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NextGen Magazine


Study Finds Accounting Leaders Reluctant to Adopt Robotic Process Automation for Financial Reporting

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 3, 2019

A recent study has found that, when it comes to financial reporting, the humans still reign over robots, at least for now, according to CFO.com. The study, conducted by research and advisement firm Gartner, consisted of in-depth interviews with 150 corporate controllers, chief accounting officers (CAOs), and other accounting leaders. What the researchers found was that while 88 percent of respondents plan to implement robotic process automation, there remains a great hesitance to use it in the financial reporting process.

For one, finance leaders aren't sure about removing human judgment from the process. As well, they're not entirely sure it's worth the return on investment, and have let other business needs take priority. FInally, implementing automation would require standardizing processes into rote tasks that can be done by computer, and leaders expressed concern over how long that would take.

Consequently, the study found that fewer than a third of finance leaders have implemented robotic process automation in their financial reporting infrastructure.

While automation lags in financial reporting, it has grown in other accounting and finance tasks. Robert Half, for instance, reported that 45 percent of companies now automate accounts reconciliation, and that less than 25 percent of large companies ($5 billion or more) still do so manually.