Robotic process automation (RPA) may sound like an alien concept, but it has been germinating quietly in the business world for over a decade. Demand for scalable solutions that drive efficiency gains and enable cost reduction are highly sought-after by business leaders. For middle-market CFOs, RPA is a way to both simplify business process delivery and improve agility in an increasingly competitive environment. Interestingly enough, adopting RPA isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. It’s helpful to think of it as a low-risk, high-reward proposition that can take your business to new heights far quicker than your HR department can onboard specialized staff.
RPA: What It Is and How It Works
It’s often said that robots will take humans out of the workforce. RPA turns this concept on its head by taking the robot out of the human so that repetitive tasks can be done more reliably and efficiently. RPA-eligible processes are usually repetitive in nature, template driven and rule-based.
RPA is the culmination of many of the technological buzzwords you’ve heard over the past decade – automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics – with one important twist: it accomplishes tasks that were once considered too difficult to automate. This includes financial management, human resources, supply chain and I.T. management.
After selling this concept to your colleagues, RPA can be incorporated into your business relatively quickly through the power of software tools dedicated to streamlining enterprise-specific functions.
The Value Proposition
CFOs considering RPA need to answer one crucial question: can any part of my business be automated? If the answer is yes, there’s probably an RPA software solution out there that can help your business perform better. RPA can enable your business to boost performance, reduce errors and optimize workflow. This in turn leads to greater productivity, which reduces overhead and boosts profitability. In an age of weak productivity growth, RPA can help business teams achieve results that go beyond human capability.
RPA In Action
One of the areas in which RPA is in high demand but low in supply is financial management, especially as it relates to accounts receivable (A/R). Although most A/R departments have been developed to ensure payments are received on time, Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) remains unusually high across many industries. YayPay allows businesses to accelerate collections from customers, thereby reducing DSO by up to 30%. It does this by using big data and machine learning algorithms to better understand transactional and behavioral patterns.
How You Can Get Started
The migration to RPA is happening, but the transition won’t be complete overnight. Middle-market businesses still have the benefit of first-mover advantage. It begins by exploring which essential tasks can be automated to reduce manual error, free up human resources and lower costs. Enterprises that have not adopted automation will likely have to change their business model to cope with its impact sometime down the road. RPA is a less expensive alternative to business process outsourcing that is happening now.
YayPay is an AR workflow software and CRM that empowers CFOs and AR Managers to accelerate cash flow and make AR management more productive. Click here to explore what automation can do for your AR department or schedule a demo.
 Ernst and Young: Robotic process automation: Automation’s next frontier.