p In the same way that R2D2, the faithful droid from the Star Wars movie franchise, travels the far reaches of the galaxy righting wrongs, the software algorithms that guide Robotic Process Automation (RPA) travel the constellations of data collected by companies, resolving anomalies.

Agile Finance Revealed: The New Operating Model for Modern Finance, a recent study by Oracle and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), predicts that RPA and the related technologies of machine learning and adaptive intelligence will become increasingly important in finance automation as they help finance professionals free up their time for more strategic pursuits.

RPA allows employees to configure software “bots” that interact with applications and perform high-volume, repetitive tasks such as account reconciliation

Machine learning gives computers the ability to understand without being explicitly programmed and to optimize business processes such as internal audit and fraud detection, based on patterns and historical trends

Adaptive intelligence, which combines the automated analysis of big data with human knowledge, helps financiers compare data-rich information, like sales of many online competitors

Oracle Vice President Loren Mahon explains that because so many tasks in finance are repetitive in nature, they are prone to human error.

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