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The future of automation in finance

Balancing technology and the human touch

The technological transformation taking place in finance and accounting organizations is causing a major shift for professionals. Explore insights from our survey with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA®) on finance's need to evolve across three dimensions: work, workforce, and workplace.

What does our study on automation in finance reveal?

Finance and accounting organizations are empowering their professionals to operate as strategic business partners more than ever before. Finance professionals are now expected to deliver expanded analytic insights to businesses. This evolution to a strategic business partner is occurring in an environment that’s also going through a rapid transformation.

Having a future-ready finance function that leverages advanced technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) may elevate the role of finance professionals. But it may also seem like a mirage in a world of continuous change and new technological landscapes. Navigating this new reality is refocusing finance's roles and responsibilities. This process involves understanding how automation in finance is changing the nature of the work, determining who can do the work and addressing skills gaps within the workforce, and developing the workplace in which the work can be performed.

In collaboration with IMA, we conducted a global survey between November 6, 2019, and January 6, 2020, of nearly 800 finance and accounting managers, directors, controllers, and CFOs. Our findings, provide insights on the impact of automation in finance and the function's need to evolve across three dimensions—work, workforce, and workplace—further informing considerations to enhance, optimize, and elevate finance organizations and help make Finance in a Digital World™ a reality. While this survey was conducted prior to COVID-19, the pandemic amplifies the relevancy of these considerations.

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Bringing finance into focus in a digital world

Mind over matter: How financial professionals can leverage advanced technology to elevate their roles

Automation and advanced technologies continue to move finance toward a digital future, allowing professionals to focus less on transactional activities and more on analytics and insights. Our survey of finance and accounting leaders, in conjunction with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), revealed that in order to elevate its role as a more strategic business partner, finance will need to balance human and machine-based competencies while achieving relevance and resilience through the four A’s of future-ready professionals: analytical, adaptive, agile, and anticipatory.

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How financial professionals can leverage advanced technology to elevate their roles

About the Center for Controllership™

Deloitte’s Center for Controllership provides chief accounting officers, controllers, and their teams an opportunity to collaborate and obtain direct access to resources and research to help build world-class controllership capabilities. The center gives those with controllership responsibilities access to our deep experience, broad capabilities, and valuable insights in managing the complexities of their roles while transforming their organizations to be more proficient, effective, and insightful.

Want to keep up with the latest perspectives on the changing role of the controller? Subscribe to our Controllership Digest.

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Related content: Learn more about automation in finance

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