Process Automation Technology Perfect Match for Rules-Based Field
Even in today’s highly technological work environment, many industries and fields still rely on manual processes and labor-intensive activities to manage critical workflow. Accounting is no different.
According to an Institute of Management Accountants survey, roughly 67% of accountants reported using spreadsheet-based systems to manage their day-to-day tasks. This manual process is both time and labor-intensive and prone to human error. Because the field of accounting is rules-based and requires precision accuracy, it is a perfect candidate for automation technology.
By automating functions such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, accounts reconciliation, journal entry management, and financial close, accounting firms can increase efficiency and refocus professional time on higher-level, strategic initiatives that will result in long-term revenue growth.
Here is a quick primer on how process automation can make a difference in each of these five areas:
By using bots within accounts payable, accountants can automate repetitive procedures such as invoice validation, data extraction, and payment processing. Process automation can successfully reduce cycle time, costs associated with accounts payable activities, and human errors.
Process automation can further assist in the accounts receivable process by gathering invoice approvals, processing payments, and extracting needed data from both orders and invoices. Bots can streamline the customer invoicing process, improve payment collection, and analyze accounting receivable results.
Although account reconciliation may include working with banks, vendors or internal departments, it is a process that always involves invoices, balance sheets, and other accounting records. By relying on process automation technology, accounting firms can more simply access data, reconcile payment information, and offer real-time visibility into the reconciliation process.
Journal Entry Management
Process automation of journal entries may include automatically reading files to create entries, managing incomplete inputs, organizing and storing entries with ancillary data, collecting information from various sources to create a unified entry, and sending the necessary information to a larger company-wide enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
By relying on bots during the financial closing step, accounting firms can streamline the importing of data from multiple sources, run rapid checks to spotlight issues that require attention and create reports and analysis on the entire process.