What is 'Robotic Process Automation (RPA)'

Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic tasks across applications just as human workers do. The software robot can be taught a workflow with multiple steps and applications, such as taking received forms, sending a receipt message, checking the form for completeness, filing the form in a folder and updating a spreadsheet with the name of the form, the date filed, and so on. RPA software is designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.

Breaking Down 'Robotic Process Automation (RPA)'

Robotic process automation is designed to help primarily with office type functions, which requires the ability to do several types of tasks in order. This is in contrast to traditional manufacturing automation that focuses on taking one portion of a workflow or even just one task and creating a robot to specialize in it. Office work often requires the same types of repetition, but it is data being manipulated across platforms and applications so a physical robot is not necessary. Instead a software robot is deployed with the ability to launch and operate other software.

Robotic Process Automation Advantages

Unlike deep learning, the software robots used in robotic process automation are programmed to do the tasks in a particular workflow by the employees with some assistance from programmers. The software doesn’t learn on its own or seek to tweak out new efficiencies or new insights like big data analysis or enterprise resource management (ERM) software. RPA works like a digital assistant for workers by clearing the onerous, simple tasks that eat up part of every office worker’s day. As such, RPA is a simpler product than an artificial intelligence driven system or enterprise software that seeks to bring all data inside the platform. This also makes it a relatively cheaper product than AI or enterprise software. This simplicity and relative cheapness can make RPA a more attractive solution for many companies, particularly if the company has legacy systems and applications. Robotic process automation is designed to play nice with most legacy systems and applications, making it easier to implement compared to other enterprise automation solutions.

Robotic Process Automation and Finance

With increasing compliance and regulatory filing requirements, the finance industry — banks, insurers and investment management companies — has been an early adopter of RPA. Many onerous back office functions such as ensuring an up-to-date Know Your Client (KYC) form is filed or a recent credit check is included on a loan application are ideal for RPA. Removing this burden from employees allows them to focus on high-return tasks. More importantly, the software can clear these basic filing and data manipulation functions faster than humans, reducing the overall processing time.

Of course, RPA is not just limited to finance. Any industry that deals in data and filing can benefit from robotic process automation. When software can reduce costs and increase efficiency without requiring an onerous and complex implementation, it will find an eager market in almost any sector.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Forex Trading Robot

    A forex trading robot is an automated software program that helps ...
  2. Automated Underwriting

    Automated underwriting is a technology driven underwriting process ...
  3. Business Software & Services Industry ...

    A business software and services ETF is an exchange-traded fund ...
  4. Automated Confirmation Transaction ...

    Automated Confirmation Transaction Service (ACTA) is an automated ...
  5. Software As A Service - SaaS

    A cloud-computing approach to providing users with access to ...
  6. Automatic Execution

    Automatic execution helps traders implement strategies for entering ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    3 Ways Robots Affect the Economy

    Robotics is increasingly shaping the way that many industries operate, and is impacting employment. Its usage has both positive and negative effects.
  2. Managing Wealth

    4 Industries That Robots Are Revolutionizing

    Modern industrial robots don't just perform simple tasks; they absorb data and respond to new information so that they actively improve.
  3. Financial Advisor

    This New Trend Makes Robotics an Industry to Watch

    Robots created to work with humans, instead of taking their place, have the possibility to change the face of manufacturing across the globe.
  4. Investing

    Robot ETFs Are Coming of Age

    Robotics are the future of many workplaces. They could be the future of ETF investing, too
  5. Investing

    What is the One Job Automation Has Eliminated in the Past 60 Years?

    Automation might not be as bad as you think: In actuality it has eliminated just one occupation in 60 years.
  6. Investing

    Your Next Robot Might Just Look Like Jeff Bezos

    The Amazon CEO rode a robot suit at the MARS Conference. Naturally, robots from Amazon Robotics served drinks.
  7. Managing Wealth

    Why Alphabet Is Looking to Sell Its Robotics Unit (GOOG)

    It is now believed that it will take another 10 years before robots can become a true commercial product.
  8. Trading

    Forex automation software for hands-free trading

    Automated forex trading software scans the market for favorable trades based on your input. Find out more about this valuable forex tool.
  9. Personal Finance

    7 Jobs That Can’t Be Automated

    A recent report says half of the tasks currently performed by humans will one day be replaced by automation, but here are 7 jobs that can’t be automated.
  10. Tech

    Foxconn Replaces 60,000 Humans With Robots (AAPL)

    Foxconn is one of 600 companies that is looking to replace factory workers with robots as companies look to save on labor costs and accelerate growth.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some of the better types of financial analysis software?

    Discover what features make for good financial analysis software, some popular options and why analysts need to pick the ... Read Answer >>
  2. Who are Honda's (HMC) main suppliers?

    Discover some companies that serve as primary automotive parts suppliers for the Honda Motor Co. in the United States. Read Answer >>
  3. What to Look for When Choosing a Forex Trading Platform

    A trading platform is a piece of software that acts as a conduit for information between a trader and a broker. A trading ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do I use software to make arbitrage trades?

    Understand the meaning of arbitrage trading, and find out how traders leverage software programs to detect arbitrage trade ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center