How RPA cuts the administration from financial reporting
Jun 20, 2018
Reporting – to stakeholders, authorities, management and other important parties – is an important activity for every company. However, composing and distributing these reports is labor-intensive. Robotic process automation (RPA) automation software can help do the work quickly and accurately, freeing up the finance team to focus on adding value and supporting business growth.
High risks, complex requirements, limited business returnsWhen the term ‘reporting’ comes up, most finance teams grit their teeth and shrug, aware that it’s a tedious but necessary evil. While sometimes of limited added value from a business perspective, reporting tasks like compliance, VAT or Intrastat reporting require plenty of time and resources. Moreover, they come with high risks in case of failure or errors.
Innovative digital technologies like robotic process automation take high-volume, repetitive tasks and automate them from start to finish, maintaining transparency while avoiding the risk of human error – a perfect match with finance reporting.
Seamlessly blending human and machineTake European VAT reporting, for example: a high-risk, high-volume activity that requires companies to process every incoming and outgoing invoice per country per month. Producing a VAT report is a time-consuming, repetitive and traditionally a manual task: each month, the finance team downloads the data from the company’s ERP backbone and keys in the specific report parameters manually. They then copy/ paste the data into an Excel file for analysis, process the results, generate a report and send it by e-mail to the tax authorities.
Robotic process automation can take over most of the processes: your finance team determines the parameters – country, company, legal entity, period – and then the robot takes it from there. Without any human intervention, it captures the information, processes the results, sends the reports and saves the data in the records management system, all in an eyeblink and error-free. If wanted, companies can include a human validation step between report generation and sending.