By: Madan Upadhyay

Robotic Process Automation- A transformation in Accounting & Auditing

RPA | Cognitive RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a modern application that uses a ‘robot’ or computer software to interpret various industrial applications such as processing data, manipulating transaction, interference with other electronic systems and activating related responses.The technology of RPA extends its application across multiple business processes to automate. The programming in RPA of Finance includes software comprising ‘robotic tasks’ to operate and handle functions to enhance the output of the financial business world. In this modern era, Robotics in Finance & Accounting fulfills most of the functions or tasks that humans usually accomplish in the past. The evolvement of RPA in the finance functions proved to be a differentiator according to several types of research across the world.

Deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Technology

The modern companies are overlooking for a significant responsibility, for the transformation of robotizing their multiple business applications from their traditional methodologies. With the RPA invention, it is only these programmed robots empowering the entire activities of labors to adopt a change in the organization approach and its overall turnover. Taking into account the financial part of the organizations, RPA incredibly manifests its effectiveness in the huge business applications like ERP, client relationship administration, production network administration and other activities involving HR Finance responsibilities right from the core.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Technology

Following are few of the implementations that emerge once with the introduction of RPA in Finance,

• Compared to the current process of dealing with the vendors and outsource suppliers, RPA can offer a good return on investment significantly.
• Apart from saving crucial time, the advantages of RPA also includes swift processing capabilities, refined accuracy, and management of pinnacle workloads.
• The methodology will be helpful in the salubrious process improvement programme to tackle all the as-is business processes.
• RPA becomes the only option for ERP system enhancements with the replacement of accounting software along with the respective ERP modules.
• RPA transforms the working methodology of employees and may cause unpredictability around jobs in some cases. Therefore, internal communication and specified instructions must be of utmost importance in any RPA techniques.
• It becomes the responsibility of the finance department to ensure that other outsource providers, take advantage of the RPA process to lower the client costs and enhance services.
• Although the software of RPA is very much user-friendly and demands only minimal training for its usage, the requirement of a productive correlation with the IT department and its agreement is of course, necessary.

Also read: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Have Taken Center Stage – Here’s Why?

RPA in Finance

In the field of finance, RPA carries software to automate various tasks by executing user interfaces without affecting the underlying programs. It presents a productive way of approach to gain system integration regardless of the standard of investment. The Robotics in Finance & Accounting is capable of taking on the repetitive tasks more speedily and more precise than humans, in both the fields of accounting and auditing processes. The software of RPA combines the disparate actions of auditing into a one-stroke automated process. They make use of new software tools to ensure the assembly-line audit process and deliver a much higher standard of output. RPA offers the opportunity for the accountants to upgrade the audit quality by improving business processes and services of public accounting firms. Thus, RPA for no doubts, change the current role of humans by freeing up their time for other important commitments.

RPA in Public Accounting Execution

RPA has its popularity in public accounting firms, especially with respect to assurance, advisory and taxation services. Automation of procedures like preparation of tax returns and calculation of book-tax differences are currently running with the help of RPA software robots. The clients also get the RPA as an advisory product and its services. As RPA is already in use for the implementation of tax and advisory services, the RPA for accounting and auditing services remains in its premature stages. Since for the extremely regulated nature of the audit process, the public companies are in the high requirement of the same. Alternatively, it is feasible for introducing the software robots to process analytic procedures, execute reconciliations and dual-purpose procedures in the system of revenue audits.

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RPA in Reconciliation and Analytical Procedures

In the process of revenue auditing, RPA can aid and direct the auditors to recoup related audit proofs, by just logging into the investor’s File Transfer Protocol site. The set of details may include listings of trending and previous year’s trial balance sheets and total sales. RPA can efficiently estimate the total sales per listing and collate it with the overall trial balance value. Based on the details and assuming the reconciliation of amounts, RPA can precisely let you know whether the revenue total of the current year and of the previous year listings, is substantially divergent. In addition to that, it will generate an alert, pointing out the materiality of the differences exceeding the threshold point.

The Action of RPA in Dual-Purpose Audits

Robotics in Finance & Accounting can calculate the differences in the price and the quantity across the invoices of sales, orders, and shipping. It will generate high alerts if the price and the quantity of the sales transactions undergo any differences. With the precise and timely actions of RPA, auditors can completely give away their heaving job to them and reapportion their valuable time to invest in other value-added and high-demand activities. This will ultimately increase the overall quality of the audit. Once when you leverage your investment on the RPA Software for your organization, the auditors can grasp the exact demand and work for the requirement giving their 100% proficiency. With a better understanding of the business operation of the clients, one can productively concentrate and precisely evaluate the actual risk material mistranslation.

