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RPA = Robotics Process Automation = Future of treasury?

Robotics Process Automation is not a scary future for corporate treasury with robots sitting at desks doing everything. It is mainly about the automation of key little tasks that get in the way of the department efficiency, e.g. converting a file from one format to another and automatically sending it to the correct database file in your ERP or in your TMS.  

Robotics in finance

In a survey of 500 senior finance executives in North America and Europe by technology and outsourcing consulting firm Capgemini, 41% said their organization has an enterprise-wide automation strategy in place. Capgemini reported that, “Half or nearly half of survey participants said their teams have gone a long way toward automating a variety of finance processes. Those include not just the first wave of processes aided by RPA — such as accounts payable, order-to-cash, and record-to-report — but also treasury functions and even financial controls.”

In the report Capgemini stress that RPA tools do not need to involve large investments as organisations can control the cost of their experimental pilots before extending the tools to other processes or geographies.

Digital assistants

In January this year CTMfile reported on the use of digital assistants in the EMAGIA Global Order-to-Cash platform, see, in which Veena Gundavelli, Founder & CEO, Emagia Corporation explained that, ”Digitalization and so-called 'Conversational Artificial Intelligence' is not just a tool, it's becoming a way of life and an integral part of the digital experience across the organization. Gia is built to lead this new way to empower finance executives and finance staff, focused on amplifying their human productivity and strategic value addition to their organization — empowering individuals in their job functions."

They gave their digital assistant an image:

Source & Copyright©2018 - EMAGIA

and a personality. The other vital decision was choose the attributes that Gia’s image and voice should represent: intelligent, dependable and trustworthy. (The system allows EMAGIA to change the image and attributes for different parts of the world, if required.)

Other examples of the use of RPA include:

  • Pooling bank statement information 
  • Collecting FX exposure information from several systems into a consolidated overview  
  • Cashflow forecasting information collection

The future

The future of RPA in the corporate treasury department is going to be a combination of all sorts of different techniques and processes. These functions are being developed by some of the leading companies and will be released in the next couple of years and will be presented by a digital assistant or dashboard:

  • Cash/liquidity management: 
    • Provide next best action; brief treasurer on tasks to address  
    • Enable treasurer to tell digital assistant what actions to take
    • Configurable real-time cross-sell, e.g. to cover pre-qualified loan in case of payment shortfall 
  • Risk management:
    • Analyse sentiment of corporate treasurer to determine risk version level.

The real impact of Robotics Process Automation will be on automating the small tasks that ‘get in the way’ of department efficency and enable them to do so much more. 

CTMfile take: RPA will enable corporate treasury departments to do more with the same staff and concentrate on the really value adding parts of their work.

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