A new report from KPMG shines a light on the use of advanced tech in finance teams and the results are... confusing. The opportunity from technologies like analytics and workflow automation are clear, but the level of uptake is suprisingly low. It seems like advanced tech is making the finance department feel conflicted: enthusiastic about the opportunity and nervous about the results.
In some ways, this isn't such a huge surprise: finance and accounting are professions that reward a conservative, detailed-oriented approach. As Isabel Witte of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics puts it in the report, this is a style that breeds 'fast followers' in tech, not early adopters. It's natural to worry about security, reliance on vendors and plan to implement this technology some point down the line, but not now.
Still, you have to wonder if these finance and accounting pros are underestimating the changes coming in their industry. Consistent, repetitive processes used to the backbone of a quality accounting operation. Many of these processes can now be automated with ease. If finance and accounting teams don't consider this tech "must-have", they might find themselves struggling with costs while leaner competitors reap the benefits of leaner, software-oriented teams.
However, 81 percent of the 261 CFOs, controllers and other financial executives surveyed said that their organizations are not keeping up with the emergence of technologies that could help them make more informed decisions and run their businesses better. While almost every respondent (99 percent) said advanced technology can enhance external audit, for example, only a quarter said such advanced technologies are a “must have” over the next two years.