Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of change in companies.  Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is neither costly to the business owner nor challenging to the employee. Rather, it gives the finance function real-time data to enable companies to make informed decisions while using the most up to date information.

Talk of automation tends to frighten people. Firstly, it frightens business owners. When they hear the term ‘automation’ they begin to think about robots and costly computer systems. Then, it also frightens employees. When they hear the term mentioned they immediately begin to think about layoffs. However,   In this article, by Áine Kiely O’Donnell, we look at how automation can benefit your business.

What is Robotic Process Automation for Finance?

Robotic Process Automation in the finance function is a cost-effective solution for companies of all sizes and it can yield significant benefits in a short time frame.

Today’s systems are faster, more secure and adept at carrying out finance functions that were once the preserve of a manual in-putter. Also, the systems now available are much more user friendly and they can be used by anyone within the finance function without the need for extensive off-site training or IT qualifications. Therefore, an easy to implement system can start working for your business straight away.

Robotic Process Automation in the finance function can automate many processes that previously required manual inputting. Moving to such a system frees up your accounts staff from the chore of data entry and gives them more time to spend analysing the data and identifying trends and opportunities for growth. Better still, because the automated data is kept constantly up to date, you will know exactly how your business is performing from day to day.

Think about it: how much time would be freed up by automating the following?

  • Performing and documenting reconciliations
  • Processing expense approval requests
  • Generating invoices
  • Creating reports
  • Generating standard management reports
  • Identifying timesheet errors in your payroll system

These are just some of the activities that we at AAL can help you to automate as part of our 360° Review program.

Reinventing the Finance Function

The stereotypical finance department is staffed with people busily inputting details manually into computer systems. The truth is not actually that far from the stereotype. Typically, the people entering the data are part or fully qualified accounts specialists. Is this really the best use of their skills and abilities? Is this work motivating and enthusing them? Does it make them want to stay at your company? These are all important questions for companies to ask in an economy nearing full employment and at a time when competing companies are offering ever greater inducements to attract new recruits.

Robotic Process Automation empowers the staff within your finance department to develop their creative and business faculties. RPA takes them away from the non-productive work of data entry and empowers them to spend the time that they are saving analysing the data. In doing so they will be able to identify opportunities for growth within the company.

RPA elevates the position of the finance function to that of a co-pilot in the business, growing the business with accurate up to date information and constructive advice.

RPA is already being used by many AAL client companies. By working with us, they have been able to identify the processes that need to be automated and how to leverage the data being created to help them to grow.

How Do We Do This?

Every client that we work with is different.

We take the time to get to know your business and, more importantly, your business sector. We, at AAL, are not in the business of dispensing cookie-cutter advice to companies from a multitude of sectors. The advice that we will give your company is unique to your company and based upon our understanding of the company and the sector.

We call this program AAL 360° and here is how it works:

We recognise that the finance function is pivotal to your company and we believe that there are three areas driving that growth:

Management:

  • What’s your capability?
  • Do you have the right information to drive growth?
  • Who is communicating the company vision?
  • Is the company adaptable to change and how prepared is it for volatility in the market?

Control:

  • Are you measuring performance in a financial and non-financial context?
  • Are you compliant across all your business functions?
  • Are you implementing methods to standardise performance and success?
  • Is there an integrated system that holds all the critical business information in one place?

Systems:

  • What is your company culture?
  • Are you identifying, attracting and keeping the best people?
  • How informed is your decision-making process?
  • Are your IT systems fit for purpose and up to date to drive efficiencies within your business?
  • How do you capture all the information you need to know to grow your business?

Understanding your approach to these twelve questions better enables AAL to work with you, putting the right management, controls and systems in place creates value in the finance function.

Here is how we do it

  • The finance function is now a value-added entity with decision making support and advisory skills.
  • Accurate data can enable the company to be more agile and to seize upon opportunities in a faster fashion.
  • It leverages resources to achieve economies of scale. Automation significantly cuts down on the workload and frees up resources within the business.
  • Having more time to work on the business enables you to identify opportunities for internal development that will see a growth in company culture and the better retention of staff in a tight recruitment market.

Talk To Us Today

Find out how automating elements of your finance function can increase efficiency, save time and keep you better informed about your business.  Get in touch by completing the form below.