Advancing Robotic Process Automation Governance: Insights from a New Framework

Robotic process automation (RPA) is reshaping the landscape of accounting practices, yet concerns regarding internal controls and governance surrounding RPA are becoming increasingly apparent. In a groundbreaking research article published in the Journal of Information Systems, Marc Eulerich, Nathan Waddoups, Martin Wagener, and David A. Wood present a pioneering framework aimed at addressing these concerns titled „Development of a Framework of Key Internal Control and Governance Principles for Robotic Process Automation (RPA)“.

Utilizing a design science research approach in collaboration with a Fortune 500 company, the authors meticulously craft a governance framework comprising four key governance areas and 14 control requirements. This framework serves to not only maximize the benefits but also mitigate the risks associated with the deployment of RPA technologies within organizations.

The efficacy and generalizability of the framework are validated through extensive engagement with 86 professionals from diverse organizational backgrounds, including internal and external auditors, chief audit executives, academics, and RPA stakeholders. Feedback from these stakeholders underscores the framework’s utility in achieving its intended objectives, solidifying its relevance and applicability across a spectrum of organizations.

This seminal work not only contributes to advancing scholarly understanding of RPA governance but also provides practitioners with actionable insights to enhance their RPA implementations. By establishing a robust governance structure, organizations can navigate the complexities of RPA adoption with confidence, ensuring alignment with internal controls and governance principles.

Keywords: robotic process automation (RPA), internal controls, governance, framework

To access the full article, visit: Development of a Framework of Key Internal Control and Governance Principles for Robotic Process Automation (RPA)