This article concludes Triad’s recent eBook: The CFO in the 2020s: Finance and Intelligent Automation. The eBook researched Intelligent Automation within a finance function and how this is shaping the future role of finance leadership, featuring insights from CFOs and finance leaders in a variety of sectors.
Without exception, the finance chiefs we interviewed for this eBook said that it was important for CFOs to have greater strategic input into the future of their companies.
They also agreed that automation technologies would improve some of their business processes, especially when applied to repetitive tasks that freed up resources to focus on the more strategic aspects of finance.
Given these views, it is not surprising to see CFOs championing and prioritising the understanding of Intelligent Automation thoroughly. It has been impressive to see how many CFOs are also driving the adoption of Intelligent Automation in their organisations, albeit working with their technology and operational colleagues.
While the organisations quoted in this document have different approaches to automation, and are at different stages of the journey, they offer important insight into best practice when adopting automation.
Advice for CFOs who are planning or embarking on Intelligent Automation projects includes:
1. The finance function is a great place for an organisation to start or excel with an Intelligent Automation programme. The benefits not only include workflow improvements, cost savings and more fulfilling roles for the finance team; Intelligent Automation also delivers significant capacity to CFOs allowing them to adopt a greater leadership role within the organisation.
2. Early adopters report that automation has driven process improvement and efficiencies in functions such as accounts payable, expenses, operations, cash and revenue management. To increase the chances of successful automation, these processes must be mapped from end to end and fully understood before being automated.
3. It is beneficial to secure support from other executives such as the CTO and CEO. The CTO can bring vital technical expertise, while other executives’ support will help to drive user acceptance of changed working practices.
4. A business case for Intelligent Automation should not only consider the costs around automation software and consulting; it is vital to also account for training and maintenance.
5. And finally, all finance organisations are built on skills around accounting and data processing; functions that will likely be transformed by automation. So, organisations hoping to leverage Intelligent Automation should start planning early for the staff and skills profile that their departments will need in the future.
So, I hope our finance readers feel more confident in what automation can offer your function and the impact IA can have on your wider business and leadership agendas.
If you’re interested in learning more about Intelligent Automation within a finance function and how this is shaping the future role of finance leadership, download the complete eBook here.
Alternatively, if you’d like to contact Triad’s Intelligent Automation practice, please email Dave Horton at email@example.com