Robotic Process Automation
There are many definitions of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) out there, but all of them share the same core conception of RPA. There are some nuances depending on the industry or location you are in, but generally, RPA is when a tool is used to automate clerical, repetitive tasks, replacing human workers for those specific tasks.
Getting Started with RPA
Types of Bots
Bots come in three different kinds:
Attended — this kind of bot is called upon by human users, either company employees or customers. This is most typically seen in customer service infrastructure.
Unattended — these bots are programmed to perform large tasks, usually in waves based on specific timings or triggers. Inventory RPA would most likely make use of unattended bots, for instance.
Hybrid — these kinds of bots combine elements of unattended and attended RPA. They are typically used to complete larger, lengthier tasks that can be unattended at some stages but must be attended at others.
Explore a more in-depth breakdown of the different types of RPA bots.
Why Use RPA?
Benefits of RPA
The value that RPA adds to certain industries is immeasurable. In a business where accuracy, accountability, and trust are paramount, RPA is a precision tool to manage the scalability of the financial services industry and the quality of account data within financial institutions’ systems.
Specifically, the benefits of RPA for finance can be summarized as:
- Enhanced customer experience
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Improved compliance, audit reporting and decreased risk
- Cost savings
- Improved reliability and accuracy
- Better data
- Better customer satisfaction
Where and when can RPA be used?
While many businesses are moving toward RPA (Gartner predicts that 85% of all businesses will have RPA by the end of 2022), not all businesses need to have RPA right away. It’s important to understand when it’s best to start using bots to automate various processes in your business. Generally, you should look into RPA if your business:
- Has a task volume high enough that it is putting strain on human labor.
- Has a rule-based process that could easily be taken over by bots.
- Has defined and reliable inputs and outputs that bots can keep track of.
- Has regularly repeating processes.
RPA for Finance
Finance is currently an area ripe for RPA implementation, regardless of the industry your business is in. Finance is not only one of the best but also one of the easiest places to integrate RPA. Finance is all about structured data: money in, money out, and reconciling the differences. For bots, it’s just a series of numbers they need to manage with a series of programmed and routine tasks.
Areas that are best suited for RPA integration in your financial processes:
- Accounts Receivable
- Accounts Payable
- Client Onboarding
- Processing Expenses
- Tax Reporting
- The Elusive One-Day Close
RPA and Cyber Security
Cyber Security automation helps to reduce the volume of threats and allows for faster prevention of new and unknown threats. Industry experts refer to new automation tools as Security Automation and Orchestration (SOAR) products, composed of RPA, custom-developed software, and code that automates processes and performs analyses.
A few ways that RPA can help reduce cybersecurity risks are by:
- Minimizing the number of potential cyberattacks
- Safeguarding from unwanted attacks
- Assisting the cybersecurity team
- Eliminating unauthorized access
- Securing the safety of sensitive data
- Identifying cyber-attacks quickly
Future of Finance Automation
RPA’s primary goal is to gain the most out of your team and optimize business processes. If your company has withheld from using RPA, then your company could be at stake of already being behind the curve. You are likely to see the following trends over the next 12 months:
- Greater need for IT
- High attention on safety and security
- More acquisitions for automation
- Intelligent processes
- Increase of RPA CoE
- Cloud & RPA based applications
- Focus on RPA uptime
Contact K2 University
At K2 University, we’ve partnered with industry leaders Automation Anywhere to offer RPA Training for Finance Professionals. Our Mastering Bots course offers best practices, certificate guidance, web data management, and chatbot development so you can better serve your customers and employees – find out more.