In recent years, the role of the treasury department has shifted and expanded. Many treasurers do more than just oversee their organization’s risk and liquidity. They also are called upon to manage capital and generate revenue. E-Commerce and other digitalization trends have required treasurers to embrace digital transformation.
One technology that benefits treasurers is robotic process automation (RPA). Why is process improvement needed in treasury? How can it be implemented? What are the challenges, solutions, and benefits?
Robotic Process Automation — Vital for Treasurers
Whether managing risk and liquidity, overseeing revenue generation, or performing audits to ensure compliance, treasurers need to access prodigious amounts of sensitive data, analyze it, and distribute documentation, reports, and findings. Management and owners rely on this information for key decision-making and organizational strategies.
Let’s use an example. Treasurers sometimes need to log in to various banks, each with a different set of credentials and a different user interface. Additionally, each bank might produce the required reports differently, in multiple formats. The treasurer would have to take the data gathered, enter, analyze, and reconcile it in their organization’s own system. This challenge is time-consuming and open to human error and possible malicious exploitation.
RPA provides treasurers with an opportunity to automate and streamline parts of this process, making it easier to provide management with real-time data and actionable insights for decisive strategies.
How to Implement RPA
The challenge to implementing RPA in treasury is that it’s difficult for many professionals to trust sensitive data and login credentials to a “bot,” an application programmed to do a specific task, Often, it needs to be implemented slowly, essentially a “crawl, walk, run” scenario, for trust to be built. For example, it could be rolled out in phases, such as this:
- Phase 1: automate logging into banking applications to generate reports
- Phase 2: once trust is built, automate the data analysis and reporting
- Phase 3: automate compliance, fraud detection, etc.
A significant obstacle to automation is two-step verification or multi-factor authentication for logging into sensitive systems securely. However, your IT team and automation professionals can provide secure login options that can be automated without sacrificing security.
Benefits of RPA
Let’s go back to our example above. Bots don’t just automate processes. They are also very efficient at picking up patterns and identifying their significance. So, in an audit, the bots could quickly and accurately identify what items did not reconcile and need to be corrected. They would expose any vulnerabilities to fraud and exploitation.
In addition to the benefits seen in the example, automation can also:
Minimize Human Error
Manual processes, especially routine and time-consuming ones, are prone to error. Even if all processes cannot realistically be automated, implementing RPA can reduce human error and fatigue.
Increase Efficiency and Savings
Automating routine processes frees up resources. Staff members can focus on using data rather than collecting and analyzing it. Improved employee morale, productivity, accuracy, reliability, and consistency are some of the results you can expect to see. Additionally, the ROI on RPA is estimated to be as much as 250%.
Real-Time Actionable Results
Because bots work faster and more efficiently, the results of automated processes give your organization real-time actionable insights. Real-time decision-making can help you stay relevant and competitive in your industry while also making it easier to strengthen governance.
Reaping the Benefits
RPA has a low technical barrier and is a non-invasive solution for streamlining risk and liquidity management and other treasury responsibilities. eCapital Advisors offers professional consultation, effective strategies, and ease of implementation for your RPA solutions. Explore our advisory services, and schedule a consultation appointment today.