Robotizing your Financial Close Process: Industry Survey Results
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SSON and BlackLine conducted a survey of global finance and accounting leaders to gain a better understanding of robotics automation and the dramatic impact it can have on technology, process, and people. The survey results provide an understanding of the strategies and approaches to automation adoption in the financial close process. Participating professionals shared their input on where the biggest barriers and best opportunities are to apply technology to enhance the accounting close cycle.
When it comes to the financial close process, the Robot Uprising is in full-swing with over 51% of respondents currently implementing a pilot of robotics or automation and less than 20% not currently evaluating automation solutions for their financial close.
Over 70% of respondents are looking at robotics and automation to free up employees to focus on higher value work. To accomplish this, over 70% are focusing on mundane, routine, and/or time intensive tasks when looking at where to apply robotics and automation.
Specifically, the biggest challenge facing SSOs was identified as manual data consolidation resulting from non-integrated systems, with over 67% of respondents identifying this as a top challenge for their organization. And over 69% of respondents identified this as the main driving force for considering robotics and automation.
This is having a big effect on operations, with over 80% of respondents expecting robotics to improve the quality of processes. It is also changing the skill profile that companies are looking for in new talent, with critical thinking and problem solving skills being the top skill, cited by over 95% of respondents as among the top 3 most important, followed by data analysis cited by nearly 63% as among the most important.