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UK FINANCE WORKERS DISPEL MYTH OVER TECH JOB LOSS FEARS

FINANCE WORKERS

– Research shows finance workers welcome the “rise of the machines” – 

 

The majority of UK finance workers have widely rejected the idea that technology like automation and artificial intelligence will “steal their job”, with just 11% saying they had concerns about their future in a new report. 

 

In fact, rather than fearing the “rise of the machines” in the UK workplace, most finance workers said they welcomed better technology, saying they expected it to remove the repetitive and boring parts of their day-to-day life and make their roles more rewarding. 

 

This is in stark contrast to the apparent widely held consensus that robotic, automated and AI based technology will replace the human workforce, in the form of autonomous chatbots and automated workflows. 

 

Of the 1,000 accounting and finance workers who took part in the Understanding technology attitudes within UK finance professionals report, commissioned by accounting software provider CaseWare UK – 26% admitted to having some concerns about the use of tech in their role, but said the opportunities to develop outweighed those concerns. 

 

Almost a third (30%) saw the arrival of new technology as an opportunity to develop in their role and develop more value creating skills like strategy, financial planning and advisory skills. 

 

Nearly three quarters (74%) said it was important to them that their company introduced better technology if it could remove the repetitive parts of their job and leave them feeling more fulfilled in what they do. 

 

Accounting professionals are by no means strangers to technology impacting how they operate and liaise with clients. 

 

According to CaseWare UK’s research, nearly four in 10 (38%) of current fee earning engagements – including tax returns, audits and filing accounts – are already being conducted via cloud-based accounting systems (moving past paper-based processes). 

 

Experiences with this technology paint a positive picture for the future of automation, with 56% of respondents claiming this technology made it easier for them to collect data from clients for reports. 

 

The vast majority (85%) say cloud technology has made it easier for them to securely share sensitive documents with colleagues in the same office, while 65% say cloud has also made them more productive and efficient when sharing data with colleagues working remotely. 

 

The fact that finance workers are not resistant to the introduction of technology will ring as good news for businesses, considering a report by Gartner has predicted automated technology will likely take over 20% of repetitive “non-value-added tasks” in the next year. 

 

Shez Hamill, a Director at CaseWare UK, said: “There is never a shortage of headlines today talking about how technology and robots are going to take over jobs and leave people redundant. However, there is not enough said about the new jobs created and the tremendous opportunities technology provides.  

 

“Technology is very much an enabler for people, removing the repetitive tasks that they have to deal with and leaving them with more time to grow into more rewarding and varied roles within their company. This is particularly true for accounting and finance departments where much of the mundane will be removed and these workers can concentrate more on adding value to their clients.” 

 

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NEW IVALUA STUDY SHOWS TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES ARE HINDERING PROCUREMENT TEAMS FROM ACHIEVING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Lack of system integrations and actionable insights are stopping organisations from accurately measuring performance

 

Ivalua, a leading provider of global spend management cloud solutions, has announced the latest findings of a worldwide study of supply chain, procurement and finance business leaders on Effective Procurement Performance Measurement. The study revealed the challenges procurement teams face when it comes to achieving business objectives and the wide and growing gap in performance between advanced and less mature teams.

 

The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua, found that procurement teams are increasingly being measured by non-cost KPIs such as revenue opportunities being created, payment performance (e.g. on time payments) and spend visibility. However, a lack of data integration between systems (44%), lack of relevant insights (40%) and insights not being made available at the right point in the process (39%) are preventing organisations from accurately measuring progress against business objectives. This is because organisations continue to face challenges when it comes to harnessing technology in procurement, with existing systems not being fit for purpose (36%), poor data quality reducing trust in information (36%) and staff having inaccurate expectations of what technology can do (34%).

