the "problem" with automation of any business process
is your individuals performing that process have to be consistently following a set process. It has to be legal, and appropriate. It has to be documented and explainable. It has to be a fair process and the knowledge of that process has to be shared completely outside of the department or cadre using it.
Thanks to being a "veteran" of some successful business process automation projects and involved in some long term "ongoing" ones, I've noticed a common theme among the ones that are the "last" to be addressed by any organization. The long term "ongoing" I peripherally support is one where certain highly paid individuals, under a small, secretive group of politically connected managers, have done decades of manual fudging and borderline illegal "massaging" of data reconciliation. As in, take a report of what we're doing, take a report of what the State says we should be doing, then do a third report that manually moves things around so the numbers match.
None of our automation worked until it was made clear to us that the only way the actual system would work is turning out to be twofold: First, get a data extract from the State that is used to generate the State report, and "reconcile" it at a table level. Our Apps team was tasked to develop web based frontends to allow the Seekrit Squirrel Squad to change data in a third table. Second step was to "automate" the process using the new reconciled table. So now the reports "match".
Local government at it's finest. waste, approved fraud, and stuff that is only "legal" because everyone in charge including the policy makers want it to be.
And no, our agency is not unique.
When you have everything aboveboard, however, and knowledgeable people to explain even the most convoluted process to the development staff, it all works out pretty well, only needing fine tuning if any rare or unique conditions are missed.
Apparently, anything "financial" resists automation everywhere. I suspect it's due to the whole "aboveboard" problem.