Some Like It Bot: Humanization Of Robotic Process Automation

December 30, 2022

It’s happened to us all: we trust one little robotic intelligence and humanity is competing to survive (2001, Terminator, Robocop). Hot take: maybe stop trusting government robots. When automation threatens our jobs, sexy business process engineering, and workflow, it’s easy to fall back into that DIY lifestyle. You’ve seen the doomsday reports of unskilled labor being completely replaced by 20XX, but if you aren’t implementing now, then cataclysms like that will hit you harder. As it turns out, RPA might be the most human and humane way to restructure your business.


We all love a roguish underdog (Underhorse?) The first thing to get out of the way is that those who embrace RPA are living in the future that they created. Automation means smaller and more nimble teams who offer a disruptive element. Those who specialize in automation already don’t fit the mold, not just the straight out tax person. This affects you because those on RPA teams have a radical empathy for the old way and how taxing it is. Unfeeling machines inspire compassion for those trapped by tradition.

“Bigger, older companies have bigger older people who do things the bigger, older way.”
—Brandon Swanson

Following the old rules is easy when you have laurels to rest on. Those in RPA are new to the scene, meaning they have to provide automation that is dependable and trustworthy. That’s truly why RPA is disruptive, it means that you aren’t expendable to your tax team. Connie Kuhn, Former Sabrix PS & Iberdrola Tax Lead, said “I picked a robotic software company because they are willing to do whatever it takes to implement [their software]”. You aren’t paying for prestige with RPA, you’re paying for experience with your systems. Accountants are a coach purse and robotic process automation is a work belt. This means instead of blaming human error when there’s a spanner in your works, you can remove the spanner from the problem altogether.


Elephant in the room: “Perhaps this will make my work less personal, perhaps I will lose my job, soon my body will be used as a battery a-la 1999’s The Matrix.” Well, RPA isn’t software that you can just buy off the shelf, it requires an experienced team to implement that software. Your attention goes to value activities and critical points in the process. RPA simply provides a tool that takes care of the busy work in a fast, repeatable manner. RPA is needed for a simple reason:

“There used to be hundreds of railroad companies. All of a sudden there were four. Eventually, you’ll need to start using automation.”
—Brandon Swanson

Business is too complex now. And the thing about it is, it keeps growing. Even the Big 10 became the Big 8, now the Big 4. When that collapses even further, it’s hard to see where our workflows will have space for the old ways. If our own industry isn’t impervious to automation, then there’s no choice but to embrace it. Connie Kuhn, from earlier, actually moved into the automation space after working client side: “I’ve experienced the pain of the consumer. The more manual your company is, the more painful it is. That’s why I specialized in automation.”

Quality of life is lower without automation. So, before you think that automation might cause you pain, think about the empathy of the robots. Knowing the rules is impossible, knowing a robot is easy. You could never watch the same movie every day for a month, don’t even think about the spreadsheets. This means RPA doesn’t compete with you for value, but it gives your work more value.


It’s happened to us all: we open our hearts to a robot and she breaks it (Ex Machina, Her, Wall-E). But it seems that RPA with oversight, backed with thoughtful experience, allows for greater empathy to the consumer. Because frankly, RPA is essential to reducing overhead and keeping the hair in your head. Robotic process automation is the most humane way to conduct your business. So do what our cybertronic counterparts cannot, and embrace the paradox.

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