The Ledger No. 5: Automation & Technology

June 16, 2021 Sarah Dameron

automation and technology

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of using accounting automation and technology and what that means for companies today. Read on to see why a lack of automation is preventing an efficient financial close, how to embrace technology into finance, how AI is impacting the finance and accounting industry, and the future of work in finance.

automation & technology

Lack of Technology & Automation Preventing an Efficient Financial Close

Financial Close SaaS provider, Trintech, conducted a survey asking over 500 global CFOs and VPs of Finance on what roadblocks they are experiencing in their financial close process. Here are those results ranked in order by the top challenges:

  • Remote work

  • Meeting deadline pressures

  • Reduced team size

  • Providing critical analysis

  • Cost pressure

  • Visibility over core KPIs

  • Other

If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that automation is needed now more than ever. And according to David King, CMO of Trintech, “The benefits of solving [automation problems] are now fundamental. There’s no going back to maintaining inefficient manual processes.” So how can accounting and finance leaders make the leap towards implementing automation into their close procedures? By showing how this technology is needed (focus on other value-added tasks + decreased deadline pressure = the benefits of automation).

To dive into a deeper understanding of why automation is crucial in the closing process, head over to CFODive.com.

Embracing Technology in the Finance Industry

Thanks to the pandemic, a vast majority of the world’s workforce is working remotely. Will that cease to exist once COVID-19 dissipates? Probably not. In fact, the shift from in-office working to virtual working (or even a hybrid model) has been on the horizon for years. One thing that has made this transition easier has been the adoption of new technologies. And we’re here to dispel the myth that automation and technology are viewed as job destroyers – they are quite the opposite. According to Efrain Rivera, CFO of Paychex, cloud-based technology allows companies (specifically in the finance sector) to be nimble and analyze large quantities of data, which in turn, helps businesses make strategic decisions.

To see how technology has improved efficiency in the finance and accounting industries, read the full article on Forbes.com.

Is AI Replacing Accountants?

Just when we thought technology couldn’t get anymore more advanced, it throws us a curveball with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). And before you ask, AI does not necessarily mean robots (although that would cool). Think of a bookkeeper and their role in a company. Many of the tasks performed by a bookkeeper are low-impact and with the help of AI, bookkeepers can shift gears and focus on bigger picture items that add more value to the client. And it’s not just bookkeepers that AI is replacing – AP and AR Specialists are feeling the effects as well. However, there are still tasks, such as approving transactions, that must be performed manually by an actual human (no AI needed here). So how can accounting and finance leaders embrace AI? Here are a few ways to prepare:

  • Leave traditional accounting behind

  • Look for the monotonous tasks in your process

AI provides new opportunities for accounting and finance professionals. To learn how to adopt those changes, head over to Forbes.com to explore the full article.

5 Ways to Successfully Embrace Technology and Automation In Finance

The most successful CFOs and accounting executives have adopted technology into their fold. In fact, deploying technology allows finance leaders to reduce risk, decrease expenses, and harvest data for greater strategy. Look at these five areas that CFOs are overseeing to help their companies accomplish their financial objectives:

  • Making sure their strategy revolves around technology and automation

  • Embracing centralization

  • Identifying the change agents in their organization

  • Including HR

  • Developing custom training programs that focus on emerging technologies

To explore how to become a digitally advanced accounting and finance executive, view the full article on Forbes.com.

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