Finance teams are often plagued with hugely manual processes, mountains of paperwork, tight deadlines whilst also adhering to strict regulations. Finance professionals are also highly skilled and extensively trained, often having spent many years studying for the relevant qualifications in their field to advance their careers. These individuals spend large amounts of time carrying out regular, repetitive work, often switching between disparate systems to deliver business-critical outcomes such as payroll and customer or supplier payments. So, it’s no surprise that our team would like to help solve these challenges by utilising automation technology.
We have spent the last few months carrying out extensive research into finance teams and processes, to understand which processes within a finance function could deliver the most value if they were automated. We now plan to develop our finance use-cases in line with our findings. Based on our research, here are the shortlisted 4 finance processes that we believe will have the most impact:
- Accounts Payable: Automated extraction and processing of invoices.
Invoice processing is an excellent candidate for automation due to the standardised nature of the input and the rules-based nature of the process.
At the first step in the process, NexBotix uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read and extract key data points from invoices, converting them into the required formats to enable efficient processing. RPA software bots are then used to execute the downstream processing, taking extracted data and entering this into the organisation’s accounting system ensuring that supplier invoices are paid on time and without any errors. Our bots can also be programmed to handle and/or notify the accounts payable team of any business exceptions.
- Bank Reconciliation: Automated retrieval of bank statements and reconciling against accounting system
For bank reconciliation, the automation will begin by navigating to the data source to retrieve a bank statement. Dependent on the format, either OCR can be used to extract data from a PDF statement or using excel automation the bot can retrieve data from spreadsheets. This data is then cross-checked and validated against accounting systems, any missing transactions will be entered, and supplier payments allocated accordingly, ensuring that your system balance matches business bank statements.
- Accounts Receivable: Automated billing and payment collections.
You can save valuable resource time and effort spent on billing/invoicing for delivery of products and services to customers through Intelligent Automation. An RPA bot can be programmed to navigate your systems, identify and extract data related to the procurement of goods/services and enter this into accounting systems for the release of invoices. By using an OCR solution, documents such as quotes/purchase orders can be read and translated into text for issuing customer invoices. RPA bots can also be programmed – as part of a defined workflow – to check bank statements and match against invoices issues to confirm receipt of payment or chase customer payments that are outstanding.
- Payroll Processing: Processing employee finance data and collating timesheets and other information to complete payroll runs.
A time-critical and important business process, ensuring that your employees and contractors get paid the right amount and at the right time. Your payroll automation can be scheduled to run in accordance with your requirements, retrieve payroll data from business systems and/or databases and complete downstream processing activities.
This often includes accessing systems to collate payroll information, perform important calculations for gross pay, subtraction of taxes and account for corporate payment responsibilities (such as pensions, insurance, etc.). Then the data can be presented to payroll staff for approval before the software bot is then re-triggered to submit final pay requirements to third-party processors or to navigate payroll systems and commit funds for paying your staff. You can then also automate any paperwork aspects of the process such as generating reports and issuing statements to staff.
Working closely with Finance leaders from a broad range of industries, we are going to be focused on developing the aforementioned use cases over the next year and will be looking for founding clients to help us refine and improve the solutions’ capabilities. If you are considering automation or would like to learn more about how you can get involved with our product development, please reach out to our team.