Implementation of new technologies in accounting and financial processes: An effectiveness assessment


Abstract

Objective: The aim of this paper is to explore accountants’ views on the usage of Robotic Process Automation technology (RPA) which brings efficiency increase.

Research Design & Methods: An online survey has been addressed to over 500 respondents from international companies, where 160+ complete answers were received from the most important types of organizations in the business services industry. The non-parametric rho Spearman correlation coefficient and the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test and business case for the RPA implementation efficiency were used.

Findings: Based on the research results obtained, it should be emphasized that robotization technologies which raise the efficiency of financial and accounting services make an important impact on the efficiency of modern business services sector. Application of RPA assumes replacing work of an existing employee with the use of dedicated software (software robots) to support activities, primarily repeated and uncomplicated, characterized by a low number of exceptions.

Implications & Recommendations: RPA application is commonly used in modern business services, particularly in the areas of Finance, Accounting, IT and Human Resources Management. By utilizing RPA technology, the effectiveness of operations increases while reducing workload, minimizing possible errors in the process. The greatest efficiency resulting from the RPA implementation was observed in the Accounts Payable department, to a lesser extent in the General Ledger department and in the Tax section. The assessment of managers in terms of the effects of RPA implementation is unequal, while for Business, IT Process Outsourcing companies (BPO / ITO), Shared Service Centers (SSC), Consulting / Advisory companies and their customers no significant differences were found.

Contribution & Value Added: The article presents an assessment of the effectiveness of the use of Robotic Process Automation in Process Outsourcing companies (BPO / ITO) and Shared Service Centers (SSC) operating in Poland. It is one of the first studies of this type for enterprises operating in Poland. The article uses a relatively large number of responses (160+) from the respondents. In the previous studies in the literature, the answers obtained came from a much smaller number of respondents and were conducted in the form of direct interviews. In the article, the group of respondents consists not only of managers of outsourcing companies, but also auditing companies and clients of outsourcing companies. The article also presents a financial simulation of the effectiveness of BPO / ITO and SSC using Robotic Process Automation, which additionally validates the responses obtained in the questionnaire.


Keywords

robotic process automation; business process outsourcing BPO; IT outsourcing; company efficiency; Poland; questionnaire

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Published : 2022-09-30


SzmajserR., KędziorM., AndrzejewskiM., & ŚwietlaK. (2022). Implementation of new technologies in accounting and financial processes: An effectiveness assessment. International Entrepreneurship Review, 8(3), 7-21. https://doi.org/10.15678/IER.2022.0803.01

Rafał Szmajser 
Krakow University of Economics  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6040-3467

Seasoned finance executive with 20 plus years of diverse experience acquired across a range of industries including: Insurance (Shared Service Center Zurich Insurance Company – Head of Delivery Center); petrochemical industry with BP and Slovnaft-MOL (CFO and Board Member), Business Process Outsourcing through the Capgemini (Senior Director). His recent experience includes role of Head of Finance Operations in HEINEKEN Global Shared Service where he was responsible for team of approx. 800 finance specialists. He holds PhD in Finance (University of Economics in Krakow) and MBA from Oxford Brooks University. Rafal has got proven records of continuous improvement (Lean Six Sigma Black Belt), Business Controls, Risk & Compliance (Internal Auditor – ISO 9001 certification), RPA and project management (PMP).


Marcin Kędzior 
Krakow University of Economics  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8836-7218

Associate Professor, Department of Financial Accounting, Institute of Finance, Cracow University of Economics (Poland). Habilitated doctor in economics (2016). PhD in economics (2009). Master of Science in economics (2002). Member of the board of an Polish Accounting Association, branch in Cracow, chairman of the Corporate Finance and Accounting Commission (CUE). His research interests include: capital structure, managerial accounting, IFRS, Corporate Social Responsibility, corporate finance.


Mariusz Andrzejewski  andrzejm@uek.krakow.pl
Krakow University of Economics  Poland
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1014-4396

Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Financial Accounting, Institute of Finance, Cracow University of Economics (Poland). Habilitated doctor in economics (2013). PhD in economics (2001). Master of Science in Automatics and Robotics (1995). Master in Accounting (1996). Master of Science in Informatics (1997). His research interests include financial audit, corporate finance, financial and managerial accounting, computer-aided techniques in accounting.


Katarzyna Świetla 
Krakow University of Economics  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7796-9379

Associate Professor, Department of Financial Accounting, Institute of Finance, Cracow University of Economics (Poland). Habilitated doctor in economics (2015). PhD in economics (2001). Master of Science in economics (1996). Director of postgraduate studies “Financial Accounting CUE-ACCA”. Her research interests concern outsourcing of modern accounting as well as capital groups and consolidated financial statements.






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