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Laggard Bosses Need to Move With The Times, Say UK Finance Professionals

Finance professionals are increasingly frustrated by outdated attitudes at senior levels of their organisation when it comes to modern work practices like remote working, according to new research released from accounting software provider, CaseWare UK Ltd.

The attitude of senior managers is now viewed as the biggest barrier to adopting new working methods, more so than the lack of technology, with 29% of finance professionals blaming bosses for a lack of progress – an increase of 7% from similar research carried out in 2017.

In fact, two years ago the complex nature of financial service offerings was believed to be what was holding back remote working, but in 2019 that view is now bottom of the list, with just 18% of finance workers believing this to be the issue.

Shez Hamill, Director at CaseWare UK Ltd, comments, “In an environment where some audit firms are shedding clients due to lack of capacity, it is surprising to see continued reluctance to new working practices and technologies persisting amongst management teams. 

Cloud technologies provide the ability to make the lives of finance experts easier and more productive, so it is surprising to see that senior leadership are perceived as the barrier to implementation. Corporates and smaller accountancy practice’ must embrace new technology in order to remain competitive”

Despite the reluctance of senior leadership to adopt remote working, the research also revealed a positive response to the use of technology and automation. Increased automation will change the day to day roles of finance professionals, providing them with opportunity to embrace and develop new skills.

Hamill continues, “In 2016, a desire to hire new staff was in the top five business priorities; in 2019 it is at the bottom of the list, reinforcing the fact that in an increasingly automated business environment companies do not need new people, they need different tools and skills.”

The research, performed in October 2019 by independent research house Sapio Research, surveyed over 1000 UK professionals working in financial organisations or within a financial department to understand their views on cloud-based technology, it’s uses, benefits and understanding amongst professionals within the financial sector.

Other key highlights include:

  • 34% think AI will have the most impact on their working life over the next 5 years.
  • 61% say accuracy is the most important attribute of a finance/accounts professional.
  • 73% agree that their organisation is committed to implementing automation to drive productivity.
  • 74% say removing lower-level processes through automation makes their job more rewarding.
  • 42% say salary is a top three deciding factor when choosing a new job.

Author

  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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