The Department of FISCal is increasing its use of robotic process automation (RPA) to make life easier for our system users and their departments.
RPA employs software, known as “bots,” to perform ordinary tasks that must be run over and over again. Think of it as simulating a person going through the PeopleSoft screen to complete a transaction. RPA automates these repetitive tasks, such as entering data into forms, so they get done much faster and with greater accuracy. RPA bots can run at all hours of the day and week unattended. Using RPA saves time and improves efficiency, freeing departments to use their staff for more creative and interesting work.
RPA is secure and auditable, so that transactions can be tracked. When helping departments via RPA, FI$Cal does not connect to their systems or environments. Instead, files are exchanged either through an input file or an SFTP (secure shell file transfer protocol) location.
FI$Cal’s RPA service is available for several processes, including automation of Accounts Receivable deposit uploads. This has greatly reduced errors for the departments using it, as it produces an output file the departments can use to validate their transactions. Another current use is a purchase order process for the State Controller’s Office to add vendors, and another to add suppliers and current payments. All of these operate in a similar way, where FI$Cal takes an input file and runs it with the RPA, that indicates what ran and if there were any errors.
FI$Cal has several additional RPA processes under development, including one to extract attachments for PPE (personal protective equipment) purchases from vouchers, purchase orders and P-card transactions. Others will soon create purchase orders for multiyear contracts or from encumbrances.
FI$Cal also is working to create an RPA process for vouchers from revolving fund checks. This will help in cases where departments have a lot of seasonal or part-time work that all ends on a certain day. In these instances, departments must provide paychecks at the end of that term, and they often have a high volume to process very quickly. Automating this process will be extremely helpful to them.
FI$Cal’s development of RPA was featured on the February episode of FI$CalTv, so those who missed it are able to view the show.
FI$Cal provides RPA services free to departments and is always looking for new uses for this fast-emerging technology. It can work with departments to find new use cases, and it can develop new processes to suit their specific needs.
Departments can reach out or ask questions about FI$Cal’s RPA services by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.