Specific Approach to RPA based Audits

When you tend to process the audit using RPA, it will not only replace the manual and monotonous audit tasks but also encourages the recompilation of the entire audit processes. RPA remains as the outstanding process improvement technology in auditing and provokes three main stages with its implementation. To determine whether RPA is a better fit for the current situation, public accounting firms can make use of the roadmap, which contains these three main stages. They are,
1. Process Understanding
2. Audit Data Standardization (ADS)
3. Execution of Automated Audit Tests (Audit Apps)

Process Understanding

On the go, numerous audit processes can easily fit the RPA strategy. However, the audit processes that offer extensive benefits are the ones containing defined multiple audit tasks. They are a repetitive and moderate process but do not demand any audit judgment. Public Accounting Firms may recognize a specific audit process in which the RPA can build on value, by just taking into account the knowledge by the experts. Again, the vital factor to justify RPA is the total number of times that a firm requires to accomplish a specific function, which largely pivots on the number of identical audits executed.

After the confirmation of the suitable process for the implementation of RPA, the next stage begins with the division of audits tasks. Separate the task into smaller audit modules that can interpret with the RPA Software. Let us now make clear with the action of dividing the task of importing and exporting data. It becomes instinctive for the humans, but for the software, the particular task is divided into a series of smaller audit tasks,

• The process of defining the directory to import file
• Execution of importing the specified file
• Saving the extracted content of the file
• The process of defining the directory to export the file

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Audit Data Standardization (ADS)

In order to make the RPA run as intended, the audit applications for loading into the RPA must possess stability across the statistical data. You may find data arriving from different sources to the audit, like the ones from third-party asset manager or from the ERP system of the clients. Hence, you will also find that the data field names are different in every audit-related report containing even the identical information. If this is the case, the RPA software will not be capable of detecting the exact issue and execute the audit test. For this reason, the next step for the implementation of RPA becomes the creation of ADS- Audit Data Standardization, by the Public Accounting Firms.

These days, ADS is becoming more apposite as the Public Accounting firms prefer its consistent usage in most of the audits, pertaining to financial statements. To execute the relevant audit tests, ADS templates incorporate as a vital feature. Data field names and similar formats are designed to ensure the ideal purpose of the RPA audit application getting its true objective accomplished.

RPA based Audit Tests under Execution

Here comes the final stage of an audit by RPA implementation. It is to frame the software to operate the audit tests by itself. This process also involves the positioning of the software in the real world audit assignation. RPA Software tools like BluePrism and UiPath are largely popular for carrying out this operation. There are still more RPA software tools emerging for implementing this specific stage in the field of auditing by RPA. Programming languages like R and Python cannot carry out subsequent output compared to those RPA Software tools. It is best to arrogate such type of ready-to-use RPA Software tools, as they demand only a few or no supplementary programming, in the deployment of variable RPA-ground auditing tasks. For making use of Python and R programming languages efficiently, one needs to refer their libraries for better RPA functions.

Added Functions of RPA

• Replaces manual and repetitive audit tasks along with the re-designing process.
• RPA audits are rule-based functions which empower the automatic accomplishment of audit tests.
• With just one click by the auditor, the entire audit test begins with the processing of modules involving importing file to read data, performing the test and then exporting the file again in the basis of work papers.
• RPA can process and automate most parts of the audit procedure while it is preferably suggested to initiate it with a small part of the whole process.
• With the beginning of small area automation, it boosts the overall confidence of the RPA users. RPA projects working at firms on targeting the low-risk areas that do not entail audit judgment, tend to improve their success rates. 
• Along with the current application of manual audit testing, RPA based Audit tests should also be executed in parallel. It is vital to prove the accuracy of RPA audit tools. 
• IT departments should leverage their support towards the RPA audit tools to retain their presence in audit engagements. They should finely tune the RPA system to fulfill the intended objectives. 

RPA in Kausal Vikash’s Emergen Teck

Emergen Teck of Kausal Vikash offers you a prominent opening in the field of RPA. It is an emerging gateway to the pre-eminent learning of Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, Data Science, Cognitive Automation, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Blockchain, Chatbot, and Innovation Design Thinking. As the center is well experienced in Robotics in Finance & Accounting, it holds the crown of training some 1000+ professionals from the past one year. The institution also trains fresh engineering graduates and helps in instructing them to find intended opportunities that they deserve. Developing your RPA skills in Emergen Teck will make you grab all the new openings towards your career. Kausal Vikash’s center of RPA not only trains its candidates but also aids them to achieve their goals in life.

As stated earlier, the recognition of RPA-based auditing and financing is in high demand in the accounting profession of various organizations. This embracing technology tends to upgrade the audit efficiency and potency of the whole accounting workload of the firms. Beyond everything, RPA based technology is for sure to bring up genuine changes in the auditing fields. Although slowly, it’s consequences has a steady rise in the finance world. Professionals are all set to welcome it’s constructive and effectual output in the form of audit reports. They are ought to grab the fruits of its labor.

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