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ACCA: Robotic process and intelligent automation for finance

In this course we explain how automation can play a key role in delivering the requirement to have robust processes and clean data. By using automation tools and machine learning, finance leaders can identify, implement and configure the right solutions for their organisation. It also shows how tools, such as Python, can be applied to finance processes and the benefits this will bring.

Robotic process and intelligent automation for finance
4 weeks
3–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

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Starts Apr 19
Ends Jul 31

About this course

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This course is designed for accountancy, finance and business professionals working in all organisations from small business, large corporates or financial services or who are just interested in learning more about these new and exciting technologies and how they can transform organisational processes and customer experiences of services and products. With a focus on practical skills throughout, this course provides the ability to apply skills as well as understand them.

At a glance

What you'll learn

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  • Understand how automation can assist in the efficiency of the finance function
  • Identify how the use of automation can support the organisational strategy
  • Correctly identify the opportunities for automation in their function

  • Be able to develop a business case for investment in automation

  • Appreciate the range of tools that can be used and how to select the right one for your business case

  • How to plan the implementation of an automation solution to realise benefits and maximise efficiencies

1. What is Intelligent Automation

The concept

  • Why finance functions need to transform

  • The nature of the opportunity

  • Target operating model for finance

  • Role of the finance function in decision making

  • Data governance – one version of the truth

IA and process improvement

  • Relation between IA and process optimisation

  • How clean do your processes need to be?

The tools in overview

  • Robotic Process Automation

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

  • Python

How it is delivered ?

  • Overview of software

  • End-user vs. formal IT project

  • Agile project approaches

2. Process optimisation


Role of automation

Workflow management

Design thinking

Implication on headcount

3. Choosing the solution


Business issues facing finance

Correctly identify the problem / opportunity


  • What type of processes are you looking to automate?

  • Repetitive processes vs. judgement

Evaluating candidates

  • Is RPA the right solution?

  • Repetition and frequency

  • Data manipulation

Types of RPA solution

  • Do-it yourself – user level using publicly available / free tools, such as Python

  • Off-the-shelf – package software

  • Customised – vendor developed bespoke solutions

  • Selecting the appropriate solution

4. Do-it-yourself

Python based solutions

  • What is Python?

  • Application of Python to finance problems?

  • Machine Learning in context of finance


  • Where Python based solutions are

Case studies

  • Practical examples using Python skills

Skills and resources

  • Skills needed to implement such a solution

  • Resources needed

5. Off-the-shelf

Vendor landscape

  • Nature of RPA tools available


  • Case study of implementation

Scenario/lab exercise

  • Simple process definition exercise

Skills and resources

  • Skills needed to implement such a solution

  • Resources needed

6. Customised RPA


  • Where customised RPA may be applicable

  • Identifying procurement process

7. Comparing options

Case study

  • Exercise on selecting right approach

8. Developing the business case

Business case

  • Defining the problem

  • Establishing the benefits

  • Identifying the processes

  • Project team structure

  • Risk management and governance


Walk-through exercise of business case

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

This course is part of FinTech for Finance and Business Leaders Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
3 months
3 - 5 hours per week

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