Why Shared Services Leaders are Bullish on Robotic Process Automation

Posted by Paula Loverich on Apr 3, 2019 9:41:53 AM
Paula Loverich

Whether it was a keynote address, a breakout educational session or a networking function, you couldn’t go far at the recent Shared Services & Outsourcing Week without hearing shared services leaders buzzing about robotic process automation or RPA. 

The technology also was a top-of-mind issue for most visitors to the IPS booth in the Shared Services & Outsourcing Week expo hall.

It’s no surprise that shared services leaders are excited about RPA.   

Shared Services RPA blogForty-seven percent of shared services leaders admit that their operations are not very automated, according to SharedServicesLink’s Setting Your P2P Strategy for 2018 and Beyond study.  Ninety-one percent of shared services leaders want to improve their organization’s level of automation. 

And for good reason. 


Front-line staff in many shared services organizations spend most of their day retrieving invoices sent to an e-mail box or portal, manually keying or cleaning up poor OCR invoice data, handling exceptions, hunting down approvers, physically routing invoices, making calls and e-mails to determine the status of invoices and filing documents.  Many shared services organizations must also key or monitor data on approved invoices in their ERP.

Skeptical? Consider this:

  • Only 11 percent of shared services organizations can post more than 75 percent of their invoices to their ERP without human operator intervention, SharedServicesLink finds.
  • Fifty-four percent of shared services organizations are not very flexible or scalable.
  • Seventy-two percent of shared services organizations want to become more efficient.


This is untenable for a function established to be a “Center of Excellence” for the enterprise. 

That’s where the RPA capabilities of IPS Productivity Wrx℠ comes in. 

Productivity Wrx℠ uses RPA software “bots” – developed by accounts payable automation subject matter experts – to automate tasks ordinarily performed by shared services staff:


  • Opening a supplier portal to retrieve invoice submissions
  • Extracting data from fields on an invoice or other payables document
  • Monitoring queues such as those for invoices awaiting processing
  • Routing invoices for approval or exceptions handling based on pre-set business rules 


And importantly for shared services leaders, RPA is fast.  The technology performs tasks more than 20 times faster than a human operator – and it never gets sick, tired or distracted or requires a break. 

The combination of RPA technology with subject matter expertise and application integration drives productivity and immediate value through the elimination of manual intervention. Eliminating manual tasks with RPA frees shared services staff to focus more of their time on value-added activities, such as data analysis, that strengthen the value of the organization to the enterprise.

It is no wonder that 54 percent of shared services leaders believe that RPA will be the most important technology to the future of accounts payable and procure-to-pay, per SharedServicesLink’s research.

Is RPA a priority for your shared services organization?  If so, we want to speak with you.


IPS Productivity Wrx℠ is a digital transformation platform that automates accounts payable using emerging technologies such as RPA, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile and analytics.


Tags: Accounts Payable, Digital Transformation, Robotic Process Automation, Digital Technologies, Productivity Wrx