In a Viewpoint that Mercator Advisory Group released back in 2018 after the annual AFP conference, we made the point that things are changing, and financial professionals (FPs) are expected to do more with less. That realization filled the conference, as did the many new products and services centered on BCT, AI, APIs and so forth. In this article appearing in Forbes, the author makes the point that these expectations are requiring adaptation in real-time.
“Automation holds the key to success in this new cut role. For finance teams to make the leap from bean counters to strategists, the approach to working with data and reporting processes also needs to change. This means a shift from static to real-time data, and from manual to instant and repeatable reporting processes that are less prone to errors introduced by human manipulation. Only then can finance teams deliver real value to their organizations. For example, offering guidance to the C-suite on an ongoing basis, not just at end of month or end of quarter. Or creating reports for an impromptu board of directors meeting and deeper drill-down reporting in the middle of those meetings — all based on data that is live, not days or even weeks old.“
The author discusses things that can be expected to exist as BAU in 2025. In our opinion, some of these are already in play and could actually be normalized in a shorter time frame. Likely the most difficult to execute will be the data scientist part, which is sort of a degree specialty unto itself, so we will see if this is a bridge too far for most FPs.
1. Finance professionals will become data scientists.
2. RPA will gain ground as a key automation technology on the road to AI.
3. Reliance on predictive analytics will grow.
“There’s no question that the future of finance will involve sophisticated technologies that deliver higher levels of intelligent automation. This is good news for finance teams, who can focus on bringing more strategic value to their organizations as data scientists and analysts. Is your team ready?“
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group