CFOs in Singapore believe automation will not eliminate jobs

Adrian M. Reodique

workplace automation in Singapore
Credit: Graphicstock 

Eight in 10 chief financial officers (CFOs) in Singapore believe workplace automation will not result in job losses, but will require finance professionals to shift their skillsets.

This was the highlight of the new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter, Robert Half, based on a survey of 100 CFOs and finance directors in Singapore.

CFOs listed the top four skills that finance employees must have with the adoption of workplace automation. These include strategic vision (64 percent), problem-solving (51 percent), data analytics (45 percent), and commercial acumen (40 percent).

"Automation is causing a shift in the required skillsets of finance professionals. The benefits of automation are available to companies who wholeheartedly adopt change rather than resist it. As such finance professionals need to proactively embrace it by equipping themselves with the skills and knowledge required to leverage the capabilities of this phenomenon, thereby also increasing their market value," said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore.

CFOs surveyed also said that automating their finance department will boost the team's productivity (72 percent), help staff learn new capabilities quickly (66 percent), and increase focus on task execution and reduce data inputting (65 percent).

"Businesses are set to benefit enormously from automation with increased profit margins being the end goal. However, finance professionals are also well positioned to reap the rewards of digitisation in the workplace," added Imbert-Bouchard.

Meanwhile, majority of finance executives (87 percent) said they have already adopted new technologies and digital processes to spur their team's performance. Most of them (95 percent) are also positive on the positive impact of increasing reliance on technology and digital processes to the finance's function.

"Transitioning to more advanced technologies in the workplace also requires additional, well-developed skills, including advanced data analysis as well as interpretation and decision-making skills. Therefore, Singaporean organisations will need to implement training programmes for existing staff to ensure they have the knowledge and know-how to leverage the many benefits automation brings to the workplace," explained Imbert-Bouchard.