 

The research went on to reveal that more digitally “advanced” procurement departments are far exceeding “beginner” procurement departments that are less digitally mature in the range of KPIs they track, how frequently they measure success and the levels of planned technology investments. Key findings include:

  • 97% of advanced procurement departments say procurement strategy is well aligned with overall business strategy versus only 14% of beginners.
  • 51% of advanced procurement departments measure performance weekly or biweekly, versus only 26% of beginners.
  • Only 16% of beginners proactively monitor suppliers’ contracts for expiration and risk, versus 94% of advanced – this is critical for helping organisations manage today’s global supply chain challenges, such as the Coranavirus outbreak.

 

“In order for procurement teams to achieve their growing list of objectives and become strategic enablers for their organisations it’s clear they need to overcome a number of technology challenges” said David Khuat-Duy, Corporate CEO of Ivalua. “As we can see from more digitally advanced procurement departments, technology adoption has helped them to align with business objectives, actively measure performance and add value in areas such as risk management. Their investments and approach to leveraging technology is building a competitive advantage.”

 

According to the study, the amount organisations are spending on procurement technology has been rising and expected to accelerate. In the past 12 months, 46% of organisations increased spending by 5-10%. In the next 12 months, 39% plan to increase spending by 5-10%, while a further 43% plan to increasing spending by 10% or more. Procurement leaders are also looking to fully digitise procurement processes (40%), becoming the preferred customers of strategic suppliers (40%), implementing new software for sourcing/procurement (38%) and improving reporting and insights (38%) to help achieve objectives.

 

“It’s encouraging to see organisations investing more in technology, which will help procurement become a key strategic enabler that goes beyond cost reduction to build a competitive advantage,” added Khuat-Duy. “Increasing adoption of technology will allow procurement teams to gain complete visibility into all suppliers and spend. This will open up further opportunities for procurement to help identify revenue opportunities, track risk and improve sustainability, helping to contribute towards wider procurement and business objectives.”

 

Download the full study here.

 

*The February 2020 study was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Ivalua and is based on a survey of 409 finance, procurement and supply chains decision makers throughout North America and Europe, as well as several in depth interviews.

 

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ERSTE BANK HUNGARY IMPROVES AND SECURES THE REMOTE BANKING EXPERIENCE WITH ONESPAN MOBILE SECURITY

ONESPAN

Leading Hungarian bank deploys OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to one million customers to make mobile banking convenient while fighting fraud and meeting PSD2 requirements

 

OneSpan™ (NASDAQ: OSPN), the global leader in securing remote banking transactions, today announced that Erste Bank Hungary, a subsidiary of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, has integrated OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite into its banking app MobilBank. Erste Bank Hungary selected Mobile Security Suite to enable and protect online and mobile transactions and to comply with PSD2 requirements for authentication and dynamic linking.

The European Payment Council has stated that social engineering attacks continue to increase and remain instrumental in fraud schemes, often in combination with malware.[1] Erste Bank Hungary chose to implement OneSpan’s Mobile Security Suite to protect against potential social engineering and malware attacks directed at its customers. OneSpan’s technology enables banks to integrate application shielding, biometric authentication and transaction signing.

Erste Bank Hungary added Mobile Security Suite’s Cronto visual transaction signing to replace the bank’s SMS authentication with push authentication for login and transaction signing. This new process improves security and eliminates significant costs related to SMS delivery. OneSpan’s Cronto technology also helps fight social engineering attacks like phishing, while enhancing the customer experience by  enabling transaction signing using a color QR code.

“OneSpan’s proven technology will help us maintain our leading position in the market without compromising on security or the customer experience,” said Erste Bank Head of Digital Services, Akos Andras Molnar. “As part of this roll-out, our customers can also make online purchases using push notification with any retailer connecting to Erste Bank via the 3-D Secure protocol.”

“Criminal hackers continue to target banking customers as social engineering remains a preferred technique,” said OneSpan CEO, Scott Clements. “In their search for security solutions, banks need to consider cost, convenience and regulatory compliance. OneSpan’s technologies address these concerns so that banks can focus on providing a secure and convenient customer experience.”

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