Content thumbnail Is the Future of Finance New Technology or New People?

1 *&JgZgla[hjg[]kkYmlgeYlagf L`]nYdm]lgl`]^afYf[] • Reduce costs significantly by automating key processes ^mf[lagf • Improve consistency, control and traceability • Improve quality through reduction in error rates • Overcome systems fragmentation by consolidating data from disparate systems ;mjj]fleYjc]llYc]%mh Developing — organizations are growing their understanding of the technology and its benefits. Take-up poised for significant growth Imagine a team member in tomorrow’s finance function who: For EY’s Tony Klimas, automation offers the opportunity to • Represents no significant overhead drive the next evolution in how finance is delivered. “The traditional offshore model is starting to fall apart,” he explains. • Works much faster than their colleagues “Many popular offshore locations are becoming more • Completes huge volumes of repetitive tasks without ever prosperous, and what used to be ‘cheap’ isn’t so ‘cheap’ making an error anymore. People are looking for alternatives and they’re looking to leverage technology advances, from robotics to • Keeps a perfect audit trail artificial intelligence.” In the future finance function, RPA technology will play an This point of view is echoed in our research: 58% of important role. 65% of respondents worldwide said that respondents worldwide said that “combining state-of-the-art “standardizing and automating processes and building agility technology with process improvement” is a significant and quality into processes” is a significant priority for the priority. And it is a particular focus for large and complex finance function. And while it is a particular priority for cost- global organizations, whose CFOs must often seek to cut focused CFOs, it is also important for those focused on growth waste, standardize approaches and combat (see Chart 1). bureaucracy and inflexibility. ;`Yjl)2Automation a priority for tomorrow’s ;`Yjl*2Tech-enabled process improvement critical finance function for large organizations Percentage of respondents who believe that combining state-of-the-art Percentage of respondents who say that standardizing and automating technology with process improvement is a critical/significant priority for processes and building agility and quality into processes is a significant priority tomorrow’s finance operating model 68% 69% 60% 59% 53% US$5b annual revenue) (>US$500m-US$5b) (US$100m–US$500m) Claude Changarnier, Vice President of International Finance at The shift to RPA can help improve organization performance in Microsoft International, believes that automation plays a key a number of ways by enabling CFOs to: role in helping the finance function strike a balance between adding value and effective control. “The approach we have • 9mlgeYl]c]q^afYf[]hjg[]kk]k$^jge\YlY taken over the past years and that we are continuing to take j]hgjlaf_lghYqe]flk today is trying to automate, centralize and/or outsource For example, improving corporate reporting by using RPA to transaction-based activities,” he says. “This is so that we can access and present data from multiple systems. free up time for people to be able to do two things. One, to add • Target system inefficiencies value to the business by providing business insight. Two, to put RPA can bridge the gaps between different ERP systems in in place a very strong controls and compliance environment in cases where organizations have not yet achieved a single the different subsidiaries that we are operating in the world.” integrated system. They can also act as an interface between an ERP and critical legacy systems. • Aehjgn]l`]imYdalqYf\kh]]\g^^afYf[]hjg[]kk]k RPA provides a clear audit trail record, which can make compliance with regulatory requirements easier to manage.

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