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ICAI releases report on how technology can change finance function for the accountancy profession

Posted on 21 September 2020

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Adapt, Adopt and Automate: Augmenting Efficiency for Growth  

World’s two leading accounting bodies i.e. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), in collaboration are delighted to be launching an exciting report on how technology can change the efficiency landscape may it be finance function for the accountancy profession or any operational aspect of organisation. This joint piece of work reflects the expertise and knowledge from both professional bodies and demonstrates the close collaboration and partnership which both the professional bodies enjoy.  

With an increase in the technological advancements and automation the study offers plethora of benefits in the longer run: 

  1. As to how the automation of the functions will result into the increased productivity. 
  2. Newer age Technology used by global companies that can be adopted by corporate to automate finance  
  3. With the increased productivity and automation achievement of further growth and reduction in redundant activities.  
  4. Reskilling requirements of human capital due to automation/technology adoption 
    It is expected that the above benefits in turn reflects the increased improvement in the overall productivity of the economy, and thereby helping in “Atmanirbharta through Automation” in the corporate finance functions and thereby help India's achieving target of becoming US $ 5 trillion economy. 

The report shares the practical experience of: 

  1. Adoption of automation technologies by some leading finance functions /operations in the UK and India.  
  2. Highlights how automation helps finance to work more efficiently, deliver high quality, timely data to the business and spend more time on analysis and higher-value tasks.  
  3. range of insights about successful use of automation technologies, including the need for finance to take ownership of changes, the importance of agile methods and the close connection between automation and process improvements. 

In addition to corporate, sharing this expertise will also help accounting professional globally, offering an important insight into how our profession is evolving and responding to technological changes taking place in our daily lives, which is affecting the way we do business.    

CA. Atul Kumar Gupta, President, ICAI said “ Technology is changing by leaps and bounds and transforming the world around us. The accountancy profession is no exception and with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain Technology, IOT among others it becomes imperative for all to be vigilant and respond to the technological innovations to continuously improve business operations. Automation raises particular concerns about the future of jobs, and the report emphasizes the importance of upskilling and training finance teams in a range of areas, including data and technology, in order to thrive in this new environment. Automation, in most of our research examples, was reshaping rather than replacing jobs.”  

He further added that “Empowering staff to use automation technologies themselves, to generate ideas for automation, or to deliver more analytical tasks, was a key element of successful change. This was reinforced by the need for finance staff to have the right attitude, embrace change and be open to learning new skills. We are thankful to ICAEW for joining hands with ICAI and working jointly on this project.” 

President, ICAI reiterated “This is ICAI’ contribution towards Digital India initiative of Government of India. Digital Technologies which include Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, Cloud Computing and Data Analytics have emerged as catalysts for rapid economic growth and citizen empowerment across the globe. This report is our research contribution in transforming our nation and creating opportunities for all citizens by harnessing digital technologies.” 

Mr. David Matthews, President, ICAEW said “ ICAEW is delighted to collaborate with ICAI on this report. Technology is transforming our profession, and automation technologies in particular raise profound questions about the future role of chartered accountants. However, automation also creates tremendous opportunities and helps finance functions to deliver more value to their businesses. Professional bodies such as ours can and must play a key role in sharing the practical experience of using these technologies and thereby help our members to thrive in a digital world.” 

He further added “We would like to thank ICAI for their partnership on this project. We believe that such collaborations between chartered accountancy bodies demonstrate the value of international co-operation and knowledge-sharing and showcase the depth and breadth of our member’s experience. This project has also given us a unique opportunity to learn from major companies based both in India and the UK, and we look forward to further collaborations with ICAI in the future.” 

Click here to download the report on: Automation in finance functions: Lessons from India and the UK

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