AI vs RPA: CFO Guide to Choosing Between RPA and AI

Financial Automation
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Robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation have nuances that are worth noting. When it comes to considering rpa and ai to determine what tool is best for your business, you’ll want to deeply understand their similarities and differences so that you can reap the most reward for your investment.

Here, we will break down the advantages of artificial intelligence, the choice between rpa and ai, and touch on alternative automation software like SolveXia that can greatly complement your chosen technology.

Coming Up

1. What is RPA?

2. What are the Benefits of RPA?

3. What is Automation with AI?

4. How Do RPA and AI Work Together?

5. When to Use RPA vs AI?

6. What are RPA and AI Use Cases?

7. What Other Automation Solutions are There?

8. Wrap Up

What is RPA?

RPA, or robotic process automation, is the use of software (or bots) to execute, standardise, and automate repeatable business processes. RPA robots are programmed to carry out a process the same way every time.

Since they must be programmed or trained to mimic human actions, they can be used to augment humans in workflows. They basically become like a virtual assistant that helps humans carry out repetitive, high-volume, and finite tasks. In return, humans have more free time to focus on processes and tasks that require high-level thinking, creativity, and analysis.

Robotic process automation requires structured data to work effectively, and is rules-based, since there is no intelligence within the software to learn on its own.

What are the Benefits of RPA?

Robotic process automation provides organisations with a bevy of benefits. Some of the upsides of introducing this technology within your departments include:

  • Accuracy: With software handling all detailed work, human error is minimised or entirely avoided
  • Reliability: Bots can work at any time of day without stoppage. This means that key person dependencies are no longer a concern.
  • Efficiency: RPA can get work done in a fraction of the time that it takes humans to conduct the same tasks.
  • Compliance: With all information securely managed, compliance is easy to maintain and audit trails can be produced without hassle.
  • Standardisation: No matter where your team works, every process carried out by RPA will be managed and executed the same way every time.

What is Automation with AI?

Robotic process automation can be enhanced with the application of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems, or machines, that simulate human cognition and thought processes.

With more data entering the system, artificial intelligence can learn for itself and self-correct. AI is able to apply reasoning through the use of contextual clues and rules to come to its own conclusions. This means that RPA and AI can combine to remove the necessity of human intervention. Thereby, unattended RPA is able to automate processes from end-to-end.

Additionally, unlike RPA that needs structured data to function, artificial intelligence tools can work with structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Unstructured data refers to things like free text and natural speech, in which AI can utilise natural language processing to understand. Many business processes are carried out with the need for all types of data, in which case, AI and RPA will be required.

How Do RPA and AI Work Together?

When you think of how the world works, it often takes brain and brawn, meaning there’s intelligence combined with physical power. In the case of RPA and AI, you can think of robotic process automation as the machine power and artificial intelligence as the brains behind the actions.

This means that the combination of the two technologies can supercharge your organisation and increase efficiency in many regards. When you bring RPA and AI together, you create another technology that’s known as smart process automation or intelligent automation.

When you deploy the two technologies together, then automated workflows are optimised. Say that a standard process is being carried out but an anomaly appears. If you have RPA working alone, then a human will receive an exception notification and have to choose the next step.

When smart process automation is deployed, the computer itself can deduce what the best approach and next step would be and continue the process without stopping.

The computer essentially mimics a human’s thought process based on context and rules, along with machine learning, which means that over time, patterns appear and help to improve the computer’s cognitive abilities.

With smart process automation, the processes are optimised over time as the computer gets smarter. In turn, humans have their time back to focus on strategy, analytics, and helping to guide business decisions.

When to Use RPA vs AI?

Your business can surely benefit from robotic process automation, smart process automation, and financial automation tools like SolveXia. But, you have to choose where you want to begin.

While it’s commonplace for organisations to introduce automation technology by way of robotic process automation, the decision comes down to what you want to accomplish and what you wish to prioritise. It doesn’t have to be a choice of which, but rather of when.

Robotic process automation is used for processes that can be categorised as:

  • Rules-based
  • High in volume
  • Repetitive
  • Finite
  • Rely on structured data

Artificial intelligence can work with processes that include structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data. AI is also able to handle advanced analytics like predictive analytics to help predict the future before an event takes place. Thus, AI is better suited for complex business processes.

Financial automation solutions like SolveXia complements AI and RPA by automating interactions between your IT systems. For example, SolveXia is able to ingest data from disparate systems to centralise it, produce and send reports, and transform data for calculations.

What are RPA and AI Use Cases?

Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence work best when they are paired together.  But, they can also work on their own.

To better understand the differences between robotic process automation and artificial intelligence, let’s take a look at some use cases of each.

Robotic process automation can be used to:

  • Process invoices
  • Onboard new vendors, employees, and customers
  • Process new customer orders
  • Enter sales data into a CRM and ERP
  • Run payroll processes

Artificial intelligence can be used to:

  • Power chatbots
  • Deploy virtual assistants
  • Perform tax forecasting
  • Categorising leads and sending personalised messages
  • Optimise email marketing by performing A/B tests
  • Initial screening of job candidates for HR purposes

What Other Automation Solutions are There?

Along with RPA and artificial intelligence, we’ve touched on human analytical and financial automation platforms like SolveXia briefly. SolveXia can augment your workforce and maximise its productivity.

With a clear focus on finance functions, SolveXia boosts your compliance, reduces costs, and improves productivity overall.

Some of the common use cases for SolveXia include:

  • Performing reconciliations
  • Conducting transaction matching
  • Preparing revenue reports
  • Executing forecasts
  • Calculating commissions
  • Analysing and allocating expenses
  • Submitting regulatory reports

SolveXia’s technology works through configurable data transformation, which results in an output, such as a dashboard or report. This allows business leaders and anyone, regardless of IT expertise, to be able to glean insights from raw data through visualisation.

Instead of relying on transforming data manually through the use of messy and complicated Excel spreadsheets, teams can rely on the software to combine, sort, and filter data. Then, SolveXia can make the data usable by:

  • Mapping data
  • Performing aggregations
  • Running models, forecasts, and calculations
  • Producing a visual report (i.e. dashboard or report)

The low-code (or no code) solution removes the need for IT professionals, and instead will empower process designers to automate data transformation with a drag-and-drop user interface. Then, your team can benefit from process automation in no time.

Wrap Up

RPA and AI are transforming how businesses operate. When combined with finance automation tools like SolveXia, organisations are able to achieve digital transformation. Imagine a workplace in which your finance team could take all the manual and redundant work off their plates and instead spend time working on high-level operations and helping to advise with regard to strategy. Just think about how much more productive, satisfied, and efficient your entire organisation would function.

This could be your reality if you give technology the space to function within your organisation. To see how SolveXia can benefit your business, we invite you to request a demo today.


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