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Automating bank reconciliation process for a leading student accommodation company, delivering 40% productivity improvement

Automating bank reconciliation process for a leading student accommodation company, delivering 40% productivity improvement

Overview
The client is one of the leading student accommodation providers in the UK. Managing a large asset portfolio, which includes tens of thousands of beds spread across sites, the client has complex accounting requirements.

Business scenario
QX provides finance & accounting services to the client. Over the course of the engagement lasting years, we have optimised and streamlined a range of processes. As a part of our efforts to further improve productivity and deliver efficiency gains to the client, QX proposed to automate the bank reconciliation process using our proprietary automation technology. Some of the key challenges we faced in implementing the solution include:

  • QX team accesses the client’s environment via a secure environment and the client did not want to deploy any external tool in its secure environment.
  • Tools and applications used by the client lacked stability – they often crashed, hanged or were difficult to access. This slowed down the processing activity.
  • One key requirement was to identify student ids automatically from remittance notes – as this involves unstructured and unpatterned data, human judgment is involved.

QX solution
Our objective was to deliver all the benefits of automation to client while respecting their concerns in regards to information security and IT infrastructure. We worked closely with the operational teams to understand the process and built virtual workers ADAM and EVE that leverage robotic process automation and cognitive technologies to automate bank reconciliation activities. To overcome the specific challenges:

  • QX process bots worked via the existing secure environment just as a human worked would. The bots automatically logged into the client’s secured environment, downloaded the bank statements, imported statements into the accounting solutions, logged into the accounting solutions, and then performed the reconciliations.
  • QX requested the client allocated more server resources to the bots, which ensured smooth and speedy processing, allowing the bots to run at peak efficiency. Additionally, the client is closely monitoring the functioning of its existing applications and may replace low-performance tools to further enhance the speed and efficiency of the bots.
  • The bot was configured to download and read the data only for set durations – last 10 days. This ensured that all the entries were not loaded at the same time, which sped up the process further.
  • To enable the bots to identify the student ids from remittance notes, QX worked with the client to educate the students to follow a predefined pattern in their remittance notes. QX deployed EVE, which is capable of analyzing free text, to analyze this data and pinpoint the exact student from whom the payment has come.

Benefits

  • 40% productivity improvement, which helped redeploy resources to other critical functions
  • 50% improvement in turnaround time
  • 100% accuracy in processing
  • Non-intrusive solution automates the process with minimal impact on the IT landscape
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