CFOtech New Zealand logo
Technology news for Kiwi CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

Why finance and IT must work together to implement RPA

By Contributor
Tue 9 Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by BlackLine Australia and New Zealand vice president Claudia Pirko

Embracing robotic technologies is no particular stretch for ICT professionals, accustomed as they are to getting to grips with the latest developments on the high-tech frontier.

It can represent more of a challenge to individuals and divisions within an enterprise whose daily duties have not been significantly impacted by automation and digital transformation, to date.

In many Australian and New Zealand organisations, that includes the finance and accounting department.

While a growing wave of enterprises of all stripes have made the switch to cloud accounting software, many have only just begun to embrace the next level of change – the automation of a slew of finance-related tasks and processes historically carried out by human hands.

Helping business units implement robotic systems and exploit them to their full potential is a task that’s ideally suited to in-house ICT personnel, given their technical skills are likely to be complemented by considerable knowledge of the organisation’s business processes and corporate culture.

Appointing one or more individuals to the role of robotics change champion can help ensure a smooth rollout and more rapid acceptance of the technology across the enterprise.

Meet the robotic bean counters

Mention the word robot and many people think of something along the lines of the lovable Star Wars robot R2-D2; a clunky metal creation which can perform many of the same physical functions as a human being.

In 2019, not all robots look like this or take up as much space.

In fact, software robots take up no space at all, except in the virtual sense – on servers or in the cloud.

In the accounting department, robotic process automation sees automation software running on a workstation perform many of the tasks formerly carried out by accountants or accounts clerks.

Typically, they’ll be activities which are manual and repetitive and able to be reduced to a series of rules or solved by an algorithm.

Robotic technology can also be incorporated into workflows within software programs and platforms that cover a range of business processes, including customer and employee resource management, claims applications and general ledger tasks.

Wide-scale change underpinned by IT

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to undertake a robotic process automation (RPA) implementation without considerable involvement from the ICT team.

Their tasks will typically include establishing the virtual services the robots will run on and providing them with access to the processes currently performed by human workers, which have been earmarked for automation.

It’s likely they’ll also be responsible for establishing the rules under which the robots will operate and the parameters under which they can make decisions.

The techies will remain in the picture once the implementation is complete, to collaborate with business unit leaders on enhancements and train staff on any changes made to the system after the rollout.

Data analytics tools can be used to extract business insights from the data that’s processed by RPA-driven business systems.

Helping decision-makers use them to optimum benefit is also likely to be a task that falls to the ICT team.

Time to act               

Economic pressures are forcing businesses across all industries to identify areas where efficiency can be improved and productivity enhanced.

The rollout of robotic process automation can fulfil both these objectives and organisations which fail to embrace it are likely to find themselves at significant competitive disadvantage to their more technologically adroit rivals.

Adopting robotic technology across the enterprise can call for cultural change and necessitate increased technical support, in the period immediately following the rollout.

Making in-house tech experts integral to the process will help ensure finance and accounting professionals and other employees whose duties are significantly affected make the transition more easily.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
SaaS
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Fonterra
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Safety
Voxel hits total funding of $18M following ongoing wins
Since raising its seed round in September, Voxel has grown at pace, by decreasing on-site injuries by upwards of 80% and increasing operational productivity.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom welcomes new marketing codes for the telecom industry
The Commerce Commission is welcoming the creation of new marketing codes for the telecommunications industry.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.