Finance and accounting professionals optimistic for an automated future
92% of finance professionals are optimistic about increased automation
More than one in ten (12%) believe their job will be automated in the next five years
Over a quarter (26%) say their employer isn’t upskilling the finance function
PRESS RELEASE 30 November, 2017
More than nine in ten finance and accounting professionals (92%) are optimistic about increased automation in the profession, according to new research from Renaix, the international recruitment consultancy for finance and accounting.
The study, which questioned over 200 finance and accounting professionals, reveals that 81% are seeing their role impacted by emerging technologies, such as advanced data analytics (63%), cloud computing (42%), robotics (17%) and artificial intelligence (15%). This increases to more than nine in ten (94%) who believe these technologies will impact their role in the next five years.
Yet, despite the increasing role of technology, only 12% of those questioned believe their job will be completely automated within the next five years, with most seeing new tools as an opportunity rather than threat. Two thirds (69%) say automation will enable them to be more efficient, over half (59%) say it will allow them to add greater value to clients and 40% say it will reduce the amount of transactional work they’re involved in.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges, with more than half (59%) of respondents having to learn new skills to keep up with technological developments, with data analytics (54%), soft skills (54%) and working with new technologies (51%) coming top of the list.
Many are also worried about skills shortages over the coming years, particularly in data analytics (52%), STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths – 42%), and soft skills (31%). Furthermore, a quarter (25%) of those questioned say their employer still isn’t investing in upskilling the finance function to work with new technologies.
Paul Jarrett, Managing Director at Renaix, comments: “Emerging technologies are set to transform the finance and accounting sectors, with many professionals already feeling the impact on their day-to-day responsibilities. And it’s encouraging to see that, far from being intimidated or threatened by these new ways of working, the majority of professionals are excited and optimistic, believing automation will improve and expand their role in the coming years.
“Finance and accounting organisations have a fantastic opportunity to drive forward digital transformation, empowering all employees to play their part in developing and implementing new ways of working. However, to do so effectively, employers need to ensure they are equipping the workforce with the right skills, as well as investing in bringing in the right talent. While there will always be a need for traditional finance and accounting skills, we’re seeing a significant rise in demand for a broader range of backgrounds, particularly those with STEM qualifications. Businesses therefore need to plan their talent needs effectively, to ensure they stay ahead of the game.”
About the research
Renaix surveyed 206 finance and accounting professionals in June/July 2017.
For more information, please contact:
07878 485 851
Renaix is an international recruitment and executive search consultancy, specialising in placing senior management, finance and audit professionals.
We place talented finance managers, corporate auditors, financial analysts and financial controllers at Fortune 500, top European multinationals and large finance services institutions. With a network spanning Europe, Americas, Asia and MEA, our assignments range from introducing a newly qualified auditor, up to placing a country or regional CFO.
Celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2017, we’ve built a deep understanding of the international finance industry and nurtured an unrivalled network of clients and candidates around the globe. Our international footprint means our consultants have extensive knowledge of local laws and regulations, and an intuitive grasp of the cultural differences that influence role requirements.
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