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October 20, 2020

How Robotic Process Automation Can Boost Efficiency

Posted by John Stewart

Many organizations are grappling with a downturn in revenue, layoffs, and needing to do more with less. They are strategizing how to maximize efficiency and productivity, while continuing to deliver great customer experiences. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are fast emerging as strategic tools to achieve the speed, agility and efficiency needed to meet business demands.

One method of automation is robotic process automation (RPA), which enables companies to automate tasks in a workflow process by using software robots (bots) to perform those processes without human intervention. For example, RPA can automatically detect data in an email attachment, extract it from the attachment and enter it into another application (i.e., your ERP system), then decide if an escalation is needed, and if so, notify an employee.

RPA frees employees from rote, mundane and low-value tasks to focus on higher value efforts. This improves staff morale. It also speeds up how fast processes get done, reduces human errors, and enables employees to provide better customer experiences by having key data and customer information and creating a smoother, faster workflow.

Use Cases for RPA

RPA can be designed for any business workflow, but the most common use cases include:

  • Manual data entry
  • Manipulating/formatting data
  • Communicating with systems
  • Automatically triggering responses/actions

These are typically applied across the organization in customer experience, supply chain management, finance and accounting, talent management, legal and compliance, IT and operations.

Robotic Process Automation Infographic

Getting Started With RPA

Instituting an RPA strategy requires close collaboration with IT and the departments implementing the automation. A typical path to RPA includes:

  • Gaining internal buy-in by educating stakeholders on RPA and the business value
  • Understanding current business processes
  • Assessing how RPA can impact processes
  • Designing a process flow and how RPA fits into it
  • Planning the exact actions/requirements the bot will be performing
  • Building a use case for RPA applied to the business process
  • Selecting the best RPA solution for the needed processes

When designed well, RPA can boost efficiency and enhance the employee and customer experience, while improving an organization’s speed, agility and time-to-market.

To learn more about how RPA can benefit your organization and how to develop a proof of concept and start using it, join our AI Lab or contact John Stewart or Chris Lee.  

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