Over two thirds of millennial finance professionals in the UK (67%) believe that automation of core processes and strategic decision support in the finance function is a threat to their role, according to new research revealed today by Metapraxis, the leader in financial analytics technology. However, whilst respondents may feel their role is threatened by this technology, over three quarters (78%) agree that it will enable the creation of more strategic value in the finance department and overall business, a more optimistic opinion from the generations before them.
The survey, which questioned millennials in the finance function of large businesses in the UK and US as part of Metapraxis’ ‘Future of Finance’ research, found that between the two jurisdictions, US millennials felt more secure in their role, with 27% disagreeing that they felt threatened by automation – 11% higher than those in the UK. A potential explanation behind US respondents’ higher sense of security may be due to UK finance departments being more advanced in their adoption of automation, with over 64% of finance departments based in the UK already using aspects of this technology, compared to only 52% in the US.
Whilst millennials agree that technology has the potential to transform the finance function and add value, there is discrepancy over which technologies will have the most impact. Over half (52%) of those surveyed consider advanced analytics to be the most transformational for the sector. 47% felt cloud services still carries the most opportunity for transformation, even though this technology is already well used by most businesses. However, perhaps more surprisingly given the current hype around its capabilities, only a quarter think that blockchain will be the most transformational for the department, less than both data visualisation (39%) and AI and machine learning (33%).
Simon Bittlestone, CEO of Metapraxis says:
“For years it has been known that finance employees feel threatened by the impact that new technologies will have on their day to day role and job security. It is no huge surprise that even digitally native millennials feel the same; however, what our research shows is that unlike their predecessors, these individuals clearly understand the value that data and analytics can bring to the finance function, which is particularly encouraging. By harnessing the power of advanced analytics, finance functions will be better equipped to make quicker, more effective decisions and truly drive the strategic direction of the business.”