CFO’s are witnessing the rapid impact of automation in their finance processes, according to Capgemini’s report entitled ‘Reimagine finance for the digital age’, where about half of companies surveyed have already fully or nearly fully automated individual processes such as queries handling and payments.
A large number of finance professionals believe that their function has the opportunity to play a more instrumental role. Central to their vision is intelligent automation. The study finds that automation of finance processes with advanced tools such as robotic process automation (RPA) is well under way. Many finance teams also have plans to drive process automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). [Read the full report here]
The report reveals that automation of finance processes is real and is advancing, with 50% of companies surveyed are in the process of automating key Finance Processes. 66% see the potential for full automation in 3 years. Nearly, 43% of finance executives surveyed believe that automation, if used effectively, has the potential to transform the finance function from ‘scorekeeper’ to a strategic business partner. As well as changing finance into a strategic business unit, those businesses that are currently using automation expect that in three years’ time automation will be helping them to improve their customers’ experience (60%). Some 55% of businesses say automation will help to unlock new insights that will then drive further value for the business.
Of those firms with an advanced level of automation, more than eight in 10— 85%—say the business as a whole is also pursuing an automation strategy, while 51% report that automation is led at enterprise level by a dedicated team.
Despite that legacy technologies are the main impediment in finance’s digital transformation efforts, believe CFOs. While some companies struggle most with people and knowledge issues, for others, it is legacy systems that appear to cause more automation difficulties. The inference is: the greater a finance team’s automation progress, the more likely it is to be satisfactorily addressing talent and skills challenges, and to be running up against technology blockages.
To deliver on their automation objectives, companies will need to step up a gear in their automation efforts. In particular they will need to support automation with more advanced technologies and knowledge management strategies, the report said