Ninety per cent of New Zealand CFOs believe automation will have a positive impact on finance teams, enabling employees to focus on delivering better value.
New research commissioned by recruiter Robert Half shows that despite concern that workplace automation will not benefit employees, finance leaders expect it will deliver positive change to their departments.
The research shows CFOs expect new workplace technologies will lead to better decisions, higher productivity and a workforce with a richer skillset for those willing to adapt to change.
The top business advantages identified by New Zealand CFOs are better decision-making capabilities (62 per cent) and more efficiencies and productivity (59 per cent). 48 per cent of CFOs expected employees would take on more value-added work.
Meanwhile, 68 per cent of CFOs expect automation to deliver increased output from finance employees, increased focus on the execution of tasks rather than inputting data (58 per cent), and the ability to quickly learn new capabilities (46 per cent).
Positive change is on the horizon for companies who quickly adapt to change, said Megan Alexander, general manager of Robert Half New Zealand.
"Embracing and implementing new technologies, while refocusing the workforce so finance teams develop additional skills as they adapt to change, will lead to better business outcomes for New Zealand organisations," she said.
Despite the lingering perception that this transition will lead to job losses, automation also brings advantages for finance employees, Alexander added.
"Finance employees will be able to capitalise on digitisation and automation as it highlights and supports the learning of new – and more value-added – skills, thereby elevating the roles of finance employees and increasing their overall market value," she added.
With 72 per cent of CFOs saying their finance function still has a long way to go in updating its technologies and digital processes, Robert Half said it will be crucial organisations ensure they have the skills needed to unearth the expected positive impacts.
"The pressure will fall on a savvy workforce to make things happen," said Alexander.