Payables, receivables, closing the books, creating budgets, analysing variances — for decades these have been the core of the accountant’s job. But times are changing. While assuring the integrity of financial statements remains job one, it is becoming an increasingly smaller part of the accountant’s role.
The combination of process redesign and automation has reduced the core accounting workload by more than 50% over the last 20 years; further advances through machine learning, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence will see the effort reduced even further. The accountant’s role is changing from doing the work to making sure the work is done correctly. However, as rapidly as the productivity of core accounting operations improves, the demands on finance are increasing faster, especially during these uncertain and volatile times.
Finance is being asked to expand its role in many ways: add insight by combining market, financial, and operational data; move from static budgets to dynamic, driver-based rolling forecasts; and address risk, uncertainty, and compliance, all while fully leveraging available new technology.
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