RPA in action: what can be automated in Internal Audit?

What is the purpose of Internal Audit and how can it be achieved?

Is it better to automate a step in an existing process or rethink it in its entirety? 
Beyond the automation of certain steps in the execution of the work, the robots could, by combining them with data analysis devices based on defined rules, transform the very nature of the internal audit work. to make them more effective and relevant. 

Pilot program

In general, the Internal Audit functions begin the deployment of APR by selecting and programming a pilot. The organization can thus become familiar with technology, learn how to use it and work with a virtual workforce thus demonstrating its ability to create a powerful robot that it can promote in its future missions.

Automation Roadmap

In addition to the pilot stage, it is recommended to begin developing an automation roadmap. Once the pilot is operational, it will be easier to determine the next steps and support the various stakeholders within the organization in the same transition.

In order to develop a roadmap, it is necessary to review the processes and identify the most promising activities in terms of automation.

What activities do you need to automate?

The activities that best lend themselves to RPP generally have some common features:

  • large volumes
  • low complexity
  • strong standardization
  • clearly defined operating rules

They rely on multiple applications or software, usually stable, and not integrated. They are also particularly effective when the expected level of quality is high and the decision criteria for handling exceptions are accurate.

Activities that meet these conditions are often the core of the organization’s processes. Therefore, these activities can be reinforced by automation technologies. These technologies are now sufficiently mature and are no longer reserved only for the innovation segment. The organization will be able to refocus its activity and resources towards tasks with higher added value.

A concrete example of RPA deployment

Take the example of a robot automating a series of tasks under the control of changes to supplier data.

First, the robot downloads trusted vendor forms from a file-sharing site.

It then determines the information to be verified, connects to the ERP, generates the supplier’s data change report, and exports it to a spreadsheet.

Finally, it defines the appropriate sample size based on the number of occurrences, selects a sample randomly from the report, finds the corresponding approval forms and compares the data, summarizes the results on a spreadsheet, and produces a detailed report of noted exceptions.

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