FSN’s “Future of Automation in the Finance Function” Survey 2020 provides a fascinating insight into the likely direction of finance systems automation, defining the issues, concerns and trends that will define likely progress over the next 5 years.
2020 has been a of course a difficult year, and the disruption has exposed weaknesses in processes, technology and skills, yet the research provides cause for optimism. It is definitely the case that the COVID crisis has delayed finance systems automation projects in some industries, but there is also evidence of a renewed determination amongst finance professionals to make up for lost time and indeed accelerate where possible investment in innovation and automation.
The results of this survey are truly exciting and show that investment in finance systems is very worthwhile. For the very first time this research provides empirical evidence of the link between digital transformation, corporate performance and agility. Those that have transformed their processes have been able to ride out the current crisis much more easily than those that have not invested. They are not only well positioned for the new era of home-working but are also demonstrably more capable of responding to new information demands and market changes. In other words, they are more agile in the face of market disruption, able to make quicker decisions and are more resilient to economic shock.
Helpfully, the report identifies the unique qualities of these automation leaders, finding that among the many notable qualities that make them stand out and succeed, is a commitment to process standardization, an enterprise-wide perspective of process change across all functional areas and a balanced approach to automation which ensures that organizations grow their finance capabilities in sympathy with their customer-facing systems.
The survey strongly signals the importance of using the next twelve months wisely. With some enterprises saying that they could delay projects for up to two years or until COVID is over, there are very clear opportunities for organizations that grasp the nettle now. Even if they are not in a position to invest now, many can do the ‘thinking’ while they wait, for example, the process redesign and evaluation of potential solutions.
We hope that you find the survey’s findings set out in this document thought-provoking and interesting. But above all we hope that the contents of this report together with FSN’s 2020 “Innovation Showcase” just released, will inspire you to explore and discuss the future of automation in your own organization with your colleagues.
Infographics from the Future of Automation in the Finance Function Research series:
DOWNLOAD THE FULL FUTURE OF AUTOMATION IN THE FINANCE FUNCTION REPORT BELOW