As the new year plunges fearlessly into its first quarter, finance organisations are looking at what 2020 is bringing in the way of change to finance and accounting. Finance functions are being transformed by advances in the industry and demands from consumers. How will this translate into changes for financial professionals and accountants?
Being able to automate processes on both customer facing and back office ends is making financial functions easier to complete and more agile. Document scanning and analysis continues to improve, and self service options make it easier for customers to find simple answers and minimise manual transactions. Accountants can now streamline their own processes as repetitive tasks and frequently asked question are handled flawlessly with greater customer satisfaction and less distraction. By using automation to mirror business functions including journal entry and reconciliations, and reengineering task management, finance companies can eliminate or revamp processes that were formerly dragging down productivity. This will allow financial institutions to scale effortlessly, and leverage flexible reporting to satisfy consumer demands for transparency and real time data.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX), helping to improve automation on one side and power big data analytics on the other. This improves finance function by allowing processes to teach and inform future actions, providing accountants and financial experts with insights into investment options and consumer actions. Customer intelligence provides ways to identify fraud and anticipate churn in advance of events. Digital options are driving a younger generation’s loyalty to financial institutions, and only those who stay on the leading edge will remain competitive, meaning agility in the AI space is imperative.
This could be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability in the finance sector, accurately predicting what consumers want before they know it themselves. This can be invaluable for product development, leading the way to new offerings based on anticipated trends and allowing financial institutions to apply the new formats in their approach to payments, retail banking, insurance, and wealth management. Massive data sets can also be dissected with deep learning to help spot patterns, and use customer intelligence to virtualise and automate next best actions. Being able to correctly perceive and leverage trends in consumer behavior and microsegment audiences for personalised care is key to delivering new offerings in the financial sector.
To remain relevant and employed, future accountants and auditors must hone interpersonal and analytical skills, and embrace the transformation of familiar functions into new, improved versions.