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How to use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Finance

| April 23, 2024 | By

Introduction

Today’s businesses seek strategies to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve performance. A popular way to achieve this is through the effective use and combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Business Process Automation (BPA). For ideas on integrating RPA with your Accounting Month-End Close process, refer to our recent blog post here: Save 7 hours with these 7 things before your next month end close.

Let’s break down these buzzwords and uncover their immense benefits when applied well. In this post, we’ll define RPA and BPA, show a few examples of each, explain how they work in tandem together, and provide example tools known for leadership in the RPA and BPA space.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses robots to mimic routine human actions in computer systems. It’s best used when tasks are repetitive and rules-based. When done right, RPA can reduce errors and allow humans to focus on more complex work with extra free time. McKinsey & Company presents an in-depth analysis of RPA.

RPA bot following directions from a piece of paper. Question marks wiggle next to his head.

What is Business Process Automation (BPA)?

On the other side, BPA is RPA’s more strategic kin. BPA focuses on optimizing front-to-end business processes. approach that employs technology to automate complex business processes. BPA is a broader concept that includes RPA as a part of its full-cycle strategy. You can find more information in this Gartner report.

RPA vs. BPA: A Complementary Duo

While they seem similar, RPA and BPA serve different yet complementary purposes. RPA handles specific tasks within a process, while BPA orchestrates the full process. This combination amplifies digital transformation strategy, driving significant speed, accuracy, and efficiency improvements.

The Power of RPA and BPA in Finance and Accounting

In finance, RPA and BPA can streamline invoice processing. For example, an RPA robot can extract the data from an invoice for input into a system. Meanwhile, BPA manages the purchasing approval workflow through to payment. Deloitte provides a deep dive into this. Gartner also does a great job of diving into Robotics In Finance.

Another example is the automation of financial close processes. RPA can gather and confirm data integrity from many sources. Meanwhile, BPA manages the workflow, ensuring sequential task completion and financial compliance.

In accounting, RPA and BPA can automate accounts payable and receivable processing. RPA extracts and validates information from bills and invoices. Meanwhile, BPA manages the workflow, from approval routing to updating the general ledger. If you want to know more about RPA and BPA in accounting, check out our recent blog posting What are Digital Accounting Services?

In tax accounting, RPA can extract tax-related data from various sources. Meanwhile, BPA coordinates the whole process, from calculation to filing of tax returns.

Top RPA and BPA Software Tools

  1. UiPath: A market leader for RPA tools. UiPath is known for being easy to use, with a friendly user interface and strong customer support. It excels in automating rule-based processes, enabling fast time to value for businesses.
  2. Blue Prism: A pioneer in the RPA space. Blue Prism is a market leader in security and scalability. It’s a good fit for large enterprises with complex needs.
  3. ProcessMaker: A market leader for BPA tools. ProcessMaker offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and robust workflow management capabilities. It allows for seamless collaboration and efficient process automation.
  4. Kissflow: A versatile BPA tool. Kissflow is known for user-friendliness and a wide array of automation features. It is very customizable, making it adaptable for various business needs.

Closing

In a world where digital transformation is no longer an option but a necessity, organizations that embrace RPA Robotic Process Automation gain a significant competitive advantage. By leveraging the power of automation, businesses can achieve increased efficiency, cost savings, scalability, and improved employee satisfaction.

A smiling humanoid robot waves at the viewer.

Need help?

At Continuous Scale, we understand the challenges faced by finance and technology leaders in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. Our Digital Transformation services and Smart Automation RPA solutions are designed to empower your organization with cutting-edge automation capabilities, enabling you to stay ahead of the curve.

Let us be your guide on the journey to digital transformation. Contact us today to learn more about how Continuous Scale can help you navigate the exciting world of Robotic Process Automation. Together, we will unlock the full potential of your business and drive unprecedented growth and success.