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RPA/Automation specialist

Job profile:


Career zone:

The transformation driver

What is an RPA/automation specialist and what do they do?

An RPA/automation specialist uses RPA to improve end-to-end processes across workflows relevant to accountancy/audit. 

This is a very specialised role that uses the understanding of the finance function to apply the relevant tools to automate. 

This can vastly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a business, freeing up the finance team to focus on more analytical and specialised work. 

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include: 

  • gathering requirements: creating a list of potential automation projects based on discussion with teams across the business on pain-points and high-value areas/processes for audit automation
  • assessing opportunities: working with a developer to assess opportunities, formulate reasons to proceed or not for a given area; identifying interdependencies and synergies across projects; and prioritising
  • setting workplan: agreeing priorities with the partners, devising timelines and milestones for delivery of individual automation projects
  • standardising data: considering the range of data (including unstructured data) across (several hundred) clients and 15 or more different kinds of software; developing a list of data templates for use across the firm
  • creating governance protocols: developing scalable governance procedures in the firm for users to request changes, fixes or assistance with the software tools
  • evaluating processes: for a given use-case, mapping out the end-to-end process and assessing whether it can be improved before automation
  • designing and iterating: creating a draft design for the automated process; working with users to incorporate feedback and iteratively improve it
  • overseeing coding: working with a developer to code an initial version of the design; incorporating user feedback, iterating and overseeing the building of code to be used in production
  • system testing and user acceptance testing: checking user interfaces; identifying/hiring an individual to support quality testing; testing against various scenarios of ‘what could go wrong’
  • overseeing user readiness: development of user manual and user acceptance testing (UAT)
  • supporting post-launch: providing assistance as needed once a process has migrated to using RPA; training staff on how to engage with tools
  • maintaining solutions and operating change control processes: ensuring applications stay current to user needs and operate appropriately
  • optimising infrastructure: working in partnership with IT teams; exploring opportunities to improve system hosting and performance
  • building a technology team: managing the existing developer, and over time, as the practice expands, considering the case for additional support in RPA and/or other emerging technologies.

Why are they important?


The RPA manager will champion the adoption and embedding of RPA into the firm’s operations by leading the delivery of a successful RPA implementation and improving the efficiency of the organisation, potentially driving up profitability.

Person specification

The RPA/automation specialist will need hands-on experience of workflows pertinent to accountancy/audit across a range of sectors/clients, gained through their ACCA Qualification. 

They must also be passionate about technology, with an active interest in emerging technologies as well as having hands-on experience of using RPA tools (e.g. Blue Prism, UiPath, Automation Anywhere). Experience in coding is advantageous but not a prerequisite. 

Strong project management skills for managing and monitoring multiple work streams and individuals and, specifically, experience of running AGILE projects is essential. 

Strong collaboration skills, including business partnering and communication skills for dealing effectively with users across the practice are also essential. 

Great insight is needed with the RPA specialist displaying a curious mindset with a liking for new challenges and continuous learning, possessing a problem-solving mentality, and finding creative solutions where there are no previous comparable problems. 

Drive is further needed for team management and leadership capabilities, and ability to drive change. 

A wide awareness of technologies and their adoption is an advantage, e.g. low-code platforms such as Mendix, Outsystems, PowerApps; Visualisation (Qlik, Tableau, Spotfire, PowerBi), as well as an understanding of design thinking techniques.

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