What is Robotic Process Automation (‘RPA’)?
Automate repetitive, rules-based, manual processes
Bots can perform a variety of different tasks, which can vary in complexity, from data entry and copy paste tasks, to opening emails, reading documents to performing calculations. In our experience, RPA can be particularly effective in automating back-office functions, like those found within Finance, HR or Tax.
Designed to perform (most) tasks a human can, but with more speed, accuracy and precision
According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA), on average one ‘bot’ can do the work of two to five full-time employees (‘FTE’) and cost as little as a third the price of an offshore FTE or a fifth of the price of an onshore FTE.
Works with existing ERP and IT systems to enhance processes, and further digitalise end-to-end processes
RPA automates processes, it is not designed to replace humans or ERP systems. Instead, RPA works with your existing ERP platform or IT system to further digitalise the end-to-end processes, without the need to invest in a new ERP platform or third-party application.
What type of business processes can be carried about by these software robots?
RPA has been particularly successful within Finance departments where it has been used to automate repetitive processes such as:
- Period close
Download and compile data (eg download GL, interaction with legacy systems, variance analysis), perform calculations, journal posting and account reconciliations.
- Sales to cash
Order entry and credit analysis
- Procure to pay
PO management, duplicate payment tracking, allocation of payments, invoice processing.
This technology can easily be used within:
- HR departments for processing employee on-boarding;
- sales and marketing functions where it can engage with the CRM systems;
- network and IT departments for automated installations or service desk management; and
- supply chain areas for invoice verification and receipt confirmation purposes, inventory management processes, or pricing management.
Will it work with my existing IT and ERP systems?
Digital robots can be integrated with many IT systems and platforms, and as part of the investigation phrase we would establish compatibility on a case-by-case basis.
Is it expensive to implement?
RPA offers considerable benefits in relation to business efficiency and productivity. The bots themselves are relatively low cost both to purchase and configure and can be implemented reasonably quickly – certainly in a fraction of the time it would take to change underlying systems, or to retrain staff.