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The 15 Most Common Finance Processes That are Automated Using RPA

2 min read
Oct 23, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Finance departments have always been heavy RPA (robotic process automation) adopters and users. Finance teams leverage RPA so heavily due to the nature of finance processes; they’re highly repeatable, rule-based, and frequent, making them ideal automation candidates.

Because of their early investment, adoption, and natural roles as stakeholders in the procurement of new software and technology, Finance still plays a major role in automation practices. According to recent Blueprint research on the State of RPA in 2023, Finance is the second most common department to own and sponsor automation in their respective organizations.

For organizations and Finance departments that might just be starting their automation journeys or looking to scale, these are the fifteen most common finance processes automated with RPA.

  1. Invoice Processing – Automating common and highly repeatable finance tasks like matching invoices with purchase orders and delivery notes. This also involves the automation of receiving data and extracting data from invoices and inputting that data into an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution.

  2. Accounts Payable and Receivable – Automating the process of reconciling payments, sending and receiving reminders for unpaid resources, and updating ledgers.

  3. Expense Management – Automating the various tasks revolving around receiving, validating, and processing the expense reports and claims that your employees make.

  4. Reconciliations – Automating matching and balancing ledger entries regarding account reconciliations, bank reconciliations, and intercompany reconciliations.

  5. Financial Close and Reporting – Automating tasks like data extraction, journal entries, and preparing financial reports to accelerate and improve the quality of month-end and year-end fiscal close processes.

  6. Currency Exchange Management – Using RPA to automatically update currency exchange rates in systems of record or financial systems and perform related tasks where different currencies are involved.

  7. Order to Cash (O2C) - Automation of the entire order-to-cash cycle that includes order receipt right through to cash collection which also involves dependent tasks like credit checks, billing, and collections.

  8. Procure to Pay (P2P) – Applying RPA to automate tasks such as purchase orders to payment within most procurement processes.

  9. Tax Reporting – Automating the subsequent tasks that define tax reporting processes which include submitting tax returns, calculating tax provisions, and maintaining up-to-date compliance documentation.

  10. Fraud Detection – Using RPA in addition to artificial intelligence to analyze transaction patterns and flag inconsistent activities that could indicate fraud.

  11. Audit and Compliance – Automating auditing processes where compliance is concerned. This includes audit trails, ensuring compliance requirements are met, and automatically generating reports for both internal and external auditors.

  12. Budgeting and Forecasting – Using RPA to automate data collection, data input, and data analysis for budgets and forecast projections.

  13. Payroll Processing – Automating the activities involved in employee payroll processes such as payment calculations, deductions, benefits, and generating payslips.

  14. Customer Onboarding – Particularly used for banking, using RPA to automate the process of collecting, verifying, and inputting new customer data.

  15. Loan Processing – Accelerating loan processing by automating key activities such as application reviews, credit checks, and disbursal processes.

Finance departments have become RPA power users because automating any number of the listed finance processes has delivered improved accuracy, efficiency, speed, and compliance when executing those tasks.

By automating these repeatable, swivel-chair, and routine tasks, finance employees have been able to spend more time on business-critical and engaging work. Instead of having an exhaustive backlog of mundane and mechanical tasks to execute, they can focus on more strategic and value-added projects.

Even though there are a myriad of finance processes and tasks that are ideal RPA opportunities and candidates, a strategic and calculated approach is still encouraged. Each identified RPA candidate should be measured and assessed according to key criteria that validate it will deliver the increased precision, speed, quality, and ultimately, returns that qualify success.

If you don’t already have an internal RPA candidate checklist to measure automation opportunities against, download the RPA Process Assessment and Candidate checklist we created at Blueprint to help get you started.

RPA Process Assessment and Candidate Checklist