RPA is a software ‘robot’ that can sit in a company’s IT environment (on a server or desktop) and perform ‘robotic’ tasks. RPA mimics or maps tasks performed by a person in various systems and data sources (eg excel) into a repeatable activity to be run by the bot. Many of these tasks are manual, repetitive, laborious, slow and error-prone, leading to compliance issues, inefficiencies, poor customer experience and demotivated employees.
Not-for-profit organisations encounter many of the same challenges that other businesses face. RPA is ideal for reducing the time that scarce human resources spend on manual tasks. This can include entering data into accounting systems, generating reports, performing reconciliations, rekeying data into multiple systems or generally manipulating and moving data around.
However, RPA can help with specific not-for-profit uses such as:
- pledge campaigns;
- recurring donation management;
- digital and print marketing campaigns;
- outreach campaigns;
- government and regulatory issue tracking;
- volunteer management; and
- compliance checking and reporting.
RPA is the most well established and accessible tool in the intelligent automation ‘family’, which includes machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and is already a significant technology in many workplaces. It also has the advantages of being exceptionally good value for money and very quick to deploy.
Why would you implement RPA?
- speed and efficiency – bots are nine times faster;
- reduced risk of error and fraud;
- reduction in paper;
- improved staff morale;
- improved scalability – take on new work without increasing headcount;
- free up existing staff for:
- higher value work;
- attracting new clients/donors;
- developing new services; and
- improving the customer experience.
How we can help
At Grant Thornton, we provide a full RPA development and support service. We identify processes that consume time, introduce risk and inhibit scale, and we automate these tasks using simple, effective technology that is quick and inexpensive to deploy. Typical processes that we automate include compliance checking, back office finance and administration tasks such as invoice processing, monthly reporting, reconciliations, governance checks, manual data entry and copy and paste tasks. Processes taking multiple days can be reduced to minutes thereby freeing up staff for more value-added activities. This also supports improved customer experience by speeding up responses and making them more consistent.
We understand the Not-for-profit sector. We recognise that many organisations operate, out of necessity, manual processes on unintegrated or legacy IT systems. The option of upgrading to expensive, cutting-edge systems or investing in complex integration technologies, often does not exist. RPA can help you get your work done quickly, inexpensively and to the highest quality, while, if you wish, prolonging the life of the technology you have already invested in.