Paul Winsor

Posted by:
Paul Winsor
- Head of Industry Solutions and Strategic Partnerships

The last 12 months should have taught us that, the better organisations understood how their business performed and adapted quickly, the more they were equipped to deal with the ‘Black Swan’ event and achieve better outcomes for their business.

I don’t believe many would disagree that organisations who have invested in a ‘Data & Analytics Strategy’ were much better prepared to understand their consumers’ behaviours, anticipate fluctuations in demand of products and services, and, most importantly, act.  Those businesses could make smarter and faster decisions to protect their profit and continue to offer excellent customer service.

However, how many companies have gone a step further and embedded Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as part of their data & analytics strategy? Companies that do are able to increase their operational efficiency by accelerating their processes to capture, prepare, move, populate, and report on the data in their business.  Less time handling data means more time generating analytics…and acting upon the insight.

So, what is Robotic Process Automation? RPA is productivity software that sits on top of existing systems and performs manual, repetitive, and rule-based activities traditionally performed by individuals. RPA can emulate a person by executing manual, repetitive tasks in existing applications, make decisions based on set rules and integrate and update seamlessly with other applications.

These are some of the typical activities ‘RPA bots’ can automate:

  • Opening email and attachments
  • Moving files and folders
  • Filling in forms
  • Scraping data from the web
  • Reconciling data and making calculations

According to Automation Anywhere a global leader in RPA, over 27% of all RPA bots are deployed in the Finance and Accounting function of an organisation. That is great progress from many leading organisations that have embraced AI to intelligently automate the mundane tasks that most of the readers of this blog can recognise in their daily and weekly job responsibilities.

So, how can RPA bots be adopted in the Office of Finance? At Sempre Analytics we have identified in our recently published “Top 10 Use Cases for RPA in Finance” eBook, processes across purchase to pay, order to cash, and record to report that can be automated using RPA. Investing in this AI capability enables Finance leaders to concentrate on forward focused, value-adding tasks that reinforce the critical importance of intelligent financial management to any organisation.  The adoption of RPA also increases the operational efficiency of the Finance function, as well as uplifting personal motivation and morale of staff through offloading mundane, repetitive tasks to digital workers.

If you have not started on the digital transformation of adopting AI Automation as part of your data & analytics strategy, here are my top four reasons why you should consider leveraging a digital workforce to support your Office of Finance function:

  1. Operational Efficiency Improvements – to streamline manual processes to improve operations and reduce costs.
  2. Enhance Timeliness – to accelerate financial close to provide timely information for business decision-making.
  3. Strengthen Governance – to tighten controls to improve accuracy and compliance with regulatory requirements.
  4. Empower your Colleague Capital – to make your workforce more productive and forward focused on value-added activities.

We must be thankful for small mercies that, as a generation of computer and home/office workers, we have been able to use data & analytics as a weapon against COVID impacting our organisation’s profit. However, if you had also used digital workers to prepare your data and generate insight, the efficiencies gained would have reduced your costs further and enabled faster and smarter decision-making which, as the world continues to change, all organisations need.


On March 2, Sempre Analytics hosted a virtual session entitled The Evolving Role of the Finance Leader.  We invited Ken Mertzel, Global Industry Lead for Automation Anywhere; a leading provider of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to discuss the importance and value of automation in the Finance Function watch his session on-demand here.

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