Magazine / Process Optimization & Automation May 12, 2022 11:15:00 AM

RPA and Finance: the tools you need for smart compliance

The relationship between RPA and Finance can be understood in two ways. Robotic Process Automation systems can find application both in the corporate functions of Administration, Finance and Control - functions present in any organization and all sectors - and the vertical sector of Finance. In the first case, they allow automation to be brought into some typical processes such as those included in the active cycle, in the passive cycle, in reporting, in complaints management, in financial analysis and planning, in tax services. In the second case, the RPA helps the Finance world to automate very onerous activities such as auditing and compliance, taking into account their weight within this type of organization. So much so that today robot software is routinely used not only by large banking groups, but also by small credit institutions that are thus able to make the management of many of their processes “smart”, starting with those connected to compliance. 

RPA and Finance: a 30 years story 

 A recent survey conducted by Gartner claims that 80% of "finance leaders" have already implemented or are planning to implement an RPA solution. After all, the link between automation and finance, even before the one between RPA and Finance, dates back to the 1990s, when MIT researchers developed OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to quickly and accurately read handwritten parts of checks. Later, in addition to checking compliance checks, banks and financial services companies decided to adopt RPA tools to interact with a wide range of applications such as ERP platforms and CRM software. This way, the acquisition, processing, control and exchange of data between different sources could take place without requiring human interaction. Security and reliability on one hand, and cost savings on the other, have set the longevity of the relationship between RPA and Finance. 

Regulatory compliance thanks to the RPA in Finance 

The success of the RPA in Finance is also due to the fact that obtaining regulatory compliance in the current legislative landscape involves a combined series of actions that take into account a plurality of factors that tend to be identical to themselves. Unlike a human operator, whose attention in carrying out a routine task risks diminishing as the same task repeats itself, an RPA software not only performs the same function exactly all the time but provides an always reliable and error-free audit log. In addition, the RPA in Finance, should the regulations change, does not require a specific training course, but simply a reconfiguration that introduces the new criteria. This coincides with the elimination of the control burden on the employee on tasks with little added value and with the possibility of channeling the skills of people on less repetitive strategic tasks. 

The link between smart compliance and customer experience 

Optimization in the fulfillment of compliance requirements means improving customer experience levels. Smart compliance, in other words, is at the origin of a more solid customer engagement. An illuminating example, in this sense, can be that of KYC (Know Your Customer), i.e. the set of procedures that credit institutions and financial service intermediaries must comply with by law to be compliant with the European directives on anti-money laundering or AMLD (Anti-Money Laundering Directives). Since these procedures, if carried out manually, would require a lot of time and a significant commitment of dedicated staff, they could generate in the customer who is the object the idea that the company is guilty of inefficiency. On the contrary, when the recognition and verification of a consumer's identity are carried out with the aid of robot software, the result corresponds to savings in time and resources for the organization and greater satisfaction for the user. This is why RPA and Finance will most likely continue their partnership in the future. 

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