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Process automation for finance processes

An efficient financial department is becoming a decisive competitive factor for companies. High process quality and the ability to react quickly, especially in accounting and controlling, have become indispensable. In the age of digital transformation, Finance departments can often only meet the increased requirements with the rigorous implementation of new software and technologies.

Due to heterogeneous system landscapes , the use of integrated ERP solutions, interfaces and other workflow solutions (such as DMS and BPMS) is not always technically possible or cost-effective. In these cases, the use of robotic process automation can be a flexible and quickly amortising solution.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for finance processes

RPA software imitates human interactions with the systems involved. The use of RPA software is particularly promising when standardised and rule-based activities require a high manual effort in accounting and controlling, but an integrated software solution is not feasible for technical or economic reasons. The software overcomes system breaks quickly and without errors. In companies and financial departments with heterogeneous system landscapes, RPA can thus help to reduce process runtimes and manual errors.

Typical use cases for process automation with the help of RPA in finance processes include travel expense reports, the Purchase to Pay (P2P) process or master data systems.Complex, recurring processes such as monthly inventory valuation are also possible to automate with RPA. Standardised data inputs are transferred by the bot to the respective target system and become available  for further process steps.

Process automation with the help of RPA is rarely implemented 1:1 compared to the existing process. Commonly, a competent process redesign is necessary to structure and standardize data inputs, to align the target process with important connections to other company departments and to build up compliance-relevant process steps in an automated way. Understanding finance processes in depth, beside systems and data structures, is crucial for success.

A professional analysis of the financial organization, for example by means of a finance assessment, helps to develop a holistic view of automation and digitization potential and to derive the right technical and organizational measures. Technology can already be used during the analysis of the process landscape: Process Mining Software enables the quantitative and visual assessment of processes in accounting and controlling.

FAS AG supports in planning and implementing automation projects in finance departments. The technical implementation of the RPA software is carried out together with our technology partners.

Strategic sourcing and benefits through RPA

The implementation of RPA in the finance departments can also be accompanied by an analysis of the current sourcing strategy for transactional activities. Based on the resulting cost advantages, RPA opens up the possibility of relocating processes which previously have been oftenoutsourced offshore back to the company's headquarters and to the domestic finance department. Bundling several Shared Service Centers at a central point (also nearshore) is another possible scenario to increase efficiency. With RPA, new shared service center structures with a high degree of automation can be established.

Focus on the digital transformation of the financial sector

The use of RPA software cannot replace holistic measures towards a digital transformation of the financial sector. End-to-end process automation succeeds above all with a future-oriented technological orientation and a harmonised system landscape within the finance department. The implementation of Robotic Process Automation must therefore fit into the digital roadmap of the CFO. As experts for finance, we accompany your organization from the initial potential analysis, through the definition of a corresponding roadmap, to the implementation of individual measures, thus providing you with comprehensive support in the digital transformation of your finance department.

If you are interested and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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 Jürgen Diehm Partner