• August 28, 2019

The Impact of Automation on the Finance Function

The Impact of Automation on the Finance Function

980 735 Jenine Rees

Accounting Automation and how it’s impacting the Finance function

Cloud computing, software robots and virtual reality have become common place and we hardly give any of it a second thought anymore.  It’s become so integrated into our every-day lives, at such a speed, we barely notice the time it saves us every day.  Whether it’s Google maps steering you clear of a traffic nightmare on your morning commute, or Siri doing the dialling, we’ve just got used to it and would struggle without it!

Automation and AI in the Finance function is no different and rapid advances in technologies and automation are continuously disrupting and shaping the function of the future.  Here are just a few examples;

  • Modern Robotic process automation (RPA focuses on automating the most repetitive tasks) Now much more powerful and used to automate more complicated processes with the development of modern RPA tools.
  • Artificial intelligence which thinks similarly to humans and is being used in fraud detection and in risk assessment.
  • Machine Learning (ML) This slowly adapts processes over time by assessing large quantities of data without the need for any human intervention.

It’s highly unlikely that any new technology will replace the expertise of a human any time soon, however there is no doubt that a Finance professional that wants to progress their career will need to arm themselves with new skills and work with the technology to deliver results.

Skills that will help you thrive in this rapidly changing environment:

Strategic thinking – Automation can tend to over-standardise.  Being able to see beyond this, to spot opportunities and plan accordingly.

Emotional intelligence – this is not something that can be taught, but as automation frees up professionals from the repetitive mundane tasks, individuals will have more time to focus on the bigger picture, to be more creative at finding solutions for strategic decisions.  Building relationships within teams and working together is going to be more important than ever.

Communication – working collaboratively as a team, using the tools and information to produce the results and communicate these effectively across different areas of the organisation.

Data analytics – this is a valued skill for any sector and requires knowledge of common reporting tools and experience with cloud-based systems.

Keeping abreast of new technologies and continuously developing ways to use them to your organisations advantage will keep you in a good position in the market.

If you’re thinking about a career move in the near future we strongly recommend registering for email alerts with a range of job boards (Robertson Bell) selecting the roles you would be most interested in so that you get the details sent straight to your inbox, saving you hours of scrolling and searching.

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