Robotics in Accountancy

Crunching the numbers to add more value

T-Impact work with ambitious accountancy firms seeking to drive change and achieve rapid ROI through digital transformation. Our robotics & AI subscription model enable firms to test the water with minimal cost and build a solid business case before seeking further investment. Speak with one of our experts to learn how accountancy firms throughout the UK are using robotics and AI to improve customer experience, reduce costs and increase profitability.

 

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What are the Disruptions to Accountancy?

Digital Change

Accountancy has changed dramatically in five years. Due to Big Data, large amounts of unqualified and unstructured data has to now be processed accurately. Human staff do not have the capacity for this.

Mobile accounting

Customers need to be able to access their accounting and banking systems at all times, so cloud-based accounting has become more popular.

CUSTOMISATION AND PERSONALISATION

Accountancy firms can no longer take ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches. Bespoke tailored services are common, and these require large amounts of accurate data in order to create relevant offers for customers.

THE DIGITALISATION OF HMRC

With measures like Making Tax Digital improving the accessibility of HMRC, accounts have to find new ways to add value to transactions.

THE BIG 4

The Big 4 have invested heavily in SME service offerings. Mid-market and small firms have to adapt their messaging to compete with these new competitors, but can also access technology previously unavailable due to these new forces.

What can robotics do for accountancy firms?

Rather than resisting change, forward-thinking accountancy firms are securing their business futures and enhancing their business potential through robotic process automation.

Robotics in accountancy can be used for:

• 24/7 generation of sales quotes and account transactions

• Data validation and order confirmation emails

• Customer credit level monitoring

• Responding to vendor invoices, inquiries or payments

• Detecting abnormalities within T and E reports and acting upon this

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The Robotics involved in Accountancy Automation 

Mention AI or Robotics, and most people jump straight to sci-fi androids, or manufacturing bots on an assembly line. The term Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to specific software that can be “trained” to perform a variety of manual functions including opening emails, saving attachments and entering or extracting data.

RPA mimics human activity on your console and can perform many functions including accessing and creating new data within your existing I.T. infrastructure. When making complex decisions, it reaches out to your Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms such as IBM Watson, Microsoft AI or Google Deepmind, when available. By passing the data, the robot can receive guidance based on results and work out the next steps.

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Benefits of Robotics in Accountancy 

RPA in accountancy can free up key staff members from administrative duties, meaning they can focus on developing new revenue streams and adding value. However, other benefits include:

 

Improved Efficiency

Robots can work 24/7 and operate faster than any human staff. With instant scalability and virtual resource allocation using our orchestrator robot, you can eliminate backlogs and avoid bottlenecks.

Empowering Staff

Rather than constantly checking data-entry, staff can focus on business development opportunities that add value.

Performance Measurement and Benchmarking

The robot keeps a full record of work completed, so you can pinpoint where and how robotics is saving you money.

Reduced Costs

Thanks to subscription model RPA, accountancy firms can expand capacity without increasing costs and ease the strain on back-end resources. Your staff can focus on empowering value-adding tasks instead.

Peace of Mind

Your robot can automatically sync with legislative portals to keep up to date with any changes.

FAQs

In accounting, what processes should I automate?

In general terms, robotics is best utilised for tasks that are time-critical, data sensitive and require a number of repetitive actions. For accountancy, robotics can also be deployed to tackle large levels of big data.

I’ve read about ai tools that are replacing jobs today. How does robotics factor into this?

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful technology that aims to simulate human thought. The technology isn’t there yet, so current technology is being used to identify and deal with complex data patterns. AI requires training and this requires a large volume of data. AI requires interfaces to access existing IT systems and the results must be communicated in a way that affects the service your customer receives.

If you think of AI as the brains, think of Robotics as the hands. Robotics performs work as humans do today, accessing IT systems (including spreadsheets, websites, and email) to complete processes which deliver value to your customers. Robots don’t require interfaces; they access the screens and reports that your staff use. Robotics links into the most common AI platforms enabling you to introduce AI into your business processes.

Robotics – also called Robotic Process automation – helps you reduce the manual work involved in administration. It is a technology that can be applied to any number of processes across your firm, reducing errors, increasing profits and improving customer satisfaction.

HOW IS ROBOTICS RELEVANT TO ME, AS A MANAGING PARTNER OF AN ACCOUNTANCY FIRM?

You want to innovate and grow your firm and need technology to support your ambitions. It can be hard to convince your partners to invest in long-term and risky technology projects. Robotics is an easy technology to start your digital transformation journey. It works with your existing IT systems and doesn’t require integration or APIs to be built. Your return on investment is quick – allowing you to trial new ideas and evolve the ones that show promise.

Where do most Accountancy Firms start when looking to implement robotics?

Although every division can benefit from the introduction of RoboticProcess Automation (RPA). Numerous forward-thinking councils are already experimenting with automation in a number of different areas. Most Accountancy firms start by automating high value transactions, where quality and accuracy is critical. This is typically in (1) revenue benefits, (2) finance and (3) HR departmentsMuch of this work is rules-based, repetitive and time-consuming, an ideal fit for automation. Staff released from this admin work can then invest time enhancing council revenue. 

Common examples include Accounts receivables, Accounts Payable, Supplier setup, on-boarding new starters, leavers. 

T-Impact have already worked with multiple councils to create RPA solutionsWe are well-placed to advise you on the best way to implement it and manage it on a daily basis.  

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