Robotics and Internal Auditors- what you need to know!

Posted by | December 6, 2018 | Latest Audit Information & News, Uncategorized

What Internal Auditors Need to Know about Robotic Process Automation

RPA, robotics, robots, bots as internal auditors have undoubtedly been hearing this terminology tossed around more and more. What exactly is it? Why is it such a hot topic? Why should Internal Audit care and what can we do to help our organizations embrace, adopt and realize the benefits of this technology?

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that configures computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing data for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.  The “robots” (aka “bots”) are programmable software that allows you to automate business processes currently performed by people. Bots are programmed to perform multiple repetitive steps based on defined rules and structured data. They can perform these activities more quickly, accurately and efficiently than humans.

Why RPA is Gaining Popularity?

RPA is rapidly gaining popularity because a wide variety of industries and business functions are beginning to better understand the technology and its benefits.

·         Cheaper and less complex than traditional/historical approaches to “automation”

·         Rapid Implementation cycle – weeks instead of months

·         Advancements in technology are making solutions more accessible, applicable and affordable

·         Smooth integration with other systems and applications

·         Keeps organizational and technological disruption to a minimum

·         Increased productivity and efficiency & Cost savings

·         Reduction in errors

·         Increased flexibility and scalability

·         Freeing of resources to do other tasks

Where are Organizations Using RPA?

RPA is being used differently in many departments such as:

·         Sales (Account service, Order processing, issue tracking and Credits / Refund)

·         Procurement (Vendor Management, Purchase Order and Invoice processing)

·         Accounting and Finance (AP / AR, Journal Entries and Account Reconciliation)

·         IT (Account Activation, Software installation, Cyber Threat Assessment)

How can RPA Benefit Internal Audit?

Often, Internal Audit is a time-consuming process extracting data from multiple applications/sources, performing repetitive steps, testing and reconciliations. Where the input data is digitally available, RPA is a good fit for the internal audit function.

1.      Data gathering and cleansing for analytics: An RPA can generate and standardize data to run custom analytics, like extracting the data for use by internal auditors, including validation for completeness of fields, comparisons and duplication.

2.      Risk assessment: Bots can assist Internal Auditors to classify risks based on transaction volumes with predefined rules and trends for risk assessment. This will allow quicker identification of high-risk areas/ transactions.

3.      Processing high volume transactions and data collation: Bots can help process high volumes of data (e.g. transaction audit) faster, more efficiently and accurately.

4.      Assistance in testing controls: Bots assist in performing control testing where the tests are standardized.

Key Things to Consideration when Selecting an RPA Software Platform and Partner

Our recommendation is to do your own research and determine the technology and provider that is best suited to meet your individual needs and business environment.  There are many experienced and reliable RPA providers in the market.

Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Auditors and various Corporate Governance Professionals including Internal Audit, Compliance, IT Audit, Data Analytics etc across Europe and the US.

If you would like to reach out to discuss your current requirements, please feel free to reach us on 0041 4350 830 95

 

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