The results of the second-annual State of Automation in the Back Office report have been released by the report’s author – AUDITORIA.AI
The report, entitled ‘Tipping Point: 2021 State of Automation in the Back Office’, revealed that while automation adoption remained widespread across industries, it has yet to fully permeate the corporate finance department.
“The opportunities for intelligent, autonomous finance operations continue to rapidly evolve, and offer strategic differentiators for finance leaders to future-proof their back-office operations,” comments Rohit Gupta, CEO and co-founder, Auditoria. “While once thought to be the fast followers within organisations, the results of the Tipping Point: The State of Automation in the Back Office report shows that now is the time for corporate finance to become the early adopters of the autonomous enterprise.”
Auditoria surveyed more than 600 U.S.-based financial professionals in spring 2021, with titles ranging from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to Finance Specialist. Key results include:
- Its status quo in the finance back-office – Results showed that 58% of finance professionals do not believe that the finance back office is sufficiently automated, and one-third of finance teams said they are process-heavy.
- Repetitive manual tasks rule the roost in finance – Time spent on repetitive tasks is the top challenge for finance professionals followed by time spent checking and updating data. Additionally, more than 50% of finance professionals want a reduction in both manual and repetitive tasks.
- Accounts Payable is the most manual back-office process – Almost a third of finance professionals believe that Accounts Payable involved the most manual work within the finance back office, followed by Accounts Receivable.
- Finance is ready to embrace the future – While half do not use artificial intelligence (AI) in finance, a third of finance want to invest in new technologies to improve business processes within the next year.
The results of the Tipping Point: 2021 State of Automation in the Back Office report indicate that the corporate finance back-office must embrace automation to survive in the digital-first corporate environment. With other departments traditionally at the forefront of innovation, finance must shed the reputation that they are slow to adopt new technology and utilise advanced systems, allowing the back office to contribute more directly to the strategic growth of an organisation.