Mancini: RPA May Already Have Become A Mainstream Tech

Chief Evangelist and Past President of AIIM John Mancini has been looking at what Finance people are getting from our new robot helpers

Robotic Process Automation may have hit the tipping point and be set for mass market adoption – as 51% of organisations recently contacted by an independent party said that were either planning to adopt the technology, and 22% already had.

True, 27% said they had no plans – but if a survey base of 165 US Finance and Accounting executives comes back with 73% saying they are on board with the tech, then that has to be significant. In terms of use cases, RPA is being used mainly for preparing financial reports (51%) and processing of invoices (45%).

Why, though, are people going for RPA? According to this latest research, because it frees time for Finance and Accounting staff to spend on higher value activities (34%) – ahead of ‘saves time and money’ (27%), boosts job satisfaction of Finance and Accounting professionals by reducing rote and repetitive tasks (20%).

And even more interestingly, no less than 34% of organisations polled claim that Payroll is now ‘100%’ automated – and 30% 75% so.

The data comes from a fresh look at the Finance and Accounting market by Information Management expert John Mancini, who now operates as an independent consultant and researcher over at his own outfit, Content Results.

Mancini also probed attitudes to the contribution of the Finance function. Again, some striking results came back – with 46% agreeing, but 41% actually ‘strongly agreeing’ that the Finance function is a key part of the respondent organisation’s Digital Transformation strategy, and similar figures believing Finance “is much more critical to our success and strategy than it was two years ago”. On the same tack, Finance is also seen as a source of competitive and strategic advantage than a cost centre by more people than not (52% to 48%).

Still, there are significant challenges ahead. A majority – 56% – of information is believed to still be unstructured on average by his respondents. At the same time, 51% of annual invoice volume is even in 2019 still handled manually, while the management of non-standard invoices (e.g., paper documents, fax documents, PDF email attachments) is identified as ‘not a problem’ by only one in three of the 165 professionals he spoke to.

That’s just a few of the headline findings of this research, which we recommend to anyone in thedmcollaborators community specifically looking at the potential of RPA, but also as to what Finance is starting to look to technology to provide it with these days.

thedmcollaborators editor

A frequent bylined columnist in major technology and business publications and blogs, John Mancini’s new research work and commentary can be found here.

If you’d like this Intelligent Finance data as an ebook, click here

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