Finance fit for the future – Deakin University

Finance fit for the future – Deakin University

When Deakin University set out to overhaul its finance department technology, it took the opportunity to bring in best practice processes. KPMG’s Powered Enterprise approach helped the transformation to be a success.


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Deakin University wanted to uplift its finance function technology from an ageing and highly customised on premise system to a best practice cloud solution that offered more agility and was fit for the future.

Its existing finance function technology was not operating efficiently, resulting in greater costs, and inconsistent information for decision making.

Deakin’s leadership saw the upgrade as an opportunity to not just transform the technology – but business operations in the finance function.

It asked: “What do we need as a finance function? And, what is the best solution for us – rather than simply performing an upgrade on the old technology system?”

The answer was that Deakin wanted to drive consistency and uniformity across its finance processes.

KPMG, in partnership with Workday, worked with Deakin to tackle the challenge.

The team first helped to identify future business requirements. It then helped Deakin to transform its processes, supported by the right new technology and accelerated by KPMG’s Powered Enterprise framework.


KPMG was engaged as a business transformation strategist, and system integrator, to implement the Workday Financials solution.

The team worked alongside Deakin and Workday through five phases; Plan, Architect, Configure and Prototype, Test, and Deploy. KPMG utilised an agile approach to support Deakin culture and a prototyping approach. (Look and learn, do and understand)

Using KPMG’s Powered Enterprise Finance framework, the team helped to define Deakin’s better practice finance processes and success metrics.

Collaboration at the core

The project was a truly collaborative effort between the three organisations. KPMG team members from Technology Enablement, Markets IT, Finance Strategy and Performance, People and Change, Transformational Program Management, and Higher Education were all involved.

A strong focus throughout were the change implications and training requirements for employees. A change impact assessment was developed, which informed a stakeholder communication strategy and training, resulting in high employee support.

Key outcomes

Previous processes saw users extract data from multiple systems and manipulate the data for reporting. The finance department now has greater transparency and consistency over its data, with clearer information for reporting and decision making.


A strong cultural alignment with the University landscape, as well as the ability to bring together diverse capabilities, allowed KPMG to deliver great outcomes for Deakin.

The team understood Deakin’s system architecture and integrations requirements, and drawing on KPMG’s Powered Enterprise assets, were able to accelerate the transformation.

Through the process the team developed a deep understanding of the needs of each stakeholder group, and built relationships based on trust.

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