How RPA Eases the Workload of Financial Shared Service Centers


It has been a while since the Financial Shared Service Center (FSSC) has become a hot financial management strategy. Thus far, more than 90% of the top 500 global enterprises have built Financial Shared Service Center. RPA as an automation tool can contribute a lot in easing the workload of these centers, but before we get started with that, we need to know a few new terms, so let's get started with it.


What are the Shared Services?

The shared service in simple terms can be defined as an operational philosophy that centralizes the administrative functions of an organization that were once performed in separate departments or locations.

Services that can be shared among the various business departments of a company include finance, purchasing, inventory, payroll, hiring, help desk, and information technology. For instance, a central headquarter that controls all the hiring for an entire chain of retail stores or providing a single point of contact for customer support and inquiries.

What is the Shared Services Center?

The Shared Services Center is a center providing shared services in an organization. It is the entity responsible for the execution and the handling of specific administrative tasks, such as accounting, human resources, payroll, IT, legal, compliance, purchasing, security. 

What is the Financial Shared Services Center?

The Financial Shared Services Center is the entity dedicated to helping corporations manage the current resources, optimize the efficiency of organizations and processes, reduce the cost of monetary operation, promote the synthesis of business and finance, and strengthen financial control. 


When FSSC Meets RPA

RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, software that can emulate human operations on a PC can significantly improve financial accuracy and transactional efficiency. It is suitable for repetitive processes that operate under clear, logical rules. In each step in FSSC's workflow, there is a large number of repetitive and manual tasks. RPA financial robots can complete these labor-intensive tasks and achieve seamless automation, improve the degree of digitalization, and further optimize the FSSC workflow.

Which FSSC Processes are Candidates for RPA?

As an innovative financial management model, FSSC has been promoted and implemented by many multinational companies and domestic enterprises. Large enterprises have many organizations, complex business processes, large amounts of data processing, many accountings, and inspection projects, and low manual processing efficiency. The financial staff has low employee satisfaction rates due to the high volume of repetitive and tedious operations.

FSSC can integrate repetitive, low-skill financial services and conveniently standardize work that comes from different entities and locations, by effectively incorporating personnel, technology, and business processes. FSSC can achieve standardization, thereby alleviating businesses from low investment and efficiency when it comes to financial operations.

However, not all FSSC business processes can be automated using RPA. Processes that are excellent candidates for automation should meet the following requirements:

1, High volume, repetitive business processes. 

Such tasks include processing expense reimbursement vouchers, asset depreciation vouchers, capital payment vouchers, production and receipt vouchers, etc. Since there is a high volume of vouchers to be processed, processing vouchers are highly repeatable.

2, Services that can be standardized. 

With regards to accounting, whether under a country's IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) or GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), financial bookkeeping is a highly standardized process. As a result, accounting and financial sharing are popular in many businesses.

3, Business processes with specified workflows. 

For example, expense reimbursement has typical workflow steps from business processing to financial processing. Due to clear workflow plans, employees can clearly understand what kind of processing should be completed in each step of the workflow.

Advantages of Applying RPA to FSSC

In the past, FSSC faced the following major pain points:

a, Slow and inefficient reimbursement process;

b, Leaders spending too much time on document approval;

c, Decentralized fund management;

d, Internal control lag;

e, A disproportionately high volume of financial transactional work;

f, Lack of an effective information system.

The implementation of RPA can help FSSC achieve automation in terms of funds, general ledger, payables, receivables, costs, assets, etc., and bring the following changes:

a, Accelerated and updated processes;

b, Accelerated output of services and products;

c, Capital can be concentrated in core business operations;

d, Maximized operational efficiency and optimized information flow;

e, Increased knowledge assets;

f, Senior management is more focused on strategy and analysis;

g, We can see that RPA and FSSC complement each other.

At first, FSSC generates procedures and rules to provide a robust operating foundation and implementation environment for RPA financial robots. Then, RPA financial robots can free financial personnel from a large number of repetitive, manual tasks so that they can engage in more valuable, creative work. Thus, Financial Shared Service Center (FSSC) offers improved capabilities and higher quality service.


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