Index - Economy - No need for more accountants?

Index – Economy – No need for more accountants?

In its 2020 forecast, the Association of Chartered Accountants predicted that decades of work styles and habits at accounting firms will change through automation, and manual data entry, which takes up most of the work time, will disappear within three to five years. However, the transformation of this process at this level remains the same At the forefront of business and service centers It is also something new between them.

For example, the Hungarian subsidiary of the American group Corning Group, which provides financial and accounting services, began building the so-called RPA (Robotic Process Automation) solutions in 2016, at the same time as the international operation.

Over the past five years, the company has undergone constant development and constant change. Not only are 10 percent more jobs created each year, but existing jobs are also undergoing transformation. At the same time, the number of employees increased, since in 2016, only 100 people were employed, but this year more than 150 people were already employed. The office is currently planning to expand its staff. According to Katalin Csuhaj, Managing Director of Corning Hungary Kft

Digital transformation basically means that robots perform monotonous jobs,

This allows current colleagues to focus on higher value-added tasks. It also means a paradigm shift for them.

They always work when there is a problem, they always point

Of course, we can’t find separate hardware for RPA called bots. These tools actually work by manually copying the workflow that the player will perform, of course under specific rules. RPA solutions based on the machine learning method can be very useful in standard and repetitive workflows, as they are able to operate 24 hours a day without interruption.

The accounting process is a binding activity that requires a lot of data entry, for example, when an account is posted, data points must be recorded in the corporate governance system. We used to do this manually, but the software now allows this to happen automatically. The company manager explained that the probability of making a mistake is much less, which improves the quality of work and increases customer satisfaction. Once a colleague turns on the computer, these bots run continuously in the background while you work. For example, when an email arrives that needs processing, the program detects it, then opens, copies the required data and uploads it to the corporate governance system.

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Corning is one of the largest glass companies in the world, producing specialized products made of ceramic and glass technology. They are used in many areas, including mobile phone screens, fiber-optic cables for the Internet, and space station glass. The company also manufactures lightweight, scratch-free safety glass, Gorilla Glass, and Valor Glass for Pfizer’s vaccine vials. The company’s local subsidiary is responsible for the accounting and financial operations of the EMEA region and has now expanded with an organization that performs global procurement and logistics functions. The Hungarian office is one of the three most important global financial centers next to New York and Shanghai.

Bots also create significant added value by collecting data as they run continuously and then generating reports based on it. This can be relevant when during a particular accounting process Any interruptions that occur can be easily analyzed by the personnel using the machines. For example, a bot registers when a data processing or migration request is received, and then checks that it meets the quality requirements and has the necessary approvals. If it does not, reports may reveal that the necessary corrections can be made immediately. In general, not only the end point accounting, but also the entire economic process can be traced using these tools – from the occurrence of a customer order to the acquisition in the case of an invoice – and based on the data extracted, we can even notify the requester of any changes. Csuhaj included.

As measured by Corning, the program has achieved a 50 percent increase in efficiency globally since the introduction of RPA, and more than 500,000 man-hours have been completed in five years.

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A machine is making its way, but a human will always be needed

Thus, robots replace the tasks of colleagues who previously performed manual accounting and financial work flow that required fewer qualifications. However, this does not mean that they become redundant, but that they have an opportunity to focus on tasks with a much higher added value, he said. The job of people who are involved in data entry on a daily basis is constantly changing. Their responsibilities now include problem solving and software monitoring, verification and continual improvement of their performance.

It is up to the operators to see if there are any interruptions in the process for android Any issues that need to be addressed and they should manage reports and data generated by the devices. They also need to define what steps need to be taken to make the project a success and what changes need to be made during the start and end points. And since there are primarily technical expectations, they also have to decide, for example, whether the assistance of a technical group is needed.

So these are analyst jobs closely related to automation: in addition to knowledge of business processes, they also require technical knowledge and knowledge of project management, which is the Lean approach.

Corning strives to use digital solutions for every process where possible, so a lot of these projects are running at the same time. However, when implementing this, it is essential for employees to become familiar with and understand the work process, which requires continuous learning. Although the company also has internships, for example in technology specifically, which must be provided online or in the classroom, they believe strongly in what is called on-the-job learning.

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We haven’t been able to digitize all of our processes yet, but our vision is to be able to automate all standard manual processes by 2025. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a need for people at work. We also have completely new teams, which is why we are looking for talent in Hungary who are open to continuous learning and digital solutions. The CEO said, of course, that the focus is not on IT partners, but on talent with a financial education and position.

Currently, it can be expensive and not applicable everywhere

Robotic process automation solutions are still expensive in terms of economies of scale, so they are not designed for small offices. Also at Corning, they constantly think before launching a bot project of this type, check the return on investment, and decide what processes to implement. It was already decided that a smaller workflow would eventually not be automated because the bot to be served was not able to process a sufficient number of transactions. Of course, not only the financial return, direct labor replacement is important, but also the information that these programs can discover. It is also important to consider whether a particular company is in a growth stage.

According to Katalin Csuhaj, these programs represent a tens of millions investment for the company and usually use planned long-term solutions implemented globally by the parent company.

(Cover Photo: stock struggle)

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