Independent research by specialist recruiter Robert Half has revealed a significant change in the way Australian finance leaders are investing in digitisation.
The survey of 300 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) shows that 98 per cent of Australian CFOs and financial directors are investing, and will continue to invest in the digitisation of their companies in primary areas including data analysis (59 per cent), compliance and regulation (46 per cent) and risk management (43 per cent).
Asia Pacific Senior Managing Director David Jones is unsurprised by the findings, citing finance professionals with developed IT and analytical skills as the future for successful finance companies.
“The growing internationalisation of accounting standards, financial regulations, and the increased digitisation of financial information are generating a greater demand for specialist finance professionals,” he said.
“A digitised finance department usually results in cost savings and more efficient business processes.”
Accounting processes and financial reporting were also among the most popular areas of digital investment for CFOs, reflecting the prominent digital evolution of the finance sector over the last five years.
“The growing internationalisation of accounting standards, financial regulations, and the increased digitisation of financial information are generating a greater demand for specialist finance professionals,” Jones said.
While confidence in a strongly technologised finance sector is high among CFOs, digitising is not without the constant challenges of adapting to new technologies. Technological limitations have been identified as the top challenge, followed by standardisation of processes and reorganisation of operating models.
The survey found CFOs are relatively unperturbed by the monetary costs associated with digitisation and the ability of staff to execute changes with 92 per cent saying they are able to cope with the associated challenges of technologising finance.
David Jones called on Australian finance leaders to remain open to the challenges and changes of technology in order to harness digitalisation in effective and efficient ways.
“CFOs and finance directors are no longer solely concerned about analysing cost and expenditure. They are more than ever the driving force behind business innovation and growth strategies,” he said.
“To keep up with the latest technology trends, the financial leaders of tomorrow must therefore remain innovative if they want to fully optimise financial digitisation efforts in their company.”