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How RPA Technology Facilitates Legal Compliance


Regardless of industry, location, size, and revenue, all businesses are subject to legal compliance — tax laws, PCI standards, regulation SCI rules, FIS MA regulations, FCPA rules, or HIPAA privacy standards — in order to protect their operations, employees, and customers. After the 2008 financial crisis, establishing and maintaining effective compliance has grown in importance, especially in order to avoid the financial and operational consequences of non-compliance. Even though compliance is increasingly becoming a focus point for companies around the world, maintaining regulatory compliance is still an area of risk and various challenges exist in effectively meeting all regulations on a regular basis. Many companies do not fully understand their legal obligation; continue to promote unorganized and non-compliant business processes; use unstreamlined data backup procedures; and may be unprepared for legal audits.

However, more and more companies are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to overcome such challenges and to help them improve their levels of compliance. This begs the questions: how can RPA support the legal considerations of companies, and what are the legal benefits of implementing this automation technology? In this post, we’ll consider the importance of legal compliance and how RPA can be used to achieve higher levels of compliance than ever before.

Importance of compliance

Allen & Overy a London-based international law firm, suggests “against an increased level of regulatory scrutiny and ethical expectations, and given the financial and reputational damage that results from corporate scandals, compliance has moved up the corporate boardroom agenda. As a result, ensuring compliance with both local and international laws should be part of the ordinary, day-to-day activities of a company.”

Compliance with legal regulations is not a one-time responsibility, meaning that it must be an integral part of a day-to-day operations. By maintaining regular and strict compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, business can attain advantages such as:

Reduced legal issues

Not all instances of noncompliance come with the same caliber of consequences, however they typically all come with some sort of penalty, whether it is a warning for not posting an employment poster in a common office space or lawsuit for failing to pay federal taxes. By complying with the applicable laws and regulations, companies reduce their risks of monetary fines, lawsuits, and even business closure.

How RPA can assist with compliance

Many companies are turning to RPA in order to support and maintain more robust and effective compliance programs. More specifically, RPA can help companies achieve the discussed benefits — reduced legal issues, retention of employees and customers, and improved business operations — through the following contributions:

Maintaining balance

In a recent Forbes Magazine article titled <em>Robotics: The Next Frontier For Automation In Finance And Risk Management</em>, author Steve Culp, senior managing director of Accenture Finance and Risk Services, suggests that authorities regulating legal compliance are welcoming of the implementation of robotic automation technologies, such as RPA, precisely for the significant benefits they provide to both businesses and their employees.

Culp further elaborates that RPA software robots will drastically improve the capabilities of employees in their efforts to secure their company’s compliance with laws and regulations: while “the rapid adoption [of RPA] is almost inevitable, leading firms will use it as a way to not just reduce costs, but also to improve controls and improve the effectiveness of their people, making them more productive and valued within the organization.”

Going forward, it is important for all companies to maintain a balance between software robots and employees, especially when maintaining legal compliance. Each are able to contribute to the improvement of business processes and optimization of regulatory compliance in different ways: RPA is able execute back office business processes more easily, while employees are depended on for the contributions they can make to optimizing these processes. Together, a company’s RPA software robots and employees will help to drive regulatory compliance, avoid the consequences of non-compliance, and deliver improved operational outcomes.

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