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Future of Finance - Embracing digital and robotic process automation

Embracing digital and robotic process automation

Digital and Automation Technology are rapidly evolving and have the power to shape the future of the finance function. Business leaders are recognising the unique opportunities and challenges a digital transformation of their business can deliver.

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Head of Financial Management and Customer & Operations, Hong Kong

KPMG in China

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The growth of ‘digital labour’ will affect organisations for many years to come. In the short term, some organisations may struggle with disparate and uncoordinated automation initiatives, as well as fragmented underlying IT systems and applications. There will be continuing uncertainty over where to best start, when and how to invest in automation.

This report, commissioned by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) in collaboration with KPMG, explores the significant opportunities automation presents for the finance function. The report shares results of a global survey and draws insights from leading organisations around the world on the adoption of robotics in finance. More than 2,700 respondents have contributed from a range of sectors.

When compared to the Hong Kong’s Automated Future - An RPA Guide for Finance Functions report launched in March 2018, we note a strong increase in local RPA adoption rates (from 20% to 38%) in Hong Kong in recent months. However, overall adoption rates in Hong Kong are still lagging behind many other countries, including Singapore, USA and UK.

There is a real opportunity for companies to extend their understanding of the technology and its successful application across finance. The case studies in this report demonstrate that deploying RPA is as much about change management and stakeholder engagement as it is about implementing the software.

“People challenges such as shortage of RPA skills and knowledge, and cultural resistance have now become the top hurdles that prevent companies here in Hong Kong from implementing RPA. Companies should formulate a comprehensive change management plan, focusing on how humans and software bots can work together seamlessly, and how to up-skill existing employees to perform more analytical roles in the future. Whilst there are people challenges, the case studies show that automation can bring a huge amount of value to teams. It is never too late to embrace technology”

Isabel Zisselsberger


CFOs can take the lead in supporting their teams and the whole organisation to adopt RPA and other digital solutions. Embracing digital can improve customer experience, employee experience and makes commercial sense. It will require visionary leadership, the right culture and mindset but can bring true transformation.

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