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How much of your back office will you automate?

More than two fifths (41 per cent) of finance back-office processes could be automated in the next five years, a new study from global customer services provider Arvato CRM Solutions and management consulting firm A.T Kearney has found.

According to the new report, 41 per cent of finance back-office processes are set to be performed by robots by 2023, with this figure rising to 53 per cent within the next 10 years.

Implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is set to significantly boost firms’ productivity and efficiency, as bots are 20 times faster than humans with a 10 per cent lower error rate. Subsequently, companies that adopt this technology, could potentially receive an ROI of between 300 and 1,000 per cent over a three-year period.

It’s also predicted that the widespread roll-out of RPA solutions will result in an annual compound market growth of 50 per cent, with the global market set to be worth $5billion by 2020.

New developments

The research also predicts that by 2023, RPA, with the help of cognitive capabilities, will be able to make automated decisions, and by 2028 robots will be able to carry out most back-office processes independently with minimal human intervention.

The new report, named ‘Robotic Process Automation: The impact of RPA on finance back-office processes’, interviewed more than 20 technology partners and players in the field of RPA, gathering together their view on the trends and developments within the sector.

Ben Warren, vice president of Digital Transformation at Arvato CRM, Global BPS, said: “RPA will revolutionize the finance back-office, as the new technology is more accurate, efficient and can work for longer hours, depending on demand.

“This can consequently help drive revenue for a business, streamlining processes and allowing employees to spend more time on higher value tasks.

“But although the benefits of automation can be great, it’s important that firms understand that to successfully utilize the technology they will need to invest.

“A full analysis of end-to-end systems and redesign of existing processes will be initially required, and companies will need to regularly review their processes as technology continues to evolve and develop over the coming decade.”

Dr. Florian Dickgreber, partner at A.T Kearney and co-author of the study, said: “Having transformed manufacturing, bots are now set to change processes in the service sector.

“We expect RPA, the automation of structured business processes, to take over more than half of all back-office processes over the next five to 10 years.”

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