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03 Mar 2017

Robotic Process Automation: A Power Tool for F&A BPO

In the world of business, we are all looking for ways to streamline our operations, become leaner and reduce costs, without sacrificing the quality of products and services we offer our clients and customers.

The rapid advance of digital technology means that those of us looking for this type of strategic development have new tools we can use, especially when we outsource functions such as accountancy and finance.

Employees working in finance departments are an essential part of businesses, but the rise of automation means we can begin to free up our human resources to concentrate on other aspects of operations, and use Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to deal with the majority of financial procedures, such as invoicing and monitoring.

Transforming financial procedures with RPA

Outsourcing essential functions in many business areas is not new and is used to streamline businesses, reduce costs and deploy employees to other key parts of the business. Customers and clients want human interaction when required to sort out glitches with orders or other problems that cannot be dealt with by a machine.

Using RPA as part of business process outsourcing (BPO) allows organizations to focus their back office operations off site, managed by experienced technology companies, thus eliminating much of the hardware and software that used to require significant capital investment, as well as regular upgrading. Upgrading is time-consuming for IT departments that could be concentrating on other areas of the business to help boost productivity and provide innovative technical solutions to other problems.

In-house systems can be used to create bulk invoices, for example, but the effect of outsourcing these types of necessary but time-consuming tasks can easily be managed off site.

Cost reductions with RPA

We all want to reduce costs, and RPA is a highly effective tool to achieve this. Committed, full-time employees are the lifeblood of any successful business, but when we spend money on repetitive tasks that could be carried out robotically, it makes sense to explore the options. As an average, and all averages vary depending on an organization’s circumstances and requirements, RPA can come in at a third of the cost of an FTE.

Implementation needs human resources to begin with but when the automation kicks in it makes employees time rich instead of being time poor.

Accuracy and speed are key elements of RPA. The speed of processing digital information gives customers and clients an optimum service, reducing the need for customer contact and the potential for them being inconvenienced. Robotic accuracy does away with human error and can help detect potential fraud. The robot is programmed to process transactions and if it finds something unusual that doesn’t fit with what it has been programmed to do, it will set it to one side so that a human operator can deal with the anomaly.

Outsourcing for the future

Finance and accounting can be outsourced more easily than before, thanks to RPA. Business costs can be dramatically slashed, timely data is accessible and helps drive new and innovative ways of developing an organization to maximize turnover and the resulting profits.

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