US Enterprises Move to Automate Finance and Accounting

Enterprises in the US are increasingly using outsourcing providers to automate their finance and accounting operations, with robotic process automation becoming an integral part of corporate finance functions, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group, a global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2020 ISG Provider Lens Finance & Accounting Digital Outsourcing Services report for the US finds the F&A outsourcing market in the country has reached maturity as US enterprises have moved from outsourcing non-critical functions to transformation and consulting projects.

Finance and accounting (F&A) processes are ripe for bot deployments and robotic process automation (RPA), the report says. About 83 percent of enterprise finance functions have deployed RPA, the report finds, and nearly 95 percent are experimenting with or have deployed machine learning technologies in their F&A processes.

Many US enterprises are also using artificial intelligence-powered analytics for insights into their finances, the report adds. “Today’s finance organizations are looking to become more proactive by leveraging technology to make data-driven decisions quickly,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “With enhanced analytical technology, the ability to gain valuable insights from data, identify financial pain points or decide on a course of action are all within reach.”

US enterprises also are looking to outsourcing providers to provide F&A consulting services aimed at making their increasingly complex processes more efficient. Many are leaning on the expertise and capabilities of service providers to develop and design a transformation roadmap.

As consulting services have become more popular in the US, many service providers have expanded their onshore and nearshore capabilities, the report adds.

The outsourcing of complex finance functions at US companies is primed for growth, the report says. Among the high-end functions being outsourced by customers are forecasting, cash flow modelling, decision support and compliance support. In response, service providers are investing in hiring skilled employees or are retraining current employees to handle complex queries.

“The relationship between the enterprise and the outsourcing provider has been evolving in recent years to become more strategic and less transactional in nature,” Aase said. “As service providers invest in building capabilities to serve customers across all functions, enterprises are becoming more open to outsourcing high-end finance functions.”

The report finds the changing role of company CFOs also is driving the move toward transformational F&A projects. Digital-native companies born in the cloud are quick to embrace transformation and look for more strategic relationships.

A customized version of the report is available from Infosys.