Academic members: Bring robotic process automation (RPA) to your classroom and prepare your students for the workforce of tomorrow with the new IMA RPA Series and other resources. 

The series, which IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) academic and student members can access for free, can provide students with learning experiences that develop skills and knowledge in the areas of information technology and business processes, two important competencies in the Digital Age.

The IMA RPA Series includes four courses that (1) explore the basic terminology and functionality of RPA, (2) what risks to be aware of and how to mitigate them, (3) the financial and nonfinancial benefits of automation, and (4) the role accounting/finance professionals can take in implementing RPA. Each course focuses on one element of RPA to provide a step-by-step and holistic perspective on what it takes to bring RPA to an organization.

Loreal Jiles, IMA director of research-digital technology & finance transformation, is IMA’s in-house expert on RPA. She is the author of a recent research report, Transforming the Finance Function with RPA, which explores RPA technology, including its capabilities and software, and explains its impact on the finance and accounting function. The report also details RPA’s wide-reaching applicability to specific finance and accounting process areas. 

Commenting on the importance of the topic of RPA, Jiles observed, “Although there are several digital tools that can be leveraged to automate finance and accounting processes (for example, data science, traditional automation using programming languages and scripting, better-leveraging native automation solutions within the enterprise resource planning system, AI, and so on), RPA is currently recognized as one of a few emerging technologies most capable of automating a significant amount of finance and accounting end-to-end processes.”

Jiles noted that in a recent RPA webinar hosted by IMA with nearly 1,500 attendees globally, 34% of attendees indicated RPA will be the emerging technology with the greatest impact on the finance and accounting profession in the next three years.

IMA also offers a number of other resources on the topic of RPA that can be used in the classroom or for supplemental learning. These include:

For more information on RPA and other related subjects, please visit the IMA Technology & Analytics Center