BlackLine Blog

October 07, 2019

RPA & Risk: What Your Finance Department Needs to Know

Intelligent Automation
1 Minute Read

Michael Shultz

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While many people focus on the risks that technology can create, not enough people are talking about the risks that technology exposes and reduces. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

RPA reveals risks that are currently in financial processes and reduces or eliminates them in three key areas: security, errors, and compliance. Here’s how.


Your Finance Department may be lacking in security, in regard to your software and who has access to your information. RPA increases security by limiting access to sensitive information and tasks.

When tasks are automated, it reduces or eliminates the need for people to handle the sensitive details. Instead, they work at a higher level and monitor completion.

With the right software, security can be further increased by eliminating multiple sign-ins, but this can only be achieved with embedded software. A single sign-on is ideal because it reduces the number of areas storing sensitive data and the number of accounts and passwords each worker needs to protect and maintain.


Overworked, overtired employees have increased chances of making mistakes, and those mistakes can lead to many hours of rework. Using RPA to process monotonous, rules-based tasks eliminates the risk of errors for those tasks.

By allowing technology to handle the repetitive tasks, fewer mistakes are made and people focus on exception-handling. RPA shifts the focus of the worker beyond monotonous tasks and enables employees to do value-add work.


One of the greatest areas of risk for finance departments is compliance issues, which can undermine any company. According to KPMG’s 2018 survey, the CFO’s biggest concern is internal controls for financial reporting.

Companies need to be able to demonstrate strong controls. Without having clear insight into your numbers, not only do you lack assurance, but your company could also be at risk of failing to meet government regulations.

With the right RPA tools, all transaction and process dates are timestamped and documentation is automatically attached, eliminating compliance concerns.

The market has become fiercely competitive — don’t let fear of change put your company at the disadvantage of being left behind. It’s time for accounting and finance organizations to uncover the greatest risks and eliminate them with RPA.

Read this blog to learn more about what Robotic Process Accounting really means for accountants.

About the Author


Michael Shultz