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The Role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Accounts Payable Process Management

Original post from https://www.cigen.com.au/cigenblog/

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Robotic Process Automation: Potential Wins and Roadblocks

Some people doubt the appropriateness of Robotic Process Automation for AP tasks, especially as financial transactions are such a vital part of a company’s operational success. While RPA is gradually being adopted by companies worldwide to automate AP activities, an Oracle whitepaper titled “Process Automation for Accounts Payable” highlights some potential roadblocks:

These downsides notwithstanding, recent technological improvements have significantly developed the abilities of Robotic Process Automation, particularly in regards to optical character recognition (OCR) and the automation of approval and exception activities. Improvements in OCR enables companies to hand over the interpretation and scanning of paper invoices to software robots, saving a considerable amount of time in the process. Similarly, their ability to manage discrepancies in invoices and paper documents with minimal employee involvement has also grown. Therefore, Robotic Process Automation can provide competitive advantages to companies adopting this new technology. Some positive points associated with the use of RPA include:

What does RPA mean for BPOs?

Robotic Process Automation may at first seem like the beginning of the end for BPOs, as they enable businesses to perform their own AP activities more efficiently. So, what is a BPO to do? To maintain their standing and relevancy in today’s competitive marketplace, BPOs would be wise to consider providing Robotic Process Automation AP services to companies themselves, and many have adopted this approach already.

For both companies and BPOs respectively, Robotic Process Automation poses the possibility of increased efficiency in conducting financial (especially AP) activities. Whether a company is still navigating inconsistent invoice formats or has implemented fully electronic invoices, RPA has definite benefits to business when it comes to invoice processing and reducing operational expenditure. While it is true that some roadblocks are still present on the highway to full AP automation, improvements to Robotic Process Automation software mean that companies large and small can take advantage of automation for healthy business development. 

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