Leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in operational accounting, specifically in areas like Project Accounting for a Professional Services business and Cycle-based Accounting for complex accounting cycles such as Inter-company Billing, Contracts, Debt, Equity, Charitable & Pledge accounting, is key to streamlining processes and driving to a Continuous Close. RPA brings numerous high-level benefits to the table, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and overall operational effectiveness, including:
- Complete Traceability and Integrity: RPA ensures that every step of the accounting and operational processes is meticulously recorded and maintained. This not only enhances transparency but also guarantees the integrity of the data, which is crucial for compliance and audit purposes.
- Reconciliation, Validation, and Exception Handling: RPA can perform regular reconciliations and validations, ensuring that the data entered aligns with the expected outcomes. Any exceptions, discrepancies, or trends that deviate from the norm can be flagged for human intervention, minimizing errors and maintaining data accuracy.
- Regular and Timely Processing: RPA’s can be configured to run on a regular basis, triggered by events or by accounting staff, and with a frequency that reflects the volume of client activity. The ability to control the frequency can reduce the pressure of month-end inquiries from clients and other stakeholders, leading to a more consistent level of work throughout the month.
- Enhanced Reporting and Visibility: By automating elements of the input and processing of data, RPA enables the more timely and accurate information to be used for reporting, forecasting, budgeting, and planning. This contributes to improved decision-making and strategic insights. Clients benefit by better visibility into cashflow, project profitability, and for nonprofits grant-related information.
- Accelerated Monthly Close: With RPA handling many routine tasks and ensuring data accuracy throughout the accounting period, the monthly close process can be significantly expedited. What used to take 5-6 days to complete can now be accomplished in just 2-3 days, reducing stress on staff and management alike.
- Stress Reduction and Efficiency: RPA takes over repetitive and rule-based tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on more analytical and value-added activities. This not only reduces stress levels for the team but also enables them to concentrate on strategic initiatives and higher-level problem-solving.
- Consistency and Compliance: The use of RPA ensures that processes are executed consistently according to predefined rules and regulations. This minimizes the risk of errors caused by human oversight, related rework, senior staff review and helps maintain compliance with industry standards and legal requirements.
In summary, integrating RPA into operational accounting, particularly in scenarios involving Project Accounting and complex accounting cycles, offers a range of advantages that contribute to a streamlined and efficient workflow. From enhancing data accuracy and transparency to accelerating monthly close processes, the adoption of RPA aligns with the broader trend of Continuous Close methodologies and helps organizations stay competitive in an increasingly dynamic business environment.
IFI is a team of accounting, planning & CRM FinTech professionals. We help complex customers implement advanced integrated back-office systems that deliver business insights. If we can help you, please contact us at (949) 556-3699 or info@IFIprofessionals.com.