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Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA, or robotic process automation, allows users to simplify processes and operations. Robotic process automation is now becoming incredibly popular in growing organizations that want to streamline resource allocation. It’s an emerging technology that makes it easy for organizations to automate rules-based processes. 

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic process automation is a type of technology that uses internal logic and structured inputs to automate standard back-office activities. Also known as software robotics, RPA leverages the power of software automation to extract data (often using OCR), for filling in forms, or routing invoices or requests from one department to another.

Using integrations and APIs, it allows businesses to reallocate resources that are otherwise used for performing low-impact, repetitive tasks. These “software robots” are capable of replicating human actions, interacting with digital software just like people do.

RPA bots can connect to APIs, extract data from unstructured sources, parse emails, calculate figures, and extract data from documents. RPA bots can be easily customized and shared to automate similar business processes throughout the organization. 

With the help of rules-based software, RPA tools can automate various activities and allow organizations to process transactions across several software systems. RPA makes it easy for decision makers and business leaders to enhance digital transformation and maximize return on investment (ROI). 

How Does RPA Work?

RPA software tools often contain several capabilities, including the ability to integrate with enterprise apps, the ability to extract data from structured and unstructured inputs. RPA software is also capable of accessing information directly from legacy software solutions, and often include front-end integrations that create a link with modern technologies. There are key elements involved in all RPA platforms, which include:

Recorder: The recorder tracks and records keyboard and mouse movements, which allows it to track regular processes, and then automating them.

Development studio: Software robots are configured and trained in the development studio. Internal logic is defined, and decision-making flows are reviewed here. 

Plugins or APIs: To deploy RPA bots across multiple apps, plugins and APIs are generally used.

Bot runner: This is the bot that is used to automate manual business processes. 

Control center: As the name suggests, the control center oversees and monitor’s the bot’s operation. Commands can be sent from the control center to deploy or stop the bot, and tasks can be scheduled too. 

Major Benefits of Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Deploying robotic process automation (RPA) has many benefits for organizations. Here are several key benefits that it offers.

1. Reduced Technical Input

There’s relatively less coding involved when RPA is concerned. Most software programs that leverage RPA often contain simple user interfaces, featuring drag-and-drop functionality and support for other basic gestures. This makes it easy for non-technical employees to set automations. 

2. Improves Employee Morale and Productivity

RPA helps reduce repetitive and low-level activities. This reduces the burden on internal teams, especially in historically perceived cost centers like AP departments. This automatically improves employee morale and makes them more productive, as they don’t have to worry about performing the same tasks over and over again. 

AP teams can work more towards business-critical activities and employ their efforts in making strategic decisions which benefit the company as a whole. Naturally, this has a direct impact on employee satisfaction and happiness, which translates to better productivity. 

3. Reduced Margin of Error

By automating data capture, companies can significantly reduce margin for error and mitigate transcription mistakes. Manual data capture is a tedious, repetitive process. It’s a low-impact activity that requires significant attention. Naturally, there’s a high margin for error. Instead, with the power of AI and RPA, companies can reduce margin for error in quickly completing these tasks. 

4. Greatly Improves Efficiency 

Achieving operational efficiency is a pipe dream for many organizations. The more organizations grow, the more important it becomes to automate workflows. With RPA, this suddenly becomes a breeze. It allows companies to get rid of those common inefficiencies, routing invoices quickly to authorized users for approvals. 

If the user fails to respond within the specific timeframe, the invoice is automatically approved, or rerouted to another approver if specified. 

5. Increased Cost Savings

RPA systems help companies save significant sums of money. Instead of spending on manual data entry, companies can set up an RPA system and define rules to simplify the matching and transcription process. This not only helps reduce the invoice lifecycle process, which reduces the risk of fines or penalties from vendors, and also saves money that would otherwise be spent on outsourcing such tasks. 

How RPA is Transforming Invoice Processing

SoftCo Accounts Payable Automation is a fantastic solution that lets you process vendor invoices digitally, from the point of capture until they’re matched and queued for payments. Robotic Process Automation technology makes it easy to quickly match invoices with purchase order data, saving time and reducing the potential for error. It reduces the burden on the AP staff and can play a pivotal role in turning AP departments into profit centers.