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

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

  • Benefits of automation go far beyond productivity as CFOs expect positive impact on team collaboration
  • Automation driving skills shift as finance teams gear up for the future  

London, UK, 19 July 2018 – 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 of 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.”


About the research

The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm among 200 CFOs in businesses in the UK. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace. 

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, creative and administrative professionals. For more than 20 years, Robert Half has been named to FORTUNE® magazine’s list of “Most Admired Companies” and offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.