• INSIGHTS IN AUTOMATION, robotic process automation (RPA) in business
Publication:

INSIGHTS IN AUTOMATION, robotic process automation (RPA) in business

07 February 2022

WHAT IS AUTOMATION?

Freeing humans from routine number-crunching chores, automation empowers people to focus their efforts on higher-level tasks which demand a human touch and deliver more value to the business.

Wherever people spend their time repeating the same manual process over and over, that time could usually be better spent elsewhere. Repetitive financial workflows and business processes offer a perfect example of opportunities where organisations can take advantage of automation, to handle those tasks where people are simply going through the motions.

By reducing the need for human intervention, automation allows organisations to significantly reduce the internal costs of delivering services. This can increase profit margins, without the need to increase hourly rates in a competitive market. Automation also underpins the ability to scale by increasing output, decreasing turnaround times, reducing errors and improving quality – all without the need to expand headcount or find more hours in the day.

When it comes to avoiding human error alone, automation can save finance departments 25,000 hours of avoidable rework annually, according to Gartner. Those organisations which fail to adopt it are leaving major efficiency gains on the table.

Automation is a powerful business tool, but not just for delivering efficiencies and boosting productivity. Looking at the big picture, automation also empowers accountants to spend less time counting and more time advising. Applied strategically, automation allows organisations to enhance capabilities, unlock value and embrace new opportunities.

 

WHAT IS ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RAP)?

Like the introduction of physical robots in manufacturing, automation is designed to handle the bulk of the mundane heavy lifting. Just as industrial robots graduated from spot welding cars to handling more intricate tasks, advances in automation are allowing Robotic Process Automation to take on business processes requiring a greater level of dexterity.

 

HOW DOES BDO USE ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION INTERNALLY?

As a global accounting and consulting firm, BDO is implementing its own digital transformation – in which RPA plays a key role. After exploring the value of RPA, BDO concluded the technology has the capacity to bolster the firm’s service offerings as well as its internaloperations.

Within six weeks, BDO developed its first RPA process which directly creates value for the business and contributes to the 360-degree customer view, by migrating information from two systems to a third system.

BDO also takes advantage of RPA to meet its data retention obligations. When a client dossier is closed in SharePoint, RPA automatically exports that data as an Excel file to be stored according to data retention policies.

Within BDO’s UK operations alone, RPA delivered 16,100 hours in time savings in 2020 – the equivalent of 16.10 FTE. This equates to approximately £5 million in charge- out opportunity, considering potential revenue to be generated by taking on additional client work.

The automated input of tax return information into tax software helped enable BDO’s business case for a Tax Portal solution, which now serves around 2500 clients. RPA migrates data between platforms, a process previously performed manually. This creates extra capacity as, before the automation of this process, some teams were unable to meet the workload during busy periods.

Going forward, BDO has formulated a roadmap for establishing an internal RPA capability, including the following components: processes and governance, change management, and capability building and training.

Internal automation of BDO in Ukraine includes active use of Microsoft 365 products. In particular, it is an active use of SharePoint by all employees to store files and share them, OneDrive is used to store information and access it from any device, Teams is used to communicate internally, Power BI is used to analyze information and to generate interactive reports.

Moreover, some departments use different SaaS products that help not only to increase the efficiency of different tasks, but also to create more interesting products for company’s employees and potential clients. For example, the marketing department uses Powtoon platform to make animated videos and Gif-files, while the translation department uses Smartcat system that makes translation of documents much easier.

Moreover, a cloud service Bitrix24 is used to arrange effective work of the company. Implementation of this solution has resulted in considerable acceleration of processing leads within the company, the necessary information can be accessed at any time of the day, and information access has been set up. Bitrix24 helps to plan the tasks and makes easier interaction with customers / potential customers of the company.

 

CONCLUSION

Robotic Process Automation lets people spend less time counting and more time advising. It liberates them from the grinding daily chores of crunching numbers, shuffling paperwork and other simple repetitive tasks. Instead, they can invest their time in higher-value tasks which require a human touch and deliver greater business value.

As a result, RPA acts as a powerful force multiplier – boosting productivity both by giving people more time in their day and freeing them to spend that time more productively.

Increasing capacity and improving quality, all while reducing turnaround times and the internal costs of service delivery, only scratches the surface of RPA’s full potential. It also lays the foundations for true digital transformation – empowering organisations to enhance capabilities, increase resilience, unlock value, embrace new opportunities and meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Please feel free to contact our experts and discover what we can do for you.