New research has revealed that digitisation is significantly transforming the workplaces and structures of finance departments across Europe. More than three quarters (77%) of Europe’s finance teams have seen a change in the new team hires due to more digitised roles and had welcomed people with new skill sets to fulfil these changing requirements.
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These findings were released from the latest market research by Rydoo, a leading international SaaS software solution for managing business travel and expense reports. The survey explores the current status of digitization amongst European finance departments, based on responses from 403 finance executives in December 2021, with at least 1,000 employees in the UK, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
According to the survey, this drive to recruit those with more digital skills has led to the growth of European finance teams despite the pandemic. In fact, 39% of those surveyed have seen the size of their team increase in the last year. Meanwhile, more than half 57% said that the decision-makers within their finance team are generally younger than before, a trend that aligns with the increasingly digital needs of the modern workplace.
Rydoo also explored the changes to workplace models in response to global events and the lasting impact these have had on Europe’s finance professionals. Over half (51%) said that they have moved from in-office to a hybrid working model and a further 19% are now working fully remotely. However, there is wide regional variation here. While more than a third of the companies surveyed in the UK now rely on remote work, just 22% in Germany and only 6% in Switzerland do the same.
There are some expectations amongst those surveyed for employees to return to the office. Almost a third (30%) said they changed to remote work in the pandemic, but expect their employees back in the office once the situation is better.
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To understand the role of modern finance teams, Rydoo asked respondents how their departments worked with the core business. In response, the highest proportion (55%) said they maintained some regular communications to share insight and learning. Meanwhile, 36% said they work with the wider business very closely, are on top of all strategic decisions and are able to give valuable input and ideas.
In addition to more flexible workplace models, many finance departments are seeing a huge impact when it comes to operational benefits. According to Rydoo’s findings, simplified processes (38%), savings on personnel resources (36%) and more sustainable work due to less paper (34%) are the top advantages of switching to a digital system within finance departments.
As a result of these operational benefits, many finance departments are saving significant amounts of time thanks to digital solutions. In fact, half (50%) of the accounting and finance executives surveyed cited that their teams are saving 5-10 hours a week by digitising expense management systems (EMS) and almost one quarter (24%) are saving over 10 hours.
“Digitisation is naturally one of the biggest drivers of transformation for businesses and finance departments are no exception. Our findings underline the positive impact that digital tools are having on Europe’s finance professionals. They are not only creating more jobs and opening the door to new recruits and team growth. Digitisation is also enabling employees to work smarter and more flexibly, to improve job satisfaction and performance. It will be very interesting to follow these trends and visualise the workplace of the future as the new normal becomes a permanent reality,” commented Sébastien Marchon, CEO at Rydoo.
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