AI & Robotic Process Automation: Streamlining The Back-Office

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We have identified three ever-present themes to be prevalent in the oil and gas industry today. They include faster processing times, access to data and cost reductions (specifically around general and administrative, or G&A). It’s well-known that technology can help achieve the two former themes. However, employing the use of cutting-edge technology isn’t always the low-cost option.

Traditionally, big systems that promise lightning-fast processes and the ability to query data at will also come with a big-ticket price. Over the last decade, however, new technology has emerged in the market to help companies achieve all three of the aforementioned objectives—but only if companies invest fully in deploying the functionality. This new, emerging technology is artificial intelligence (AI)—also referred to as robotic process automation (RPA).

What's AI & Robotic Process Automation?

AI or RPA involves the use of software to complete routine, rule-based tasks within systems. Its applications are endless—AI/RPA can be used everywhere and anywhere, from loading journal entries and processing invoices to running reports and queries. In order to maximize the potential of RPA, with the objectives of achieving faster processing and better data access, companies should implement these tools to perform repetitive data entry tasks and reporting/query running.

"Rather than having to implement that high-priced software that promises lightning-fast processing or the latest reporting toolset, a company can implement a more reasonably priced RPA solution to accomplish both."

These processes can run in the background or overnight on virtual machines, rather than by a company’s employee resources. With RPA doing the heavy lifting of tedious tasks, a company’s accounting staff can be freed up to focus on analysis and actually do something with the masses of data now available at the click of an AI button.

While employing the use of AI can add to a company’s G&A budget, it’ll more than pay dividends in the long run. Rather than having to implement that high-priced software that promises lightning-fast processing or the latest reporting toolset, a company can implement a more reasonably priced RPA solution to accomplish both.

AI & Robotic Process Automation: Quantifying The Benefits

One way to view the cost savings associated with RPA is to compare what an employee can accomplish in the same amount of time as a robot–and by this we mean there’s no comparison. AI robots can be utilized 24/7 and move through system screens faster than 99.99% of humans.

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