- Portia Smith CA leads the digitisation division at Velocite, based in New Plymouth, Taranaki.
- She is fascinated with how emerging disruptive technology can assist SMEs.
- In 2022, she is starting a Bachelor of Information Sciences (Computer Science) through Massey University.
As told to Hannah Tattersall
You’ve been busy! You’re about to undertake a Bachelor of Information Sciences (Computer Science) through Massey University after completing your Master of Technological Futures at the Tech Futures Lab. Where did your interest in tech come from?
My love for tech has grown from seeing how systems can transform a business’s processes. (Change is the only constant I have in my career!) Over the past six years I’ve seen the need for businesses to adopt technology in their practices and systems to remain competitive and function in new ways.
There has been a steady increase in cloud computing and cloud accounting software being introduced to help businesses complete their everyday work. These tools provide users with automation, efficiencies, real-time understanding of how the business is performing and more data capture to tell the story of their business performance.
You obviously love learning.
’m a lifelong learner and I love learning about emerging disruptive technology and introducing it to SME businesses where relevant. Through the Tech Futures Lab I have learnt about emerging disruptive technology, developed an understanding of hyperautomation, learned robotic process automation from [RPA specialists] UiPath and developed new methodologies for SMEs to adopt digital practices in their workplaces.
Picture: Portia Smith CA. Photographed on Te Rewa Rewa Bridge in New Plymouth, New Zealand.
“I love learning about emerging disruptive technology.”
What made you want to be a chartered accountant?
At high school we had a chartered accountant speak to us who was a CEO of their own start-up business. This broadened my understanding of what it meant to become a CA. As a CA you become a trusted business partner and receive a world-leading higher education in accounting. That foundation of learning really appealed to me.
What sort of career are you interested in now? One that combines accounting and tech?
Yes, that’s the plan. Being a CA has given me important business acumen and when coupled with my growing knowledge of technology, I provide a unique perspective to help businesses in new ways. I’m interested in working with businesses to support them on their strategic journey to prepare for the future of work.
My goal is to be a storyteller – a connecter between the business strategy and knowing how to build and implement future technology. Ultimately I want to aid in bringing this to life.
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