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Automation wasn’t possible for finance departments a few years ago. The advancements in technologies like cloud and robotics, however, make it more likely that finance automation solutions will soon become the norm. It’s an opportunity for the industry to free up the workforce from repetitive tasks and move into more high-value endeavors. Forward-thinking financial departments are already using emerging technologies like cloud computing and robotics to automate their processes. It’s crucial for the finance departments of all businesses to start thinking about the effects of automation.

Reasons Behind Finance Automation

Today, data is the most valuable business resource. Historically, finance departments have been the central processors of large data sets. Various departments like sales, marketing, IT and human resources depend on the finance department to supply them with customer information. Managers rely on the expertise of accountants and analysts to make sense of the data.

Finance departments use ERP and CRM solutions to resolve the considerable demands of data processing. This helps them provide other departments with the necessary data in structured formats. The addition of Internet-based channels like mobile, social media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), though, has created a data explosion. It’s not possible for any finance department to process the terabytes of raw data manually. It has increased the need for automation.

This means that finance departments are seeking out solutions that can combine the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence to provide faster and more accurate reports and analysis. The insights are displayed through dashboards to the whole organization, so everyone has the pertinent information on-demand. Automation is the only way to achieve such fast results.

Automation and the Finance Departments

The landscape has already started to shift. Automation will take over 40 percent of transaction accounting tasks by 2020. It means finance workers will have more opportunities to concentrate on business strategy tasks. It also means that businesses will have to look for workers beyond accountants and analysts. Finance departments will have to hire more programmers, data scientists, entrepreneurs, and other professionals to help with automation tools.

Preparing for the Future

Companies who integrate automation into their finance processes will be better prepared for the future. The automation processes are still in early development. Business leaders should keep an eye on the progress of automation in the finance industry.