How Your Finance Department Can Innovate with Automation This Year
Automation is a key part to transforming finance. In fact, automation has become a top priority for finance leaders in 2023. Automation allows finance teams the flexibility and efficiency to automate the tedious, time-consuming tasks and dedicate more time to strategic and higher-value contributions. The trend in recent years has been toward a more increased investment in technology, with automation leading the pack.
In the 2023 Finance Leaders Survey: How Finance Leaders Can Spark Change Net at Work partner Prophix asked over 700 finance leaders about how they currently use automation and their plans for the future.
The results show that these leaders are following through with their emphasis on automation in 2023:
- 27 percent of respondents told us that half or more of their processes are automated
- 65 percent of respondents told us they plan to automate half or more of their processes by the end of this year.
- 11 percent say they plan to be fully automated by year’s end.
Read on to learn how finance functions use automation and what leaders plan for the year ahead.
HOW FINANCE LEADERS ARE USING AUTOMATION
Finance leaders said automation is crucial to their future vision. Nearly all survey respondents (97 percent) said they had at least some automated processes.
There are three business goals that our respondents plan to achieve through further automation:
1. Transform the business
Digital transformation is top of mind for finance leaders. As we go into 2023, 41 percent of our survey respondents said they are using automation to transform their business.
A transformed finance function allows its employees to shift the way they think. Instead of approaching their role from a strict recording and reporting perspective, finance teams can drive innovation. Automation positions finance as a strategic contributor to the business: forward-looking, data-driven, and advisory.
2. Focus on high-value tasks
Over a third (35 percent) of finance leaders told us they use automation to help their teams focus on higher-value tasks. By automating tasks like routine reporting, allocating expenses, or closing out the month, the finance team can spend their time doing more strategic work like analysis, skills development, and providing strategic insights to drive the business forward.
3. Provide direction in times of uncertainty
Nearly a quarter of finance leaders (23 percent) told us that automation gives them the best way to prepare for multiple scenarios. When processes are automated, data can be updated as quickly as it’s generated, which allows forecasting software to create reports quarterly, monthly, or even on a rolling basis.
Reports based on the latest data provide actionable insights to finance leaders, which they can share with executive leadership. This type of reporting helps drive more thoughtful decision-making, even when circumstances are rapidly changing.
FINANCE WILL INCREASE AUTOMATION IN 2023
One clear theme from our survey is that leaders need to build on automation’s capabilities.
With the continued investment in automation planned for 2023, finance teams will realize a wealth of benefits. The time they spend manually entering data and transferring files will decrease dramatically, allowing them to focus on high-value tasks that will position finance as an invaluable strategic asset to the organization.
To Learn more about how finance leaders worldwide are elevating the finance function, please contact us.
NOTE: This content was originally posted on Prophix.com on April 18, 2023.