4 min read

What is RPA?

By Shaun Black

robot using laptop to demonstrate rpa in property tax

Robotic process automation (RPA) involves automating basic tasks with software or computer systems to emulate the functions of human workers. The bots are like digital assistants and can even operate software applications themselves. As a result, employees can move mundane, low-skill, and time-consuming tasks off their plate in favor of value-add projects that require strategy, reasoning, and judgement.

 

Repetitive tasks are also completed faster through RPA than with an employee, boosting overall efficiency. That’s why financial professions from banking and insurance to accounting and taxation have increasingly turned to automation to support day-to-day operations.

 

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Benefits of RPA

“RPA takes the robot out of the human”

Leslie Willcocks, professor at the London School of Economics

 

The Institute of Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence outlines the key benefits of RPA in business:

 

  • Cost-savings
  • Increased efficiency
  • Better analytics
  • Reduced errors and improved performance

 

Manual property tax processes, like data entry, are particularly inefficient, take up valuable time, and leave room for error (read our blog about the top 4 inefficiencies in property tax).

 

With RPA, you can perform repetitive tasks (like entering data from a tax bill) faster and with fewer (or no) errors. Plus, research has shown that employees like RPA because it takes over the boring tasks that they hate doing (like data entry and validation), helping to relieve some pressure in the process.

 

Use in Property Tax

When implementing RPA, there are four main types of bots that can help with your workload:

 

  1. Bots that enter data
  2. Bots that validate or verify data
  3. Bots that operate software
  4. Bots that run on a schedule or trigger

 

RPA has been adopted in other financial sectors to create efficiencies in processes like compliance, invoice reconciliation, and data extraction/management. But so far, it hasn’t been widely used in property tax. Why? Because 1) small teams have limited resources to invest in programming and implementing custom bots and 2) there are few providers of “out of the box” RPA solutions for property tax teams.

 

How to Get Started with RPA for Property Tax

At PTX, RPA technology is at the core of our TaxFeed product. We use it to gather data, standardize it, and search for missing records. And the best part for our clients is that we both take care of the programming while providing a customized solution.

 

With TaxFeed, RPA takes place behind the scenes, and as the end user, you have easy access to the results: downloadable data tables with your property tax information that are:

 

  • Standardized across jurisdictions so that the data going into your tax software uses one set of field mappings and is comparable
  • Up-to-date and accurate since we get the data straight from assessors and collectors
  • Comprehensive: We alert you to parcels that are new or missing, which is especially helpful if your portfolio changes often

 

Learn More About RPA

RPA is an emerging technology in property tax, so we’re hosting a webinar to take a deep dive into what this technology is and how you can use it. Join us on November 17 at 1pm ET / 10am PT.

 

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Tags: Tax Technology & Data

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