Is automation threatening the role of finance professionals?

January 17th 2022 | Posted by Phil Scott

Traditional finance functions within an organisation, such as reporting, are at threat from increased levels of automation. However, this does not mean the role of finance professionals overall is at risk.

There is an important role for the finance function to play and the most successful professionals understand they need to evolve in order to secure a successful career. The best Finance Directors understand this. They know that a focus on influencing decision-making in the organisation is essential.

For this reason, they are moving from keeping score to driving performance. This requires innovative thinking and a forward-thinking approach in order to embrace the value of digital transformation.

The digital transformation of finance insights

As organisations progress on the path to digital transformation, there is an opportunity to utilise financial insights to make better decisions. In order for this to happen, the finance function must provide more sophisticated insights and predictions that are an advance on traditional reporting and forecasting.

Top professionals know that processes often need a complete overhaul for this to happen. Taking this step helps them to transform the finance function into a strategic hub. The skills and knowledge of finance teams must also be transformed, enabling them to optimise the value of digital technology when providing strategic insights to the business.

It’s clear that rather than threatening the role of finance professionals, digital transformation can transform the responsibilities of the role. This involves using advanced analytics and Cloud technology to enable real-time decisions to be made. Overall, a combination of embracing technology, developing skills, and transforming organisational culture, is the way forward for ambitions finance professionals.

Integrating to improve impact

Within the combination of factors identified, top finance professionals understand the importance of introducing integration into the culture of an organisation. Having an integrated approach makes it a lot easier for organisations to enable an intelligent finance function.

This is due to the wider range of insights an integrated approach provides when compared with operating in silos.

Many organisations are constantly changing in order to produce innovative products and services, and to optimise pricing strategies. Having a finance function that is integrated with other functions enables real-time insights into the performance and efficiency of the organisation as ongoing changes are made.

This ongoing evaluation enables accurate decisions to be made and profitable strategies to be developed. These are essential aspects in ensuring the ongoing success of an organisation especially at a time when many businesses are still experiencing levels of uncertainty.

As the finance function has been subjected to increased levels of digital transformation some of those working within the sector have expressed concern over a threat to their role. However, the most forward-thinking finance professionals understand the opportunities that a digital world presents.

They are developing new skills and switching their focus from keeping score of financial performance to providing well-informed and accurate real-time insights and advice to enable the most beneficial decisions to be made for the organisation.

If you are an FD/CFO looking for your next role, register with us. If you are on looking to hire a Finance Director or CFO, get in touch.