liberation through automation

by | Jan 6, 2020 | digital finance

“I’m highly qualified, and yet I seem to spend most of my time just updating spreadsheets and performing mindlessly repetitive tasks”

I’m highly qualified, and yet I seem to spend most of my time just updating spreadsheets and performing mindlessly repetitive tasks

Sound familiar? In this case, the management accountant was spending over half of their time obtaining and checking the data before they actually could work out what the data was telling them.

We see far too many cases like this where very talented (and expensive) people are being ground down by having to complete repetitive, mundane transactional processes – instead of being able to apply their skills and experience to provide key insight where it counts.

Recent research from McKinsey also suggests that, whilst the role of CFO is becoming more strategic, with value adding aspects taking up more than 65% of their time, this has not translated to the next levels down.  Mid-managers in Finance teams are still spending over 60% of their time on transactional, non-value-adding tasks.

This is worrying on two counts; firstly, the more intellectual firepower and insight your business can bring to strategic activities, the more likely it is that you will take the right decisions.  Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you are suffocating the top talent in your Finance team as they probably did not join your business to spend most of their time updating spreadsheets and copying and pasting data.

Compounding this, I also hear complaints that many senior Finance roles are filled by external candidates – leading the mid-manager talent to have to focus on the more mundane activities.  Not only does this lead to poor morale, it also sends entirely the wrong message to your ambitious finance professionals.

Wouldn’t it be more sensible to spread the strategic workload around and empower your emerging talent to succeed?

Fortunately, in the case above, at embracent we were able to use our Intelligent Automation approach to take away the manual work – allowing the team to focus on the more interesting and value-adding aspects of their roles.  Our analyst-developers worked alongside the finance teams and within days the cutting and pasting had begun to be automated so that the intelligent, qualified and highly paid finance professional could spend more time doing what they had been hired to do.

Our Intelligent Automation approach utilises Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate the repeatable and mundane processes and allow people to focus on more value adding activities.  This is often not about cost reduction, but about improving quality and insight.  In this case the benefits were qualitative, and the organisation involved noticed a step change in the quality of analysis and insight provided by the management accounting team.  

The automation revolution is happening – liberate your finance teams now and reap the rewards.

Oliver Colling

Oliver Colling

Chief Finance Transformation Officer

After a successful corporate career, Oliver has spent more than 15 years helping CFO's realise sustainable performance improvement across the back office.

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