RPA screenshot

Hello Bot RPA project for introductory accounting using Automation Anywhere

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software system that can observe a person or user performing a task, recognizes patterns in that user activity, and creates a “bot” to replicate that person’s task processes. A bot can also be built using a series of commands that replicate what the person does to accomplish the task. A bot (or software robot) is an RPA program that performs repetitive tasks that are based on rules. Tasks are considered rule-based when a clear set of rules, when answered, determine how the task is performed.

Automation Anywhere is an RPA software vendor.  Automation Anywhere has a Community Edition that is mostly web-based that is free to use. Other top vendors of RPA software include UiPath and Blue Prism.

This RPA project will introduce your students to RPA and bots – and it will walk your students through the process to create their first bot using Automation Anywhere. With this project, the student builds a bot that asks the user for their name. The student-created bot will then display a message that says “Hello, <name>. The day and time is <today’s date.>” It is a simple bot but introduces the student to the concept of what RPA is and what a bot is.

You can find the Word document for this Hello Bot project at this link. The project document contains complete instructions for the project, from signing up for a free account at Automation Anywhere, to building the bot. The document contains links for resources, including a tutorial video on building the bot.

As always, you are free to use and adapt the Hello Bot project with your own classes. Please do not republish it without express written permission from the authors of Accounting Is Analytics. Thank you!

Introducing emerging tech in introductory accounting

We have a lot to cover in introductory financial accounting and in introductory managerial accounting. However, to only show students the manual way of doing things (i.e., pencil, paper, calculator) is doing them a disservice – they don’t get to see how accounting is much more than rote calculations.

I think certain emerging technology topics are appropriate for introductory accounting. I have developed a few Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that are suitable for intro accounting – one is a simple Hello World bot and another one is a bot that takes a selfie of itself while it runs. I have also developed a few Python projects for absolute beginners that will work in introductory accounting.

There will also be some other emerging tech projects posted here on blockchain, ETL, and others.

I am going to be using the RPA projects and the Python projects in my own classes in Spring 2020. Once I work through any bumps, I will be sharing those projects here. Stay tuned….