Hands Free Financial Close
April 04, 2019
By Elana Margulies-Snyderman
Robotics Process Automation (“RPA”) is an influential driver for change since this digital solution/technology is instrumental in helping firms implement automated processes.
EisnerAmper Process, Risk and Technology Solutions (“PRTS”) hosted a webinar, “Hands Free Financial Close,” led by Greg Fritsky, Director; Steve Palomino, Solutions Architect and Ben DiNapoli, PRTS Solutions Specialist, where the trio discussed how firms can implement Robotics Process Automation.
“At the end of the day we are talking about new technologies and folks are always talking about digital transformation, but Robotics Process Automation is really kind of the starting point,” Fritsky said. “It’s a good place to take a look at your own processes, your manual repetitive activities, and ways you can leverage the technology like Robotics Process Automation or other softwares to achieve automation.”
The trio identified month-end close processes that can be fully-automated end-to-end, discussed how to leverage RPA to transform and streamline finance processes and finally, explained how bots complete the manual, month-end close processes.
Month-End Close Processes That Can Be Fully-Automated
- Financial and accounting processes including the respective components for financial close, order to cash, procure to pay, and fixed asset/other all have the potential to be fully automated.
- However, given the pushback and unfamiliarity firms have with RPA, EisnerAmper advised that firms need to use BlackLine or another type of software to transition to it.
- Finally, as a result of RPA, the days it takes firms to complete the monthly close process has the potential to be reduced.
Leverage RPA to Transform and Streamline Finance Processes
- RPA is best suited for ‘rules-based’ defined processes and structured data sets.
- RPA can be used for the monthly close cash processing; and further, can be applied for recurring reports, rolling information forward, variance analysis and walking accounts.
How Bots Complete Manual, Month-End Close Processes
- Bots can capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems just like a human worker. A lot of manual tasks done in Quickbooks can be executed by a bot but might have to undergo some process changes.
- The bot applies business rules and calculations to check for potential exceptions on the entire data set across all time series; flags potential exceptions and groups by time series; reports in detail the number of trades, investigations and notifications issued; populates a bar chart for the reports for each time series and sends out e-mails including the exception reports, analysis and bar charts for every point the bot is run.