Steven A. Harrast, David A. Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we discuss the current status of robotic process automation (RPA) technology, the various choices of automation technologies, the process of automation, challenges with RPA, and questions for future research. RPA technology automates data aggregation, transformation, and entry tasks normally performed by a human at a keyboard. Companies are attracted to RPA because of the potential to make processes more accurate and efficient as well as for the opportunity to move employees’ time to more value-added activities. The technology is relatively easy to learn and requires minimal programming skills. We present a recent framework for selecting tasks to automate and discuss opportunities for individuals to learn RPA development skills, including cases designed for educators to use in class. While RPA is growing quickly, there are still a number of issues that result when tasks are automated. We discuss several of the known RPA challenges so that the reader is aware that the technology is not without its problems. Since RPA is a relatively new technology, there are many interesting questions for researchers to investigate. We identify and motivate several important future lines of inquiry for potential research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook Of Accounting Information Systems, Second Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000777024
ISBN (Print)9780367678111
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


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