Robot

Perspectives

Financial process automation for federal audit and risk

Process Robotics, the risk management framework, and implications for the audit

Federal agencies are facing unprecedented budgetary and regulatory disruption as they manage mounting budget constraints while trying to be more agile to increasing mission objectives. As federal entities begin to consider robotic process automation, audit considerations will, more often than not, quickly become a key topic.​

Audit for robotics

Federal agencies are facing unprecedented budgetary and regulatory disruption as they manage mounting budget constraints while trying to be more agile to increasing mission objectives. The combination of unfunded mandates, a shrinking workforce, and excessive contractor spend is prompting federal agencies to look for innovative solutions such as Digital Labor to address these challenges. No longer are federal executives limited to the option of simply hiring new federal employees.

Financial process automation offers an inexpensive Digital Labor solution that can be implemented in weeks and provides the ability to rapidly scale. Simply put, Digital Labor should be thought of as a new category of resources that leaders can tap into—a pool of digital labor that provides leaders with access to new capabilities and options to achieve mission goals. However, as federal agencies begin to embrace Digital Labor and federal financial process automation capabilities, such as Deloitte Process Robotics, there are key audit and risk management considerations that need to be considered and addressed by both the auditor and federal agency executives in order to enable successful transformation.

As federal entities begin to consider financial process automation, audit considerations will, more often than not, quickly become a key topic. Within the federal government, the audit directly affects the agency’s ability to receive the critical funding required to execute its mission to serve the nation and its citizens. It is important that federal agencies understand that automated processes will be meticulously scrutinized by auditors to ensure that all items and transactions that contribute to external financial reporting are correctly documented.

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Robotics in federal financial management

Process automation is applicable to any organization that has repeatable, manual, rules-based processes—so why is the finance function a good place to start? In today’s environment, many budgets are being updated to shift funding to mission-related activities. Failing projects and back offices are often taking the hit. The finance function is filled with repetitive, but necessary tasks. As budgets shift from finance to the mission and hiring freezes loom, having a digital finance workforce may be the only option to maintain operations and keep the lights on for the organization.

Funds control, spend plans, accruals, audit preparation, JVs, account reconciliations, travel processing, PP&E—the opportunities for federal financial process automation are vast. By focusing on finance function businesses can take the lead on solutions that can drive operational efficiencies across the enterprise, and offer a real answer to the question “how can I do more with less?”

Two simple questions can help determine if you should use financial process automation:
The most often asked question is ‘Can I use financial process automation on my processes?’ There are two simple diagnostic questions to determine applicability of automation to your business challenge:

  • Is the process a computer-based task that a human can do?
  • Is the process rules-based?

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Explore more on robotic process automation:

Process Robotics: An emerging solution to unfunded mandates and shrinking federal workforce
Federal agencies are facing unprecedented budgetary and regulatory disruptions as they manage mounting budget constraints while trying to be more agile to increase mission objectives. With the inability to hire more federal staff, the federal government is forced to spend dollars on contractor support or shift resources away from the mission to handle these routine, manual tasks. The convergence of additional factors—exploding the amount of federal program data, increasing regulatory compliance, and demand for greater government value—is adding fuel to these challenges for the federal government.

A roadmap for building digital labor in government
The future of how we do work is changing. Solutions and technologies that help make life easier are being introduced and embraced at a pace like we have never seen. The federal government is diligently working to improve efficiency, align its workforce to the needs of today and the future, and remove barriers to deliver results to citizens. Digital labor is a solution that can help federal agencies improve service delivery to citizens through new automation and data analytics capabilities.

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Digital labor

​A recent Forbes Insights Survey1 found that 58 percent of auditors and businesses believe that technology will have the single biggest impact on the audit over the next three to five years. Approximately 59 percent of the Forbes survey agree that advanced technology will enable a deeper, more sophisticated analysis of data as part of the audit process.

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