Robotic process automation (RPA) is a basic software that can run repetitive rule-based tasks. Though RPA solutions are often referred to as “bots,” they are not the same as artificial intelligence (AI) bots that simulate human interactions. RPA, in contrast, replicates actions that humans might take but uses rules to do so. Examples include copy-and-paste tasks, automatic filling of forms, and extracting data from documents.

RPA maximizes efficiency and accuracy and does not require an increase in headcount. It also can be your company’s first step toward digital automation. Once implemented, RPA can help you capture increased data that can later be fed into machine learning and AI systems. Leveraging RPA technology frees your employees from time-consuming, repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on deep analytical and strategic thinking.

Importantly, RPA tasks can be created by most business software users and do not require IT personnel to code them.

Implementing a successful RPA solution

Implementing new technology takes time, but it can ultimately increase your efficiency. At MorganFranklin, we suggest clients start small with a low-risk RPA pilot program (for instance, a non-customer-facing task, such as record-to-report or procure-to-pay). Partnering with a firm like ours is advantageous because we bring a deep knowledge of RPA and its relationship to AI. We can help you plan, execute, and test your ideas, while obtaining support from high-level leaders, as well as proper funding.

An outside partner can help with business process documentation, as well as training and bot development. They can also help you validate the cost-benefit analysis, evaluate results, and make a list of other processes that can benefit from RPA.

For each process that you think could benefit from an RPA solution, establish a baseline and define objectives. What will the automation of a process achieve? It could increase efficiency or accuracy; improve compliance; provide faster scalability or help with asset redeployment. Automating a process can also decrease risk, or it can improve the customer experience and cash flow by processing invoices more quickly. Additionally, you’ll need to a way to determine success. What metrics will verify improved efficiency or cost benefit?

RPA can be a great productivity and cost control tool. Implementing new technology—targeted to your business needs—can lead to business transformation by providing more time to focus on strategizing rather than day-to-day tasks. Well-designed RPA can lead to improved compliance, quality, accuracy, productivity, and cost reduction.

Learn more about RPA and MorganFranklin’s finance transformation services.