One can imagine how challenging it can be to conduct internal audit of reimbursement in large enterprises with thousands of employees. Thanks to the maturity and wide application of RPA technology, this problem can be solved with a new solution.
Lenovo Group serves as one of the forerunners. As a leading technology company around the world, Lenovo Group took the lead in implementing the intelligent transformation strategy, and successfully developed internal audit robot. With the combined help of OCR, intelligent self-service chatbot and other intelligent technologies, electronic invoices can be automatically downloaded, verified, and marked for external audits, and an internal audit report can be automatically issued as well. RPA robot can automate inspection and spreadsheet generation, minimizing the impact of system abnormalities on business, resulting in a “reduction” to its internal audit of reimbursement for employees.
Taking Multi-layered Investigation to Overcome Audit Challenges
At present, RPA is in urgent need to automate the process of auditing. Why? In fact, with the global trend of digital transformation, many companies have chosen to adopt SaaS to improve office efficiency and reduce the cost in purchasing, constructing and maintaining infrastructure.
By this model, however, enterprise users rarely have direct access to the API interface of the service provider and they are unable to connect to their database for underlying data, which makes it less convenient in completing work involving underlying data like internal audits. As a leading technology company in the world, Lenovo Group uses Workday as the platform for employee expense reimbursement. In order to complete an internal audit of reimbursement of employee expenses, auditors must login to Workday manually to download the expense report and electronic invoice, then check the consistency, before they can finally issue the internal audit report.
In summary, the following difficulties need to be overcome:
A large number of expense reports and electronic invoices need to be downloaded manually. This process of operation is tedious and highly repetitive, which consumes too much time and energy for auditors;
Manual operation for a long time may lead to staff fatigue, which is likely to cause operation errors and reduce the accuracy of the internal audit report; manual operation also leads to long cycle of the internal audit, which exposes the enterprise to potential financial risks.
Having identified these pain points in the internal audit work, and after internal discussions and communications with the industry, Lenovo decided to resolve these problems through RPA deployment.
Intelligent and Automatic Internal Audit with Reasonable deployment
The process of RPA deployment in Lenovo Group went very smoothly. It took only 50 days to complete the development and deployment of the reimbursement audit robot. After deployment, the internal audit robot can automatically generate expense report, download and verify invoices for employee expense reimbursement in Lenovo Group.
The results after deployment can be seen in the following two areas:
Significant Economic Benefits
From time to time, the global internal audit department of Lenovo Group inspects the expense reimbursement by randomly selecting certain employees in certain years, involving an average of certain expense reports and invoices. In the traditional way of doing internal audit manually, the company would need 3 employees to spend at least 5 days a month to manually download and verify the expense reports and invoices. After the implementation of RPA, the robot can complete the same workload within only 5 hours, saving about 1,500 hours of labor cost each year.
Better Work flow
In addition, with the help of robots, the internal audit report can be issued 4 days faster than before, with an 87% speedup, achieving a very low error rate; and at the same time, it ensures the accuracy of the internal audit report data, playing a great role in avoiding financial risks and reducing potential financial losses by performing internal audit.
Moreover, the internal audit robot for employee expense reimbursement in Lenovo Group also performs an automatic inspection as a part of daily routine. Once there is an error, it will notify the developer or operation and maintenance personnel to provide an early warning. By doing so, relevant personnel can handle the situation quickly and right to the point, with high efficiency.
Generally speaking, the internal audit robot for employee expense reimbursement has become a powerful digital employee within Lenovo Group. It can automatically log in to Workday, playing an important role in key processes including navigating, entering query terms, page hopping, and downloading expense reports. The robot enables online internal audit tasks to be completed in high efficiency and smoothness, considerably reducing the need of human participation and intervention.
Exploration in Intelligence: Experience Sharing from Lenovo
The experience of Lenovo Group in building intelligent internal audit provides valuable insights. In addition to RPA robot, OCR technology, independently developed by Lenovo, is also applied to the process of internal audit of expense reimbursement. With OCR, key information such as invoice number, name and date of service on the electronic invoice can be identified automatically; and based on the expense report, matching and verification is carried out, and will be marked no matter if it is matching or not, and the corresponding expense report number and invoice number will be recorded for human confirmation.
Additionally, RPA being integrated with chatbot IT Robbie, is very popular at present. Lenovo has already used IT Robbie, an intelligent self-service chatbot to support employees. Taking this advantage, the team integrated RPA with its IT Robbie to facilitate business employees to adopt RPA robot efficiently.
Of course, RPA implementation varies with different businesses, but there is a common principle that is shared by all the deployment.
Thanks to the combination of RPA and AIOps, Lenovo Group has developed an advanced solution for the employee expense reimbursement audit process. This solution not only address our pain points in reimbursement audit, but also improves the user experience with the combination of RPA and self-developed AIOps products, resulting in ‘1+1>2’. We hope that more organizations can benefit from our deployment experience and implement true digital transformation into their actual businesses.
Global IT Operation Director of Lenovo Group
BY THE NUMBERS
- 180saved man days/year
- 87%faster in internal audit
- 100%accurate in audit reports