Rise of automation is forcing a re-think on skills, says CFOs

CFOs report that automation and digitalisation are having a significant impact on team dynamics and collaboration.

Whilst some fear automation could negatively affect the job market and workplace, finance leaders are seeing positive results. A study of CFOs’ views by recruitment specialist Robert Half UK found digitalisation and automation are leading to improved collaboration (66 per cent), innovation (63 per cent) in their teams, communication (57 per cent) and team spirit (45 per cent). 

This rise of automation and digitalisation is also forcing finance leaders to rethink the characteristics they look for in new recruits.

CFOs are increasingly valuing an openness to change (46 per cent), adaptability (42 per cent), good communication skills (40 per cent) and an openness to new ideas (39 per cent) as critical components for a successful team.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half said:

“While some fear that automation could lead to job losses, our research from CFOs tells a different story – one where automation actually creates opportunities for finance professionals to expand their skillsets and careers. Finance leaders know that automation has the capacity to improve communication and culture if managed correctly. These technologies can allow employees to concentrate on value added tasks, such as data analysis, business partnering or identifying commercial or growth opportunities, thereby improving satisfaction and productivity. As finance teams are faced with ever increasing workloads, automation and technology can help to shift focus from meeting operational finance responsibilities to value added tasks,” 

“Those who can adapt to embrace technology are at a competitive advantage as they become more productive, innovative and motivated. But finance leaders must also be able to train their staff to take advantage of the new digital world – not just to boost their technical expertise, but also those increasingly important soft skills.”

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