Unlocking Automation Success: Building a Robust Case for RPA Through a Strategic Rubric

Consider how many business processes require little to no critical thought. Think high volume manual data entry, paper forms processing, patient registration, website scraping, policy administration or servicing, benefits administration, data cleansing, and system or application testing. Not only do these tasks detract from creative and strategic innovation, facetime, and critical analysis but the monotony can take its toll on job satisfaction.

The use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), however, can make our jobs easier and more fulfilling while shrinking cost, increasing accuracy, and improving productivity. RPA combines machine learning with software applications and automation to record a set of tasks and repeat those tasks ad infinitum without human intervention. Think of this as a bot designed specifically to perform your most mundane workflows and mimic those tasks that take days if not months to perform. Its rise in popularity has been attributed to RPA’s low upfront investment, strong ROI, minimal disruption to underlying systems, and scalability.

A range of industries have already taken advantage of this to automate and expedite fraud detection, mortgage and claims processing, registrations, and scheduling. Within the finance function alone, RPA has been used to perform calculations, process payroll, expand analytics, manage consolidations and reporting, verify and process invoices, audit high dollar transactions—even automate account reconciliation, accounts payable and receivable, and communications around receivables.

An end-to-end approach

Traditional process automations, such as Application Programing Interfaces (APIs), use different mechanisms to transfer data between two systems. In this case, a programmer develops a system that performs predefined instructions. Taking this to a whole new level, RPA automates full end-to-end business processes that entail any number of applications or systems spanning multiple departments. This allows organizations to easily manage tasks of greater complexity, sophistication, and customization.

How we evaluate tasks suitable for RPA

Where RPA excels is in the automation of rule-based, repetitive, and structured processes. Organizations can use RPA to execute tasks of sufficient volume that require recurring functions on a routine basis. Less suitable for RPA are tasks that involve unstructured data or those calling for reasoning, cognitive abilities, or interpretation. In short, RPA cannot make decisions along the way.

Download our RPA Rubric to see if RPA is right for your workflow. >>

AAFCPAs’ RPA rubric provides a standardized framework for evaluating and implementing RPA projects, ensuring consistency and alignment with business objectives, and maximizing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes through measurable criteria. Without using a rubric, organizations may encounter misaligned automation objectives, suboptimal process selection, ineffective resource allocation, and hindered scalability, which collectively can derail the success and return on investment of their RPA initiatives.

How we help

If you are contemplating the use of RPA within your organization but don’t know where to begin, AAFCPAs can help. We step in to evaluate current processes and see if RPA can add value. We then walk you through requirements, plan a design, and implement a customized RPA solution to free up time for more important endeavors. Our RPA analysts and architects bring advanced insight in enterprise information systems, business logic, and structured outputs to help you optimize operational efficiency, minimize cost, boost accuracy and consistency, and secure a strong competitive edge.

If you have questions, please contact Vassilis Kontoglis, Partner, Analytics, Automation & IT Security at 774.512.4069 or vkontoglis@nullaafcpa.com—or your AAFCPAs Partner.

Download the rubric

(This file will download to your computer.)

About the Author

Vassilis is a leader in AAFCPAs’ Business Process & IT Consulting Practice. He has 20+ years’ proven experience providing business intelligence, productivity, information risk management, and cybersecurity solutions. He is a critical resource in keeping clients and the firm on the forefront of transformative technologies while mitigating risks that come along with these advancements. Vassilis leads the delivery of Robotic Process Automation solutions at AAFCPAs. He understands the unique requirements to achieve RPA success, including proper design, planning, implementation, and governance. He works collaboratively with clients and cross-functional teams, and leverages his deep understanding of enterprise information systems, business logic, and structured inputs to automate rote processes and increase operational efficiency. Vassilis is also the leader of AAFCPAs’ automation center of excellence (CoE), an internal team that streamlines automation output, provides structure, and helps scale automation through the firm.