4 Signs Your Organization Needs Robotic Process Automation | npENGAGE

4 Signs Your Organization Needs Robotic Process Automation

By on Sep 3, 2019


Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is leading a revolution… one that will save the average healthcare organization hundreds of hours a year in administrative time. It puts CFOs and CIOs in a unique position to transform their roles to be strategic advisors focused on powering social good.

RPA is a software robot that mimics the actions of humans.

RPA can replace time-consuming manual processes that organize information from your fundraising system, spreadsheets, databases for endowments or restricted gifts, hospital financials, separate payroll system and more.

In today’s healthcare philanthropy market, there are many challenges: competition for funding, limited resources, rising compliance costs, mergers and acquisitions. Most of these, you can’t control. You can control the internal, administrative processes… which is why in many ways operational efficiency is the new ROI.

Listen: sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 95, What the Heck is Robotic Process Automation? (and Why Your Organization Needs It)

Below are four signs your organization needs robotic process automation:

1. You feel more like an accountant than a strategic advisor

For month-end financials, do you find yourself pulling data from multiple sources, and pulling the data together in spreadsheets so that an entry can be made into the hospital’s financial system? Is it months before you see reports on that data?

You’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Software with robotic process automation can connect all of your systems to the hospital’s systems so all data is entered in real-time and reports are immediately available. Some automatic reports you may want to have created include monthly/quarterly financials, net asset reports, board reports and managerial reports.

2. Employees dread the end of the month

Employee satisfaction increases when they don’t have mundane, manual, redundant tasks to complete. When reports are automated through an RPA, employees can spend more time analyzing reports to make an impact.

Fund balance reports: wouldn’t it be nice to have visibility into the balance of a fund, or restricted gift on demand via mobile device?

3. You think it is normal to be several days behind

If you want to see financials from yesterday, are you dependent on your accountant or the hospital system’s accounting department? There is a lot of value in being able to close out your financials every day.

For example, in some states, commercial bank accounts are only given one business day to notify the bank of fraud before it becomes your responsibility. Are you checking your transactions quickly enough to identify and flag fraud?

Integrated systems allow daily reconciliations so information is real-time and reporting is available sooner than 2 weeks after the close of a month.

4. You have unintentionally overspent a grant

Unfortunately, it is easy to overspend when you are using a paper procurement system. Records are hard to access and are weeks behind the spending.  Nonprofit systems also use encumbrance accounting, a feature not available in most commercial accounting software to mark funds as committed even when the invoice hasn’t been recorded.

An electronic process builds in extra protection. You have visibility into the data in real time, so you don’t have to wait for someone from accounting to print reports and send them. Plus, running an audit is simple to ensure you are complying with the grant requirements.

Join Louis Stratton for his bbcon session “Robotic Process Automation: What It Means for Your Healthcare Organization to learn the best ways to implement RPA and how to use it to drive revenue, increase margins, control expenses and achieve compliance. Register today!


Louis Stratton is a Senior Financial Solutions Account Executive at Blackbaud. He has more than 24 years of experience working with organizations to help them achieve their purpose by increasing cash flow, fundraising, reducing pressure and worry, and improving systems and processes. Louis works with organizations to improve their processes, technology, and develop top performing finance teams. Prior to Blackbaud, Louis held leadership positions at Meador Stratton LLP and Porte Brown, participated in the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors and Leadership Cabinet, and served as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School at Olivet Nazarene University. 

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