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'Robotic payments' don't have to replace staff

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While implementing a robotic process automation (RPA) system for payments is significantly less intrusive and time-consuming than available bespoke payments processing solutions, there are certain nuances and best practices for companies to consider.

RPA does require the proper design, planning and governance to generate meaningful results that transform the accounts payable function.

It's important to ensure IT is involved in all aspects of the deployment. While the payments function is traditionally in finance’s purview, it is critical for IT to play an integral role in this cloud-based deployment that incorporates their ongoing buy-in, insights and resources.

Also, remember employees will be concerned about their roles potentially diminishing. Indeed, the use of RPA is intended to dramatically reduce employee time involved in the payroll function, but in return it frees up time to perform more rewarding and productive work. Human resources will be vital to help guide the transition with existing employees.

And people will need to monitor the effectiveness of the program to tweak the predetermined RPA rules. The need for human oversight will be critical at the early stages of the implementation and while that need will likely decrease over time, ongoing oversight and management will be important to ensure that the implemented rules are delivering the maximum effectiveness.

Companies today are deploying RPA technology across a variety of business functions to streamline processes, reduce costs and increase their accuracy. Given the often overwhelming complexities and human-centric nature of payment processing, the category is ripe for disruption.

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