A CFO’s job is never really done – Could RPA be the answer?

August 5, 2021
Chris Meyer
#AI | #CFOtech | #ML | #RPA

We live in an exciting world with accelerating digital transformation opportunities. CFOs are no longer only finance function heads but are under constant pressure to become better business partners and to contribute to revenue growth and increase profitability. They are tasked with driving process efficiencies and reducing costs.

The finance function is characterized with having to complete many repetitive tasks – some as basic as generating and checking reconciliations and reports, other more complicated as having to complete a month end close for a Fortune 500 company in less than a week. The office of finance goes through cycles of high and low activity. Many functions still rely on manual processes that take too long, are error prone and cost too much.

Well, hello there RPA! RPA helps address these constraints by applying software technology to replicate process-based human actions facilitated by a user interface. It seeks to eliminate the need for manual repetitive tasks, allowing financial teams to focus on value-added tasks, and provides the operational capability for CFOs to scale or pivot when needed.

As per Gartner forecast, the “global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, which is an increase of 19.5% from 2020.” This estimate for a surge in revenue is all the more outstanding, given that most organizations are limiting their technology spendings because of the harrowing economic instability caused by the pandemic. What’s more, the same Garner report suggests that RPA’s revenue will continue to grow by double digits through to 2024.

Top RPA trends to watch out in 2021:

  1. RPA will become a conventional Service (RPAaaS).
  2. Paperwork will be eliminated.
  3. AI and ML technologies will lead to further progression.
  4. The growth of IoT and Big Data will greatly be influenced by RPA.
  5. RPA use cases will expand beyond finance and accounting.
  6. RPA will transform to Smart Process Automation (SPA).
  7. Employee Experience will improve.

Why will Born Capital invest in RPA?

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity within CFOTechs that make use of cutting-edge technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) or artificial intelligence (AI) on particular friction points. Wouter Born said, “I think it’s more and more common that solutions are very specific and solve one very specific pain point. That’s where we see the most opportunity, in smart, new fit-for-purpose solutions.”

As an example, RPA has substantial potential to ease AP friction and drive cost savings by mechanizing mind-numbing workflows normally led by a human. With CFOs increasingly embracing this new responsibility to drive value and growth for the enterprise, B2B FinTechs continue to see their Greenfield opportunities proliferate. However, with so many solutions and technologies flooding the market, these FinTechs aimed at CFOs will require both money and strategic assistance to break through the clutter and shine out. Supporting these innovators will remain a key focus for Born Capital.

Future of RPA:

  • Startups are launching low-code solutions while RPA companies try to simplify programming to democratize RPA and expand its use. This can be as powerful as the launch of excel which empowered and changed the finance community forever. Given RPA’s broad field of application, low code RPA has the potential to revolutionize white-collar work.
  • RPA marketplaces enable RPA bots to have a larger set of capabilities, allowing companies to automate processes more easily. This is because no single provider can provide all the functionality to automate the diverse number of processes in use at companies. Marketplaces allowed operating systems (e.g. Apple App Store), CRM software (Salesforce AppExchange) and numerous other platforms to extend their reach via marketplaces.
  • With the introduction of Microsoft in the RPA ecosystem, leaders of RPA companies see increased commoditization of RPA. A capability that was under the grasp of a small bunch of vendors in the past year is selling openly like hotcakes as of 2021. It is becoming less costly to build a competitive RPA solution.

RPA is destined to be at the forefront of our daily activities, while also providing significant opportunities for a financial team involved in an organization’s strategic functions and decisions. RPA is progressing to be a boon for CFOs. With cost reduction set aside, automation in finance should be seen as the natural next step for business process efficiency and improving relationships with service providers.

Do you think RPA is one of the strong levers to promote efficiencies in the workplace of today?

Will RPA become a necessity for organizations and not merely a wish?

What are a few genuine motives to embrace RPA?

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    If you are interested in aligning with the #CFOTech community, click here to request to join the LinkedIn #CFOTech group.

    We welcome engagement with opinion leaders and journalists who share our interest in CFOTech.

    Are you a CFOTech founder? A warm introduction is always best, but we do commit to reading and responding to your cold pitches if you reach out to us use using this form.