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Autonomous Technologies in Financial Planning and Analysis Roles

12th Apr 2023

Technology is changing the way many of us work, from the rise in digital platforms and marketing touchpoints, to the integration of autonomous technologies across backend operational roles.

A recent report released by Gartner assessed the rising role of technology in relation to the financial sector and specifically financial analysis roles across different businesses – using AI and other technology to help predict budgets, assess financial spend and investment, and consider how data can help to frame decision making.

In this blog, we’re sharing our hot takes on this report, including how we believe autonomous technology will shape FP&A roles in particular.

The role technology plays in relation to FP&A

There are three roles that autonomous technology is expected to play in financial operations:

1. Help improve data quality
2. Expand the way teams used judgement-based activity instead of relying on manual activity
3. Improve forecasting and financial planning.

By using autonomous technology, financial leaders and their teams should be able to more accurately assess business spend and predict future financial commitments and ROI, to make more efficient and reliable forecasts. To quote a line from the Gartner report: “By 2027, 90% of descriptive (“what happened”) and diagnostic (“how or why it happened”) analytics in finance will be fully automated.”

Within the next few years, automation is going to allow financial teams to more accurately and more efficiently access information about what happened to their budget and why it happened. The question that remains is how this can best be utilised by businesses to drive performance.

The role of automation alongside talent

Someone may read this and wonder as to the future of their personnel in light of the rise of automated technology – especially in financial roles where the data is very black and white and where analysis is a very cut and dry topic. The chances are that in the coming years, while automated technology makes assessing the reporting on data, spend, and budgeting much more streamlined, using that information to make decisions about the future of the business will remain a manual task that requires decision making and a balanced human assessment. It will allow employees to be less involved in the day to day tasks and more focussed on value add output.

The difference between accessing information and translating it in relation to business growth, development, and vision remains something which only personal input can really tap into. The human touch is still very much a requirement for modern financial analysis teams – bridging the gap between the numbers on the page and the trends that are occurring in the business world.

This aspect is likely to inspire the biggest change in financial and analysis roles with the continued rise of autonomous technologies: their value within the wider team, and how their skills are used to drive business growth and change.

We believe that businesses should be preparing themselves for the integration of autonomous technology alongside their financial and analysis teams, recognising the benefit in the efficiency and streamlined delivery of data which is ready to be interpreted by internal teams.

HW People can share insight into this landscape and help to identify the talent best suited to these roles within the ever changing business landscape – matching your business goals with the top level candidates to help drive change and navigate your business to success.

To find out how our services can support you, please contact us here.

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