Robotic process automation (RPA) is a major opportunity for the finance profession. For the CFO, implementing RPA goes way beyond cost reduction. It promises improved controls, faster processing speed and better data quality. And the chance to transform the finance function.
A joint report, Embracing robotic automation during the evolution of finance, by ACCA, CA ANZ and KPMG, shares the results of a survey of more than 2,500 ACCA and CA ANZ members, offers insights from leading organisations around the globe on robotics adoption and highlights the growing interest in RPA and identifies implications and opportunities for the finance function.
As Jamie Lyon, portfolio head, ACCA, says: ‘Automation will reduce the more mundane activities, freeing up the resources of the finance function to add value and use its professional skills and competencies.’
Perhaps unsurprisingly there is confusion in the marketplace around the role and opportunities of robotics for the finance profession.
The report is timely as interest is growing among CFOs and investors in RPA technology.
RPA may evoke images of sophisticated robot-like machines assembling cars, but the reality is markedly different
In an article in March, the „Financial Times” noted that: ‘Software robots have become one of the hottest fads in business automation, as a new wave of AI [artificial intelligence] is poised to sweep through the back office functions of large corporations.’ And it added that investors were jumping on the bandwagon.
While the hype focuses on technology, CFOs need to recall that deploying RPA is as much about change management and stakeholder engagement as it is about implementing software.