Global Financial Leaders Universally Identify “Increasing Automation” as a Top Priority in Their Organization – But Only Nine Percent Say It’s a Reality

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Serrala survey reveals an industry need to speed up adoption of automated solutions to improve productivity and lower costs

Improving productivity and lowering costs are tied as the primary driving forces behind automating financial functions, but a whopping 71 percent of respondents say their financial processes are only somewhat automated – leaving a huge amount of efficiency (and savings) yet to be realized.

Serrala, the international provider of solutions for inbound and outbound payments and related finance processes, today announced survey findings from more than 180 global finance leaders, revealing that automation – despite remaining a top priority across financial organizations – is surprisingly under-adopted. According to the data, 98 percent of respondents identify “increasing automation” as a priority in their organization, but only nine percent say processes are fully automated.

The survey, which examined whether global finance leaders have the right processes, tools and talent in place to meet the needs of their organization today and in the future, highlighted the uphill battle leaders are facing as they push to drive adoption of automated solutions in their financial functions. Improving productivity and lowering costs are tied as the primary driving forces behind automating financial functions, but a whopping 71 percent of respondents say their financial processes are only somewhat automated – leaving a huge amount of efficiency (and savings) yet to be realized.

Automated solutions are also in high demand across the organization: while 26 percent of leaders recognized order-to-cash processes as the most critical, every process was recognized as having a significant need for automation – including cash management (19 percent), procure-to-pay (16 percent), record-to-report (16 percent), treasury (12 percent) and payments (11 percent).

However, despite a hunger for automation and modernization, tech adoption is surprisingly slow. When asked which technologies financial teams are adopting to speed up modernization, the results are underwhelming: the vast majority of companies are either considering or testing technologies like cloud, RPA, blockchain, mobile and AI – and very few have moved into full deployment (17 percent have full cloud deployments, and 12 percent have full mobile deployments – the other technologies don’t surpass four percent). Most surprising is the high rate of companies not even considering adopting these technologies: a significant majority don’t have RPA (31 percent), Blockchain (53 percent) or AI (44 percent) on their radar.

“Modernizing processes is a critical but intensive undertaking, and the results of this survey illustrate what we hear every day from our customers: that automation is highly valued, but not widely adopted,” said Sven Lindemann, CEO of Serrala. “In order to evolve and become more efficient, organizations must recognize the necessity of advanced technologies and integrated solutions to drive their processes forward.”

Other important findings from the survey include:

  • Company leadership sees the financial function as increasingly critical: 87 percent of global financial leaders agree that their C-Suite sees the finance group as more important than they did five years ago…and 28 percent say drastically more important. Similarly, 45 percent say their finance department is fully in the loop on new IT initiatives, showing strong integration across the business.
  • Change is coming – but the industry is excited about it: When asked about the ways in which the financial department will be different in five years, only four percent think that nothing will change. Instead, 77 percent agree it will be more fully digitized, with a small group expecting changes leading to fewer staff (15 percent) and increased outsourcing (four percent). The takeaway? Leaders are bullish about the positive impact of digitization in their organization, instead of fearing a possible impact on headcount.

The release of this survey data comes on the heels of the unveiling of the Serrala brand, formerly the Hanse Orga Group, following a series of strategic M&A efforts. Integrating the experience and offerings of the acquired companies, Serrala offers an inbound and outbound payments ecosystem that provides security and compliance at every step in the value chain. Read more about the announcement here.

To learn more about the survey, please visit https://info.serrala.com/rs/144-TLK-725/images/Serrala-Future-of-Finance-Infographic-EN.pdf.

Survey Methodology
Serrala used a third-party provider to gather the data for this survey. The responses were collected over a four-week period from 180 financial decision makers from around the globe.

About Serrala
Serrala is an international provider of solutions for inbound and outbound payments and related finance processes. We are proud to announce our evolution from Hanse Orga Group and welcome you to Serrala. Our new name is inspired by the Sierra de la Serrella, a powerful mountain range in Spain symbolizing confidence and security. The new name takes added dimension from Hindi, in which saral means simple. Serrala optimizes the universe of payments for organizations that seek efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. With a suite of future-proof end-to-end payment solutions we provide efficient and secure optimization of financial processes partnered with experienced first class cash visibility and treasury consulting services. Serrala supports over 2,500 companies worldwide with advanced technology and personalized consulting to optimize all processes that manage the universe of payments: from order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and treasury to data and document management. The robust solutions offer a flexible range of technological diversity including cloud and hybrid deployment options and managed services, for both SAP and multiple ERP systems. Represented on three continents with 16 regional offices in Europe, North America and Asia, over 550 employees are dedicated to service companies of all industry sectors and all sizes – from medium-sized companies to global players. Over 30 years of industry experience provide us with the necessary knowledge and understanding to be trustworthy partners. http://www.serrala.com

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Loren Guertin
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