Accountants Leverage RPA Amid Coronavirus

Robotic process automation is spreading across accounting and finance departments



Robotic process automation has been spreading across accounting and finance departments, according to a report from the Institute of Management Accountants. That trend may accelerate as companies deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic and look for ways to cut costs.

The report aims to help finance professionals start using RPA to speed up tedious manual processes, increase the accuracy of routine transactional processing, and free up their time to focus on doing more value-added work.

“What we found is that nearly all enterprises that begin RPA start in the accounting and finance function,” said Loreal Jiles, director of research, digital technology and finance transformation at the IMA, who wrote the report. “Generally finance and accounting professionals are performing those tasks that are the most suitable for robotic process automation technology. That means they possess certain characteristics, like they’re routine and they’re rule based. The routine nature is really just a function of performing cyclical activities daily in some instances. They’re rule based so defined criteria exist.”

The trend is much broader reaching than just on the management accounting side, she noted. RPA is also being used in public accounting firms, who are leveraging the technology for performing audits. Jiles distinguishes between RPA and artificial intelligence, although AI can work hand in hand with RPA.

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Source: Accounting Today

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