Part 2 of our Smart Close blog series. Read Part 1 here

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is no longer just the technology of the future. It’s the technology of today.

RPA applies the combination of intelligent workflows, business rules, triggered operations, and process scheduling to shift repetitive tasks from people to technology. It frees accountants from the drudgery of manual work, and also benefits the business overall by enabling a truly smart close.

Here are five of the most impactful benefits that RPA can deliver for your organization.

Timeliness

Business moves faster today than ever, which means the C-suite must have access to up-to-the-minute, accurate financial data simply to keep up. Organizations need a timely close more than ever before, and that requires the help of RPA.

Not only are RPA solutions faster than human beings, they can work around the clock. No naps. No snack breaks. And this speed and consistency enable more accurate data in less time, thus enabling finance departments to move at the pace of business and allowing accountants to finally go home.

Data Integrity

RPA ensures a safer, more secure close by improving how data is produced, used, and stored. And because RPA tools complete tasks faster, information is based on today’s numbers, not last month’s.

By eliminating manual processes, RPA solutions preserve data integrity and improve data security. RPA also helps standardize the close across all business units. Consistency of process reduces risk, increases compliance, and makes for cleaner, happier audits.

Maximum Visibility

Because RPA performs key tasks in minutes instead of days, data and insights are available whenever you need them. This increased visibility not only enables organizations to make more informed decisions; it also gives clear insight into process bottlenecks, allowing organizations to make process improvements to gain efficiency.

Accuracy

The human brain is pretty awe-inspiring, with its 100 billion neurons and all that.[i] But while this lump of dense tissue is kickass at making connections, there’s a tradeoff for all that connection-making brilliance.

To err is human, as the saying goes. And that’s never more evident than during the frenetic close. But companies that use RPA to automate repetitive, time-consuming manual tasks experience significantly fewer errors which, when they do happen, are also faster to correct.

Reduced Risk

By limiting errors made during manual processing and enabling accountants to spend more time on problem accounts, RPA helps organizations reduce risk. Automated workflows and notifications also ensure close tasks are completed on time, while increased visibility helps maintain a high level of compliance.

How to Get Smart

Industry leaders are already using RPA to facilitate a faster, more accurate, visible close. And they’re doing it with BlackLine’s Smart Close for SAP.

Why Smart Close? Because it employs cutting-edge RPA tools to automate up to 80% of close tasks.  Because it enables Continuous Accounting. And because Smart Close is embedded directly in the SAP platform.

This integration enables accountants to have direct access to all SAP data, without downloading or duplicating files. Teams don’t have to toggle between interfaces; instead, all close activities and automation capabilities are available in one location, with one login. And because Smart Close enables the close-to-disclose process to remain in SAP, all of its reporting capabilities are available with a quick click and based on live data.

Take it from Deloitte, who says that BlackLine Smart Close “not only keeps our data accurate and safe, but also provides us with very clear processes.” The leading professional services firm has also benefited from “a clear, documented workflow that included Robotic Process Automation so we could avoid any delays or confusion.”

Leading companies are embracing robots because they know that staying on top today requires working smarter and ensuring access to real-time data.

In today’s frenetic, always-on business world, RPA is the key to both. RPA tools reduce risk, increase accuracy, and improve visibility, all while freeing accountants from the mind-numbing drudgery of manual close activities.

Accountants are then free to focus on what really matters to the health and wealth of the business: forecasting, analysis, and strategy.

Read this brief to learn more about how your organization can upgrade to a faster and smarter financial close. 


[i] https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/neurobiology.htm

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