Research: How finance professionals really feel about automation

Are Friends Electric - How finance professionals really feel about automation
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The pandemic has served as a catalyst for companies to embrace the business benefits of automation and AI. According to a study by Mckinsey current in-use technologies can automate 42% of finance activities and mostly automate another 19%. 

Advocates of automation point to significant benefits in terms of more efficient processes, lower costs and a workforce with more time to focus on high-value, strategic tasks. Indeed, a report by Ardent Partners suggests that automation can help organizations reduce invoice processing costs by 80% and speed up processing times by 73%. 

For all the obvious benefits of automation, some frontline workers are understandably nervous about what the future holds for them when machines have become adept at an increasing array of tasks.  

In April 2022, Tradeshift commissioned research in the US, UK, France and Germany to get a better understanding of what frontline finance and accounting professionals really think about automation. 

Do they understand how automation might impact their current job role? Are they ready for change? And perhaps, most importantly, do they view automation as a positive in terms of their overall job satisfaction and career prospects?

Far from being a threat, the results of our research suggest workers who have incorporated high levels of automation into their daily tasks are happier in their jobs, more optimistic about their future career prospects and more likely to recommend their role to someone about to enter the job market.

Workers we surveyed do not want to be forever fated to perform low-value, repetitive tasks. By handing the bulk of this work to a machine, they saw an opportunity to do more strategic, interesting work while also preserving a healthy work-life balance. 

The message to businesses of all sizes is clear. The current war for talent will be won by organizations that invest in technology and training that empowers employees to become more strategic, more collaborative, and ultimately more visible.

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