The Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, has begun using autonomous software to increase efficiency in its finance and procurement functions.
UiPath has been named the software platform of choice for the IRS’s adoption of robotic process automation technology to support data formatting, consolidation, extraction and retrieval from multiple information sources, the agency said Wednesday.
“Technology is the future of finance, and automation is an essential part of our transition from our current state to agile finance, which is a center of innovation to meet future needs,” said IRS Chief Financial Officer Teresa Hunter.
The decision came about because of a challenge that arose in 2020. When under deadline to modify contract clauses to obey shifts in federal law, the procurement office at IRS estimated the task would take one year. Instead, the agency opted to use RPA and completed almost 1,500 contract modifications in 72 hours.
IRS personnel found that the RPAs reduced errors, alleviated unnecessary burdens on employees and immediately wired the information and results to their destinations. Due to this, the IRS CFO and procurement offices are training employees to work with UiPath software.
Decision-makers at IRS feel the use of RPAs simplifies processes that were previously unwieldy and needlessly complicated.
“We should ask employees which tasks or processes are mundane, repetitive, and ripe for automation. Our employees are smart so we should let them identify opportunities to leverage RPA and let them focus on more interesting and higher value tasks,” said Shanna Webbers, IRS assistant deputy commissioner for operations support.
Some of this terrain was covered in a recent panel discussing 6th generation military technology at the Potomac Officers Club’s 8th Annual Defense Research & Development Summit.
During the panel, Capt. Gregory Petrovic of the U.S. Navy Research Lab and Dr. Benji Maruyama of the U.S. Air Force Research Lab discussed how AI and robotics can eliminate mundane tasks and create more opportunities for discovery through expedited practices.
You can watch the full panel at PotomacOfficersClub.com.