Of all the varieties of intelligent automation poised to transform corporate functions, including tax, it’s hard to think of one with more immediate potential than robotic process automation (RPA).
Businesses have long felt the need for a solution that can choreograph the exchange of information and actions across software applications that don’t talk to each other well, or at all. RPA does just that.
A new Vertex white paper, Destination Augmentation, looks at how RPA can help tax departments improve value added tax (VAT) management.
Author John Viglione, executive vice president at Vertex, provides a succinct overview of the technology and what it does. Among the key benefits:
Speed and productivity increases: RPA performs complex tasks at more than 4GHz, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. John cites the example of an insurance company that deployed RPA to execute 500 premium advice notices, reducing completion time for the task from two days to 30 minutes.
Fewer errors, higher quality output: Humans aren’t wired for continuous decision-making in repetitive situations. Bots are much better at performing routine tasks, and they don’t suffer from fatigue.
Cost reduction: John cites research on real-world RPA initiatives, which estimated the return on investment as ranging between 30 percent and 200 percent in the first year.
Flexibility and scalability: Bots are highly adaptable; they can be deployed quickly without the need for large-scale tech integration, and users don’t need much training to operate them. Companies can quickly ramp up new bots or shut them down when they’re no longer needed.
Employee satisfaction: This is one of RPA’s primary benefits, John notes, because it “gives employees more time to focus on higher-value, and often more fulfilling, activities.” Researchers have found that users welcome the technology because it relieves them of tasks they dislike and reduces the pressures of work.
The white paper also includes a look at three key areas VAT teams should examine before introducing RPA: 1) the human dimensions; 2) business processes; and 3) governance.
Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.