Top 9 applications of RPA in finance processes
Grand View Research for 2019-2025 predicts that the global RPA market size will reach $3.97 billion by 2025. It is also expected to increase at a CAGR of 31.1% over the specified period. The Deloitte Global RPA Survey found that 53% of businesses have already started using RPA software in their workflow. What’s more, this number is projected to rise to 72% in 2020.
Many industries can benefit from the competitive advantage of adopting RPA solutions. Examples include retail, logistics, customer service, manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and more. Since RPA is able to accelerate rule-based, manual, and repetitive tasks while providing the highest levels of accuracy and eliminating human errors, it is a perfect fit for the financial sector.
In our previous post, we’ve shown you how to automate customer service with RPA technology. In our new article, we’ll consider the top 9 use cases of RPA in finance processes.
Use cases of RPA in finance and accounting
Gartner research forecasts that RPA software solutions will remove 20% of non-value-added tasks from financial processes. Software robots can dramatically reduce costs by replacing humans tasked with repetitive and manual operations and reducing the processing time of those operations. According to Accenture, the use of RPA in finance can help cut costs by 80% and the time to perform tasks by 80-90%.
There are plenty of advantages to businesses using RPA software. Simply put, the integration of software bots is about automation, high accuracy, and step-by-step execution. Now, let’s take a look at the most important RPA use cases in the finance sector.
- Price comparison
Generally, employees in a financial institution have to constantly monitor and compare fluctuating prices. It takes time, distracts from other tasks, and carries the risk of missing the best pricing. If your company works with plenty of suppliers to find a specific product or service with the best offer, you can employ RPA technology to streamline this process.
Another plus is that you can program a bot to suit your specific needs. For example, give it the ability to check online catalog pricing. This will relieve your staff from tedious routine operations while simultaneously improving the results and saving time.
- The customer verification process for CDD and KYC operations
It’s very important to check and verify customer data for Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) operations. It is a must-have task for organizations such as lending companies and banking institutions that need to validate credit and transaction histories, credit scores, various data records, and other information.
Besides, customers’ onboarding, their data must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is a manual, time-consuming, and a rather cost-intensive process that can be easily automated and improved using RPA technology. It is noteworthy that a software bot can also extract data from external sources, including channels like social media, news portals, and commerce business registers.
- Suppliers’ onboarding
As you know, many financial organizations use invoice portals to automate electronic invoicing. However, the onboarding of new suppliers is still a mostly manual operation. So, you can adopt a software bot that will automatically check new suppliers and provide you with a detailed report on their credit history, credit scores, and other useful data.
- Data search and validation
Insurance, mortgage companies, banks, and other financial organizations routinely work with numerous documents: forms, requests, declarations, deeds, endorsements—all of them must be reviewed for completeness and data accuracy.
There is a high number of data-related operations that involve endless searching, data checking, matching and comparing with other files and reports, and more. As financial institutions deal with large amounts of customer and payment data, mistakes and discrepancies can be very expensive.
By using RPA software bots, you can significantly automate data search, review, and vetting processes as well as protect against any potential errors, e.g., arising from mistyping.
- Validation of contract terms
In financial organizations, vendor contract data has to be reviewed and validated to provide 100% compliance with contract terms. Since the manual data verification process requires time and a high level of focus of specialists and especially considering the potentially high costs of errors, it’s better to use an RPA software solution.
- Account reconciliation
Another use case of robotic process automation in finance is to connect a bot to speed up and improve account reconciliation. A software robot can check numerous orders and transaction data collected from multiple sub-systems and sources with different formats. It can also create and balance journal entries as well as find and correct discrepancies.
There is no need for human intervention—a software bot will automatically check everything and approve all matching orders. The employee will be alerted only in case of an exception.
- Bank reconciliation
RPA technology also allows for the streamlining of bank reconciliation tasks. This can include the automation of the following operations: downloading bank statements for user accounts, creating and sorting various text files, validating balance and transactions, data review and matching, creating balancing journal entries to correct discrepancies, and so on.
The integration of RPA software will reduce the time for the bank reconciliation process to several minutes instead of hours. More importantly, the result will be error-free.
- Financial accounting
RPA software solutions can automate plenty of finance processes, and financial accounting is no exception. With RPA technology, it’s possible to instantly calculate costs, shares, discounts, review and approve prices, calculate commissions, create text files, and more. You can use a software bot for collecting and analyzing financial and sales data and generating accounting reports.
A bot can extract the required data from multiple channels (files, presentations, internet, archives, ERP and CRM systems, etc.) and unite it into a single centralized system. This way, your employees won’t have to spend their time on long data searches across disparate sources, its analysis, and reports creation as well.
- Automation of customer service
RPA software solutions are being successfully used for automating a number of financial operations associated with customer service. Some examples include using a bot for tasks like direct debit cancellation, foreign transactions, account closing, incoming online requests, and much more.
Additionally, software bots can provide people with personalized financial advice and even offer investment plans. Another great advantage of software robots is the fact that they don’t get tired and can ensure 24/7 support.
Therefore, by using RPA in such finance processes you will minimize human intervention, reduce labor costs, and speed up a wide range of financial services. Furthermore, RPA can be used to improve customer service as your clients will have their issues and applications solved in minutes. As a result, loyal clients return to you again and again and continue to generate income for your business.
As you can see, there are plenty of use cases of robotic process automation in financial services, from data search and vetting to bank and account reconciliation. Providing acceleration, high accuracy, and error-free task execution, software bots enable businesses to dramatically cut both labor and operating costs, reduce time, and improve customer service.
If you’re thinking about RPA software development, you should consider two options—hiring freelancers and cooperating with a software house! Concerning our practical experience in RPA, recently we’ve created a multi-flow RPA system for a large accounting company.
Its integration enabled the customer to automate request processing, minimize manual work, and boost employees’ productivity. To learn more about this or other projects, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Also, if you want to share your thoughts or ask something about using RPA in finance processes, you’re welcome to leave your comments below!