6 Questions for Finance Manager (Systems) & RPA Team Lead Raymond Low
Hi there! My name is Raymond Low and I’m the Finance Manager looking after finance systems and the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Team Lead at NZME. I’m a Malaysian born Chinese, and have lived in New Zealand for most of my life. My wife and I have four lovely young boys that keep us on our toes 24/7. My family will tell you that I love fixing things around the house and tinkering with technology during my free time.
Talk us through an average working day.
I start my days by running through various system checks and dashboards to ensure all is working well. Then depending on the time of the month, I have a list of finance tasks to do. Then it is on to the next automation or RPA project. During the day, I’m often contacted by people throughout NZME to help investigate or fix system issues, help them solve a problem or automate a manual task. This gives me plenty of interactions with various NZME teams which I love.
What has your career path been like? How did you get there?
Whilst I have two degrees, one in Accounting and another in Computer Science, I started off in a mid-sized Chartered Accounting firm pursuing my CA qualification. After seven years at the CA firm, I went on to become the Financial Controller of Auckland Gas (Connections division). Then I joined NZME fourteen years ago. Prior to NZME, I’ve always been primarily an Accountant, while dabbling in IT on the side. My role at NZME is my first job that brings my Computer Science qualifications officially into play. As NZME is always evolving, it feels like a new job every year. Two years ago, I was given the opportunity to have a play with Robotic Process Automation software and fully immersed myself with the technology. Now I have the privilege of leading a team of two full time RPA developers (on top of my finance role).
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The best part of my job is interacting and helping others around NZME to improve the quality of their job. I also love that my job gives me the opportunity to look into new and emerging technologies. I can’t think of any negative sides of my job to be honest. Maybe that I don’t have enough time in a day to do all I would like to do!
What do you see your jobs to be like in 10 years? Thinking of it evolving to keep up with the ever-changing digital trends.
A big part of my job is keeping up with and utilising new technology anyway, but I imagine that there will be a lot more Artificial Intelligence in the automation work I do. In ten years’ time, I reckon technology will be a lot more voice and touch screen driven rather than with a mouse and keyboard.
What's your WHY? What lights you up! How does this align with what you're doing now within work and/ or outside of work?
Automation is what lights me up! I get a buzz automating the simplest of things in everyday life with the least amount of money spent (my inner accountant keeping a lid on things). For example, I worked out a way of opening my garage door with a phone app by combining two low tech devices for a fraction of the cost of a shop bought system. Automating manual tasks at work is just an extension of what I already love to do. RPA technology has really taken automation to the next level at work. Quickly automating human performed “robotic processes” that can’t be easily or quickly automated any other way is very satisfying.
With a helm of experience, what is your biggest achievement to date?
A few years ago, I did a stint up in the NZME Whangarei office where I helped my manager establish a whole new finance team at the Group Finance Services office. It was a myriad of new experiences in a very short time where I moved to a new city with my wife and new baby into a new home, and worked with a whole new team in a newly established office. It was a very defining period in my life. Though challenging at the time, the experience has helped me cope with the constant changing nature of my job.
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