Share with your friends

Embracing robotic automation during the evolution of finance

Robotic automation and the evolution of finance

The current evolution of automation technology is transforming the face of the finance function. In response to this, business leaders are recognising the unique opportunities and challenges a digital transformation of their business can deliver.

Nikki McAllen

Partner, Finance Strategy & Performance

KPMG Australia


Also on

Robot hand touching a human hand

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.

Findings reveal the finance function has a way to go in terms of implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) practices. Fifty percent of respondents say their companies had either not trialled or fully implemented robotics and 45 percent of those say they still need to understand exactly what robotics is before implementing it. There is opportunity to extend the understanding of the technology and its successful application across finance, and 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.

“Strong leadership and executive sponsorship are essential. The dynamic nature of today’s business landscape calls for finance to be a strategic business partner, not simply a transaction processing back office function. Consequently automation initiatives are more likely to succeed where they are directly linked to broader strategic initiatives, enabling finance to better partner with the business. This trend is evidenced by the survey where 58 percent of respondents have identified broader business wide digital transformation as a key catalyst for adoption.”

Nikki McAllen

CFOs have the opportunity to take a proactive approach to shaping their teams to combine human and digital labour. This will require visionary leadership from the CFO, a change in culture, and the digital mindset of finance and the whole organisation.

©2020 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organisation.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit

Connect with us


Want to do business with KPMG?


loading image Request for proposal