Despite the fact that finance departments were identified early on as prime candidates for automation, less than four percent of respondents of a recent survey said their company has already implemented RPA.
While the survey results, detailed in a report from the Institute of Management Accountants and Deloitte, indicate that more than three-quarters of those polled said their organization’s accounting processes are either largely manual or still require considerable manual effort, there are hints that automation will fulfill its considerable promise.
According to From Mirage to Reality: Bringing Finance into Focus in a Digital World, many companies are still more engaged in implementing technology including cloud-based accounting solutions, budgeting, forecasting and reporting tools or data analytics technology. Only when finance departments have caught up with these more foundational requirements will the demand for automation technology reach critical mass.
“Even before Covid-19, the need for automation and advanced technologies was becoming more apparent,” the report’s authors wrote. “Finance will continue to evolve through improving data infrastructure, automating as much as possible, understanding the business, and increasing its technical and analytical skills. No company or finance function is ever completely ready for the risks, disruptions, opportunities, and innovations that the Digital Age will continue to manifest. Building a finance workforce that is robust, resilient, and future-ready can prepare organizations to more effectively meet challenges head-on.”