Software robotics provides the opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of processes in financial management almost immediately. But how to recognize the routines where you can benefit most from robotic process automation?
“Many finance and accounting transactions still require plenty of routine manual work and also speed, accuracy and consistency. The processes that require data input and validation are perfectly suited for software robots, provided that a few conditions are fulfilled,” says Jaakko Lehtinen, Manager from OpusCapita’s Ventures Unit.
1. The nature of work must be repetitive and rule-based
Firstly, the work must be repetitive or predictable and the decisions required to perform the tasks must be rule-based.
2. No human judgment is required
Secondly, processes that are suitable for robots should not involve tasks requiring complex human judgment, reasoning or understanding of context. For example, if a flower shop sends invoices and the row identifier is ‘bunch of roses’ or ‘orchids’ then a human will understand that these are flowers that need to be posted to a certain account. A robot application without any additional intelligence will be unable to carry out such reasoning.
However, if most of the time-consuming tasks within a process are rule-based, a robot can take over these activities and leave only the steps requiring human judgment to the domain experts.
3. The inputs must be electronic and structured
Thirdly, the process input data must be electronic and at least semi-structured. This is often an area that needs some development. At first glance, data used in a process may seem unstructured, but a closer look may uncover that the same data is always used, but in different forms.
Harmonizing the data will make the work suitable for a robot. For example, robots are able to read and send structured emails and their attachments or other documents.
4. The system environment must not be under constant change
Also, the system environment must not be undergoing constant change. RPA is generally a good alternative in situations where it is not possible to add automation or interfaces to the existing production systems. A robot will always be compatible as it uses the systems in the same way as humans do.
“We can help you to find your RPA potential. We will assess your company’s processes in a concrete way in workshop with the process experts – in other words we will go through what happens at different stages of the process, pretty much one mouse click, key press or decision at a time.”
“The workshop will help us to quickly tell you where RPA will be able to help you. And because implementing software robots is a rapid process, your company will start achieving cost savings and benefits within a few weeks,” says Lehtinen.
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