Robotic Process Automation, commonly referred to by the acronym RPA, is a simple concept and a pragmatic solution to the drudgery of repetitive tasks. In short, virtual robots ("bots") learn from humans and replicate their actions. Once a given task has been taught, bots can complete it faster and with a much lower error rate than humans.
Humans have a limited tolerance for excessively dull and repetitive tasks; however, bots have no such limitations. Best of all, this technology only eliminates the types of jobs that no one wants to do. Surely a highly educated and skilled CPA has hundreds of higher-level tasks that they could be focusing on.
The list of unnecessary manual mind-numbing and repetitive tasks facing finance and budget departments is daunting:
Tasks like these weigh heavily on finance departments. Many are time-consuming and soul grinding, yet absolutely essential to organizational success. The toll they take is hard to measure. Time spent on these tasks is often diverted from high-value tasks such as analysis and planning. The cost in hours is substantial. And most importantly, these types of tasks significantly impact job satisfaction for those who must complete them.
This list represents just a handful of the repetitive tasks that can be automated. Any repetitive task carried out on a computer that requires little or highly standardized decision-making may be a good candidate for RPA.
There's no way around it; finance and budget departments must administer a great deal of data entry and other simple, repetitive work that can only be described as mind-numbing drudgery. Imagine having access to an army of virtual assistants, 100% focused on AP entry, variance analysis, or transferring information between systems. You and your team are free to oversee your work and focus on the most complex, interesting, and valuable activities possible. It is an ideal allocation of the most precious commodity—your time.
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