Finance and automation: What does the future hold?
March 27, 2023

As artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have grown in popularity, the financial industry has seen considerable upheaval. Increased efficiency, precision, and cost savings are just a few of the significant advancements brought about by automation in the finance sector. Let's examine what the future of automation and finance holds.

The Role of Emerging Technologies in Finance and Operations

Future finance operations will be greatly impacted by automation and AI. "The core" and "the strategic" are two interconnected components of the finance operating model. While the core operations consist of the main accounting procedures, payables and receivables, reporting, and governance, strategic operations offer the information and analysis required to measure, analyse, and formulate strategies for a variety of potential future outcomes.

CFOs can outpace operations maturity levels and manage an effective and compliant controllership function by leveraging digital technologies like automation and AI to optimise core processes. This frees up finance to focus more on strategic initiatives.

What can be automated?

McKinsey Global Institute's research on automation reveals that currently available technology can fully automate 42% of financial processes, and another 19% can be mostly automated.

However, advanced cognitive automation technologies, like machine learning algorithms and natural language tools, are required to automate the remaining portion. Finance leaders should not wait for these technologies to fully develop, as new opportunities are being unlocked daily with the growth in structured data and the declining cost of computing power driven by ERP systems.

The Potential of Automation in Fraud Detection and Prevention

Anomalies and trends that can be indicative of fraudulent conduct can be found using AI-powered algorithms. Also, finance professionals can analyse massive volumes of data fast and effectively using AI and automation, spotting trends, patterns, and insights that would be difficult to pick up on manually.

Talent Management in the Future of Finance: Upskilling and Training Programmes

Up to 40% of transactional accounting roles are anticipated to be automated out of existence in the upcoming years, according to a Deloitte analysis on the future of automation in finance. Automation will, however, also give finance experts new jobs and career options. Finance professionals will need to learn new skills in disciplines like data analytics and process optimization to compete in this new environment.

Automation implementation in the finance function

To successfully implement automation in the finance function, there are four key priorities to consider.

1.  Prioritise employee satisfaction: Start small and let employees guide the transformation.

2.  Clear expectations: Ascertain that the leadership is focused on the long term and aligned with opportunities. If you don't have a clear tech strategy, no amount of automation can transform your finance operation.

3.  Provide access to everyone: Ensure that everyone may engage in automation and get the necessary skills.

4.  Fill in the little gaps: Even if you have millions of employees, everyone's experiences and jobs are distinct. Try your best to fill in any gaps, no matter how tiny.


In conclusion, automation and AI are set to transform the finance industry, bringing benefits such as increased efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings. AI and automation can also play a crucial role in fraud detection and prevention while creating new opportunities for finance professionals to upskill and develop new skills. Overall, finance organisations that embrace automation and AI will be better positioned to succeed in the rapidly evolving digital landscape of the future.

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