Is collaboration the new innovation?
Developing tax services for the 21st century
Robots in the workplace? It may seem like futuristic thinking, but Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has made it a reality in our quest to deliver services in a quicker, cleaner and more streamlined manner.
RPA, serving as a “virtual human,” works through a set of instructions, replicating the manual processes needed to perform the required tasks.
RPA allows organizations to react quickly without needing to recode or reconfigure major IT systems or develop new interfaces. Traditionally built around complex service-related tasks and processes, RPA solutions fit into daily tasks without disrupting existing workflow, collaborating with people while improving speed, accuracy and output.
Robotics for the tax environment
RPA is gaining ground among tax professionals due to its ability to deliver measureable benefits in a relatively short period of time. The following are among the benefits that may be achieved with RPA:
- Quality of data — RPA minimizes manual intervention and is effective at following tedious and detailed instructions, producing work that is free of human-introduced duplication and errors. This has great benefit to the work produced by tax professionals to meet regulatory requirements.
- Speed of execution — Unlike their human counterparts, RPA tools do not need coffee breaks, vacation time or sick days. They work 24/7, speeding up processing times and throughput and increasing capacity as a result.
- Security and continuity — RPA runs independent of human input, which greatly reduces any risk of security threats and data breaches within the organization. Additionally, because processes are documented within the tool in exacting detail, disaster recovery processes, if needed, are expedited and protect important, often irreplaceable information.
- Enhancing the employee experience — RPA completes work not typically enthusiastically embraced by people so that they can focus on the more complex activities that they do like, including results analysis, insights retrieval and strategic planning among other tasks. This, in turn, leads to higher employee satisfaction, impacting both work and home life.
Now that you know more about RPA for tax, what should you do next?
- Develop a core of key RPA opportunities and use this core to create both the experience and the skills necessary to create a sustainable organization.
- Consider establishing a pilot program that draws on the strength of an experienced collaborator. EY, for example, regularly links with companies in a variety of industries to provide the special skillset needed to make RPA processes work in tax, accounting, administration and other specialized workflows.
- Involve onboard talent early and often. Employees often hear that robotics will replace white collar workers when, in reality, on the contrary, robotics will allow workers to focus on more valuable tasks and help employers to build higher functioning teams. Engage your team and communicate this message from the beginning of the transformation.
- Make RPA a business-led initiative, not an IT-led initiative. Bots can be configured within the teams, close to the business processes and knowledge required to make them work.