Just the Beginning
In the end, we have to keep in mind that RPA is just the beginning; It is an amazing technology with great benefits, but to get the most out of it and fully employ it, we will have to work harder. If we are able to pull it off, among other benefits, we will be able to make sense of and integrate other Artificial Intelligence related technologies.