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In employee workflow efficiency
For the Digital Coworker to process eFilings (compared to 30 minutes manually)
Eliminated reliance on seasonal support
Roots Automation was approached by a public accountancy services firm based in New York City. After previously partnering with Roots Automation to implement a Digital Coworker for a data audit and destruction endeavor, the Customer used the return on investment from their first project to invest in another bot – this time, within the eFiling process.
The workforce was estimated at 100 FTE, supporting a $50 million operation. The executive team re-opened a dialogue with the Roots Automation team regarding a project to mitigate reliance on seasonal payroll during tax season.
As a public accounting advisory firm, our Customer’s small team watched their workload soar around tax season. The team needed 12 temporary employees to help them manually review 35,000 e-Filings.
In addition to the increased expenses due to hiring temporary workers, the full-time team of six consistently worked overtime during tax season to meet their targets. The existing team was struggling with the workload, but our Customer still needed to process 35,000 e-Filings with 100% accuracy. At the most critical tax deadlines, the Customer also needed to call on other members of the company to assist in reviewing filings before submitting them. When filings are inaccurate, it's on the accounting firm to make up the difference and creates reputational risk for the company.
E-Filings are a delicate process; they must be processed on time and with 100% accuracy. Even so, this is a tedious and time-consuming process with repercussions for mistakes.
The Customer was considering hiring additional temporary workers, but was reluctant to increase expenses. Their reliance on temporary workers meant recruiting costs were high and growing. In addition to facing increased costs because of the seasonal payroll increase, the existing team was working overtime throughout tax season – leading to burnout.
Additionally, our Customer’s employees were skeptical and wary of working with a Digital Coworker. They didn’t believe that the bot would make an impact on their workload.
Roots Automation provided the Customer with a Finance Associate Digital Coworker. The bot performed the 1st and 2nd level reviews that used to be performed by its human teammates. When it found issues with the filings, it would highlight the areas of concern and reach out to a human to resolve them. The bot would then re-review the filing for accuracy and completeness before giving the filing the "ok".
The Digital Coworker was designed to ingest federal and state filings for all 50 U.S. states and can distinguish between different types of filings, like S Corp and Individual. Then, we trained the Digital Coworker on all form types, using Document Vision, so it could recognize missing or inaccurate data. Finally, using process automation the Digital Coworker could raise exceptions to a human reviewer – which the Digital Coworker remembered for next time.
Establishing open lines of communication enabled both teams to collaborate on future state process, rule mapping and to standardize the processes. Processing around 35,000 e-filings a year at very high accuracy, the once skeptical team became true advocates of their Digital Coworker.
Going into this project, the Customer placed particular emphasis on speed and accuracy. Their Digital Coworker processes its work within 60 seconds – faster than their human team is able to process filings. The Digital Coworker completes 35,000 e-filings each year, directly resulting in an 80% increase in employee workflow efficiency.
During the busiest parts of tax season, the Digital Coworker picks up work every minute and processes items around the clock. This eliminates any need for strain on the human team, even in peak seasons.
The company no longer requires any seasonal temporary workers and it no longer calls on additional staff to assist during peak times. The Digital Coworkers review every filing, and humans only review the items the Digital Coworker deems a human needs to touch.
Importantly, the Customer’s team ended up enjoying working with the Digital Coworker after seeing the results first-hand. Today, those employees are advocates for additional automation opportunities within the organization and across departments.
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