New independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows more than eight in 10 (82%) Singaporean CFOs agree workplace automation does not imply a reduction in finance employees in their team, but rather, it requires a shift in the necessary skills.

More specifically, according to Singaporean CFOs, the top skills finance professionals need to focus on as a result of automation are strategic vision (64%), problem-solving skills (51%), data analytics (45%) and commercial acumen (40%). Almost three in four (73%) CFOs agree their finance team has the necessary skills required to tackle the development and implementation of automation in their organisation, highlighting the need for continuous upskilling and professional development.

In a positive sign for the eager adoption of innovative technologies, almost nine in 10 (87%) CFOs say their finance team has readily adopted new technologies and digital processes to help them perform better, but the finance function needs to further evolve.

While 95% of Singaporean CFOs agree that increased reliance on technology and digital processes can deliver a positive impact to the finance function, more than eight in 10 (81%) CFOs agree their finance function still has a long way to go in updating its technologies and digital processes. It will therefore be crucial for organisations to ensure they have the necessary skills needed to unearth the positive impacts for both companies and employees alike.

 

The advantages of automation

The benefits brought about by workplace automation for finance organisations are plenty. According to Singaporean CFOs, the top three advantages businesses will experience in the finance department are increased productivity (72%), staff quickly learning new capabilities (66%) and increased time spent on the execution of tasks and less on the inputting of data (65%).

Similar to the benefits for businesses, for finance employees the positive impacts of automation on their daily workloads are: increased productivity (72%), staff quickly learning new capabilities (66%) and increased time spent on the execution of tasks and less on the inputting of data (65%).

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: "The workplace of the future, defined by the introduction of new technologies and digitisation, requires organisations to upskill their workforce. This will lead staff to deliver better results for their organisation, whether it is through increased sales, streamlined financial processes or higher productivity levels. This will in turn enhance future career prospects for finance workers as they will have more time to dedicate to improved problem-solving and strategic thinking in the workplace."