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A Dramatic Rise In Corporate Finance Automation Started Up This Year

Mar 4, 2020

We noticed Jonathan Balkin at Lionpoint Group sharing this piece from Nina Trentmann at The Wall Street Journal. Nina points out the pressure on corporate finance departments to become more efficient and the role automation is playing to make that happen.

Jonathan is an expert on how this works in the alternative investment space. In the larger business world, we don’t hear as much about the effort to make private funds middle and back offices more nimble. But private funds are in synch with corporations in terms of stepping on the gas pedal here. Nina points out this year 57 percent of executives say technology spending is going up as a portion of the overall finance budget. Last year only 10 percent did.

That signals a dramatic shift occurring right now.

It’s something our own Kevin Walkup pointed out in his column in Silicon Valley Business Journal in January. Nina focuses on the push to become more efficient, but she also writes that more efficient doesn’t have to mean reducing headcount. Automation can potentially also free up talent for more strategic contributions.

As Jonathan says, with “finance departments increasing their role in optimizing business processes and finding areas for growth, they are turning to cloud-based applications, advanced analytics and RPA.” The keyword there is growth. Saving money is one thing, but consciously saving money to allocate it to invest in growth, that’s where a winning strategy emerges. Efficiency is nice, in terms of performing the same services you perform today, but less expensively. But efficiency should also mean enhancing your ability to deliver new value, new services and better insights. It’s edge and market share.

That’s where the conversation needs to head, and where people like Jonathan are taking it.

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