Home Bots & Business International CFO round table provides peer-to-peer information

International CFO round table provides peer-to-peer information

by Marco van der Hoeven

Recently Armand Angeli, Président du groupe CSP/RPA/AI de la DFCG and Président du groupe International de la DFCG, initiated an international CFO round table discussing all aspects of automation. The round table addresses shared challenges for CFO’s, and the need for reliable information on automation, based on the experience of peers.

“Finance executive like CFO’s are looking at transforming and digitizing the finance function”, Armand Angeli says. “In all countries we see the same objective. But we are not at the same level of experience with automation in various countries. So we wanted to bring together the finance community experts to discuss all these topics, share experiences and learn from the neighbor about finance transformation, robotization and automation.”


The CFO is an essential executive in automation. “They have the money, and together with the CEO they are driving transformation. Finance has perhaps been the first place where automation makes sense. But the learnings are not only from CFOs, it’s from HR, from logistics, everywhere there’s the same tendency to automate.”

He is clear on the challenges financial executives face: “The main challenge organizations encounter with automation and robotization is to have a vision on what you want to achieve. Don’t just look at short term ROI, but consider productivity efficiency and qualitative ROI. The second challenge is not to go too fast into automation. In the past we have seen projects that have been pushed by consultants and providers, which didn’t fully succeed.”

A third factor to take into consideration, he states, is that RPA is actually not robotic process automation, but task automation. “Robots automate tasks. And because automation with RPA is about software, IT has to be involved from the very beginning.” During this process communication is key. “It is a project that’s overhead, so you need to have true change management. Explain, and communicate what you are doing. Then people realize that robots are not killing jobs, but improving their lives.“


The title of the first international round table Angeli recently organized was ‘Lost in automation’. He explains: “The main topic was confusion: what is automation? What is AI? What is RPA? We see people sometimes don’t understand that. They are confused because they think, for example, they are going to reduce costs by 80%. They are confused because they thought it was easy to implement. There are a lot of acronyms, but what do they bring? Talking to peers can clarify the situation. One takeaway was automation is not only for big companies, but also for medium sized companies.”

Where ‘confusion’ was the main theme of the first round table, the second one is going into the key success factors. “We are talking about changes. The idea is to look at the challenges, and advise our peers in order to be successful in their automation journey. And, actually, sometimes people are thinking too  about tools and technology, and not enough about processes, organization and people. The round table is about advice for our peers on how to be successful, and what pitfalls to avoid in automation.”

The initiative started with Armand Angeli and the French CFO Association, but the ambition is to be a European, even with participants from outside of Europe. “Anybody is welcome to join us, as long as they are peers, not consulting firms. Of course I wish we could physically meet, but because of COVID, and because you can’t get together between all these countries it will need to be virtual. But still I want them to be roundtables, not webinars. It’s sharing between peers, and it’s confidential so we can have open exchanges.”

Register for the next round table here

Read more on automation and the CFO here

Misschien vind je deze berichten ook interessant