Is your finance team bot ready?

TreasuryONE's Rudolph Janse van Rensburg says that since we can't make more time, RPA can optimise productivity.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses software technology to partially or fully automate certain functions of business. These software robots can deliver the same functions as a human being, but do so more effectively by automating and standardising repetitive business functions. 

While this might be scary for employees, given widespread fears of technology taking over jobs and making human capital redundant, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, RPA takes the burden of tedious repetitive tasks away from employees, and frees up their time to focus on value added tasks.

Rudolph Janse van Rensburg, Head of Technology at TreasuryONE, says time is a scarce commodity. “We cannot create more time, even if we wanted to. We can manufacture more cars, we can dig up more gold if the price goes up, but we can’t create more time.”

This is where RPA will optimise business productivity.

Rudolph says RPA doesn’t require knowledge in computer programming because it’s just a software program that uses drag and drop functions to design the bots to your company’s specifications.

This technology can be an invaluable tool to finance professionals. Take any business with outstanding debt, for instance. If the amount owed is R285.25, but the customer only pays R285, because they could not remember the correct amount, the company is not likely to chase that 25 cents. Instead the process to reconcile that debt is assigned to the bot, which gives the customer a credit to zero them out, while updating the company’s ledger. When this process is done manually, it’s not only tedious, but takes up valuable time.

“We have not seen a reduced head count by applying this technology to our business: that’s not why we use this technology. We found that people had more time for the value-added tasks by taking away the tedious tasks.”

He says TreasuryOne now has 20 percent more capacity and employees are now spending the extra time on improving other areas of the business.