Robotic process automation: Farewell to the remaining manual routines!

OCJ Robottisarjis

Although the level of automation is high in financial management in general, many finance and accounting processes still have steps that require laborious manual work. Not for long, though, since there are now robots to help us and they are ready to get down to work.

“The financial department is a perfectly suited environment for robotic process automation (RPA), a new technology driving dramatic improvements in the quality and efficiency of business processes in a number of areas at the moment,” says Jaakko Lehtinen, Manager in the OpusCapita’s Ventures Unit, which researches new technologies and innovations and has established RPA operations in the company.

Most finance and accounting transactions are strictly rule-based by nature and the tasks involve large-scale data entry and data validation – and this is the type of work that software robots are good at. In addition, robots can deliver great consistency, accuracy, auditability and speed, which are essential in financial management.

Simply put, robotic process automation means that a virtual software robot is taught to carry out routine tasks previously handled by humans, in the same way and in the existing system landscape. RPA can also tackle the obstacle of incompatible data systems: if a human switching from one application window to another has access to data in a certain system, the robot has access to it as well.

Software robots already in action at OpusCapita

OpusCapita has already tested and utilized the possibilities of software robotics in finance and accounting processes in its own organization, and the technology is now ready for use by customers. The first RPA implementations have already been carried out in selected payroll processes for customer companies. Software robots are, for example, verifying that payroll system employee data matches data in the company ERP system. Another example of a task performed by the robots is the gathering of information from multiple sources and consolidating it in reports, including screen captures, for archiving purposes.

“These are very typical examples of the remaining manual routine tasks that are considered to be too difficult, too small or too expensive to automate with traditional software development or system integration.”

“But with RPA, the efficiency of these processes can be improved almost immediately. What is more, when both implementation time and costs are low, the benefits can be achieved within weeks. Even when applying RPA to a more complex process, the payback time for the implementation is usually less than six months,” says Lehtinen.

Repetitive mechanical and manual routines are not only time-consuming but also error-prone when performed by humans. These tasks tend to be tedious and demotivating, too. Software robots can free up human employees’ time for more challenging, meaningful work and higher value tasks involving customer service and problem solving, for instance.

With comprehensive experience in optimizing financial and accounting processes, OpusCapita can help companies identify the processes where robotic process automation could be best utilized. About twenty OpusCapita’s employees have already received thorough training on RPA and are ready to answer customers’ questions and discuss the potential for using software robotics.

For further information, please contact your local customer representative.

Read more about OpusCapita’s perspective on robotic process automation in the latest issue of our customer magazine, OpusCapita Journal.