This week we’re looking at RPA, Robotic Process Automation, which at first glance might seem to have nothing to do with Accounting and compliance.
Ok, so let’s start with the humorous end. Announced recently, a man hacks Alexa by hooking it up to a singing fish robot, resulting in a very clever fish. For those not familiar with Alexa, Amazon’s Alexa is a voice service that enables customers to interact with devices using voice.
Reading further, we stumble over the Big 4 Accounting firms having initiatives in this space, and discussions on impacts in the BPO area (Business process offshore). At the same time, there have been recent successful implementations in banks and other companies in areas such as: Mortgage broker agents, Invoice query agents, IT service desk agents, and digital service desk agents.
At the Big 4 end of town:
- Deloitte has partnered with IPsoft, and Deloitte is looking at two products: Amelia, an AI platform similar to Amazon’s Alexa, and IPcenter, an autonomic IT management platform.
- KPMG has Robotics and Cognitive Automation, and their Shared Services and Outsourcing Institute has been talking about Bots in the back office for some time.
- PWC Price Waterhouse Coopers mentions Robotic Process Automation delivers ROI of over 300 percent.
- And Ernst Young have done a study on the cost of RPA versus BPO staffing. This is a great study if you only have time to read one document.
UiPath pushes to automation of manual business processes, with robotic software automating repetitive processes such as data entry, whilst offering lower costs with fewer errors.
Perhaps more interestingly, Amelia from IPsoft is out there working away at the moment, though in larger companies. You can see a quick video of Amelia here, and find out more about Amelia in action here. SEB, one of Sweden’s largest banks, has deployed Amelia.
But before we rush out to downsize our HR Department, it’s worthwhile remembering that even in this fast paced world change takes time, and while these changes aren’t here quite yet, they are certainly automating near you!