Robots Taking Over Corporate Finance Jobs

Inside the financial industry, many IT professionals could end up struggling to find work as robots begin to take over accountant and bookkeeping jobs in large businesses. This results in technology takeover of corporate financial departments.

There is an increase in computer program use by businesses to cut staffing costs and save time. In fact, the average number of full-time staff in financial departments since 2004 has decreased by 40% according to the Hackett group, consulting firm. That’s around 71 staff members for each billion of earnings from 119.

Telecom giant Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo, made a quote in the Wall Street Journal that said a huge factor in the cost savings of companies is automation. By closing almost 100 back office areas and cutting jobs across the United States, Verizon was able to reduce their financial department costs over the last 3 years by 21%. This allowed them to renovate a finance department hub that already exists in Oklahoma and build a new one in Florida.

Verizon has benefited a great deal by using software enabling them to reach $127.1 billion in 2014 in revenue since it allowed them to cut over 3500 manual Excel entry staff members. By the end of this year, Verizon intends on cutting 1400 more manual workers which will help them reach a 35% overall reduction.

Also quoted in the Wall Street Journal was Deloitte Consulting LLP’s principal, Michael Armstrong, stating that companies have been ardent about cost cuts especially following the financial crisis. Specifically, bigger corporations hire 20% less human resource workers and 44% less full-time IT staff workers when compared to a decade ago. In addition to this, many companies now handle financial tasks using robots versus hiring manual workers and outsourcing to other companies.

The Oracle’s Hyperion software is now being utilized by the information services company known as Wolters Kluwer NV for helping with account closures each quarter end. This shaves off half the time as it did with doing it manually. Instead of utilizing workers to gather information, the company now hires analysts for helping with financial data sorting for calculating revenue, profit and cash flow. This allows the company to forecast its financial future.

Wolters Kluwer’s CFO, Kevin Entricken, states companies are not competing for data analysts which is resulting in the scarcity of these workers and increased costs. He goes on to say it is more difficult to find people and the each worker’s salary in the finance department has gone up despite the fact the head count remains stable.

Mihir Shukla, who is CEO of Automation Anywhere Inc.’s robotic process automation technology, states that jobs are reduced by automation in the short term. But, in the long run, companies are able to operate more efficiently due to this software. He goes on to say that thinking like a human limits you, but more possibilities arise when you think like a robot.

Page Updated: May 18, 2015