Using RPA to efficiently and effectively meet compliance demands

BrandPost By Dwight Davis
Jul 14, 2021
Technology Industry

Failure to comply with regulations can have many negative consequences. Automating compliance tasks can reduce both compliance risks and costs.

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Credit: iStock

Meeting regulatory compliance requirements has become labor-intensive and a costly aspect of doing business within almost every industry sector. Organizations must navigate a complex matrix of local, state, national, and international regulations, with some applied universally, others on an  industry-specific basis.

Whether it’s the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the United States’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIIPA), or California’s air quality standard laws, failure to comply with these and of hundreds of other regulatory demands can result in significant fines, reputational damage, and lost revenue. In short, the costs of non-compliance can rapidly outpace the expense of adhering to all relevant regulatory mandates.

Going forward, however, odds are that regulatory burdens only increase. That means that compliance-related staffing and business activities threaten to consume ever-larger portions of all organizations’ budgets. Fortunately, there is a common solution that can significantly mitigate compliance costs: process automation.

In organizations of any significant size, there are hundreds, probably thousands, of manual processes that occur under the umbrella of regulatory compliance. New and modified regulations must be tracked and analyzed, business processes must be modified to address emerging mandates, employees must be educated about new requirements, reports must be generated, and auditors must be satisfied.

Today, many of the underlying processes associated with these and other compliance tasks occur as largely manual operations. Current-generation robotic process automation (RPA) platforms and tools can give organizations a ready means to automate significant portions of these tasks, serving as a solution to cut costs, speed performance, and to free-up valuable employee time. Not incidentally, automating compliance processes can also reduce errors compared to manual processes, greatly reducing compliance-associated risk.

Compliance process automation can take multiple forms, including “attended” automations that continue to involve some human-interaction elements, fully-automated or “unattended” tasks, and hybrid combinations of the two. While even simple task automations can provide some business benefits, when organizations automate complex workflows that span multiple systems, databases, and departments.

One example of a complex process in the banking sector is that of mortgage remediation. Among the compliance steps required:

  1. Data extraction and preparation – with RPA software robots (bots) helping to extract data from different sources and format the data as needed.
  2. Execution – where rules-based bots can verify account entries, catch errors such as incorrect interest rate calculations, and flag missing data.
  3. Action – with bots handling everything from completing general ledger entries to automatically emailing information requests or notifications to customers.
  4. Remediation reporting – here bots can create and publish audit logs for compliance verification and reconciliation.

Some compliance tasks span organizations horizontally end-to-end, while others apply narrowly to specific departments or employee roles. With easy-to-use RPA tools, organizations can enlist a broad range of employees in the effort to identify task-automation targets, and even – as discussed in a prior post – to automate tasks themselves. The speed and flexibility of RPA tools also means that organizations can easily adapt their compliance automations as regulations continue to emerge or evolve.

Many UiPath customers have used the company’s RPA platform to automate compliance processes and to lessen their compliance burdens. Check out  how RPA can help address compliance in the banking and financial services industry as an example.  

I based this statement on a section of the banking compliance/mortgage remediation  blog post (linked just below), which states:

In some cases this is due to banking RPA applications which have limited benefits, i.e., simple process automation with breaks and hand-offs to humans.

What’s needed to crack compliance management efficiency are automation of more complex banking workflows