The business sector is constantly changing due to new emerging technologies. First came ERP, then SaaS and BI. Now there’s artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual assistants. All of these changed the game, or still are changing the game, for businesses in terms of how much easier they make workers lives. So much more can be done in so much less time. The newest emerging technology to join the pack that will do wonders for businesses, and especially the accounts receivable department, is Robotic Process Automation.


Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, focuses on automating business processes, typically processes that are manual for employees. Using software, RPA captures your business data to trigger responses based on a rules based workflow. For example, robotic process automation can automatically send emails out as a response to another action taken. The email would be sent because one rule set up in the system triggers the action to occur. These rules can vary from organization to organization to complete different tasks because of different actions completed.


The accounts receivable industry is known for having understaffed departments that are drowning in work. Often times this is because there is a lot of manual work that goes along with collections, like creating aging reports, sending out emails to customers to remind them to pay or stuffing envelopes with invoices and statements. With robotic process automation, those manual tasks often no longer need to be done. This doesn’t mean to say robotic process automation will replace the collector position, however. This means that collectors will be able to do more value added tasks for the company, like building relationships with the customers, reaching out to past due customers via phone calls and creating strategies and processes to make the department more efficient.

Below are some specific tasks that robotic process automation can complete for the accounts receivable department:


As soon as an invoice is created, robotic process automation can trigger an email to be sent to the customer with the invoice attached. As soon as a customer goes 30 days past due, robotic process automation can trigger an email to be sent reminding the customer that the invoice is past due and requesting payment. Depending on the processes preferred by your department, rules can be created for any workflow. Without needing to create these emails yourself, some accounts receivable departments have saved an upwards of 600 hours.


Invoice disputes often cost the most money to departments. The longer an invoice sits in dispute, the more likely it will not get paid in full or not get paid at all. That’s why it’s extremely important that invoice disputes get dealt with immediately by a credit manager or department manager, to ensure the best outcome of the situation. Robotic process automation can trigger workflows to automatically escalate an account and alert a credit manager or department manager as soon as an invoice goes into dispute. This ensures the most likelihood of all money being collected on.


Keeping an eye on your customers credit score and credit history ensures that you stay ahead of a possible disaster. There are often indications when a customer is heading downhill and you can reduce your own liability if they were to go bankrupt. By using robotic process automation, you can get ahead of these disasters by setting up rules so the system will alert you if a customers credit score drops below a certain threshold.