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Rise of automation is forcing a re-think on skills, says CFOs

 CFOs report that automation and digitalisation are having a significant impact on team dynamics and collaboration.

Whilst some fear automation could negatively affect the job market and workplace, finance leaders are seeing positive results. A study of CFOs’ views by recruitment specialist Robert Half UK found digitalisation and automation are leading to improved collaboration (66%), innovation (63%) in their teams, communication (57%) and team spirit (45%).

This rise of automation and digitalisation is also forcing finance leaders to rethink the characteristics they look for in new recruits. CFOs are increasingly valuing an openness to change (46%), adaptability (42%), good communication skills (40%) and an openness to new ideas (39%) as critical components for a successful team.

  “While some fear that automation could lead to job losses, our research from CFOs tells a different story – one where automation actually creates opportunities for finance professionals to expand their skillsets and careers. Finance leaders know that automation has the capacity to improve communication and culture if managed correctly. These technologies can allow employees to concentrate on value added tasks, such as data analysis, business partnering or identifying commercial or growth opportunities, thereby improving satisfaction and productivity. As finance teams are faced with ever increasing workloads, automation and technology can help to shift focus from meeting operational finance responsibilities to value added tasks,” says Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half.

Weston adds, “Those who can adapt to embrace technology are at a competitive advantage as they become more productive, innovative and motivated. But finance leaders must also be able to train their staff to take advantage of the new digital world – not just to boost their technical expertise, but also those increasingly important soft skills.”