Robotic process automation (RPA), a relatively young technology, is already helping companies automate finance processes such as reconciling cash pool accounts and the monthly financial close. Yet while finance departments are rapidly investing in such new technologies, many still have not yet fully adopted mature technologies, according to a new Bain & Company survey of 500 finance executives and professionals in the US, UK and Germany. In accounts payable, our survey finds that 55% of respondents are not using basic technologies such as optical character recognition or online invoice approvals, yet 66% of these laggards plan to invest in RPA. New technologies may be well worth the investment, but companies will also want to adopt mature tools in order to generate sustainable improvements in finance processes.
Michael Heric is a partner with Bain & Company’s Performance Improvement practice, and coleads Bain Support Functions globally. He is based in New York.
Robotic process automation and machine learning may be hot, but many existing technologies remain vastly underutilized.