The latest Business Outlook Tracker survey found that while nearly two-thirds of mid-market businesses are not yet benefitting from automation tools, they rate data analytics (33%) and AI and automation skills (29%) as two of the most important skillsets to invest in over the next 12 months.

This sentiment was echoed by finance leaders at our latest CFO Forum, where nearly 100 CFOs and FDs came together to discuss their experiences of investing in automation tools in their business, and the opportunities and challenges they are facing - from bridging skills gaps to knowing where to start with so many solutions in the market.

We were fortunate to be joined at the event by panellists Vineta Bajaj, Group CFO at Rohlik Group and Former Group FD at Ocado Group, and David Crowther, CFO at Colt Data Centre Services.

Catch up on the panel session to hear about their experience of using automation tools, and their advice for other finance looking looking to start or progress their automation journey.

Reach out to the event speakers


What are we hearing from our clients?

Managing Director of our Digital Hub, Jamie Crossman-Smith, shared some of the key challenges faced by the finance teams we work with, and how automation can help overcome them.

Watch the recording for insight on

  • the six foundational elements to a technology-enabled finance function

  • the future of AI and automation in finance

  • how to identify the right automation and AI opportunities for your business

  • a success story from a business we worked with and potential pitfalls to avoid.


Simon Davidson
Simon Davidson , Head of Finance Consulting, Grant Thornton
Increasingly organisations are looking to you and your team to generate value by delivering data-led insights to make informed decisions and support growth. To prosper and grow, your team need to stay agile and future-ready, embracing new skills and taking advantage of opportunities hidden among the risks.

Key takeaways from attendees

  • “We want to use automation add value, not reduce headcount. It's not just about minimising human error, improving data consistency and so on – while we do want those benefits, we also want to give our team time back to focus on the insightful decision-making and analysis that makes them finance professionals.”

  • “We have a skills gap that's holding us back. For example, we recently implemented a new automation solution that was initially highly advantageous for our team, but once the external developer who had helped to curate and implement it left the business, there was no one who could take over that role and provide support.”

  • “We need guidance on finding the right tools for us. There’s an overwhelming number of automation software options available on the market, and it’s difficult to know where to start.”

  • “There’s not enough cohesion between the automation software and processes different teams use. Everyone tends to use what best suits their wants and needs, so the movement of data is slow. We need to take a step back and define exactly what we’re collectively trying to achieve with automation, and how we can create a cohesive plan that aligns with the business strategy.”

  • “It is not enough to find the right tools we need there to be a mindset shift. We’ll only be able to implement them if we are able to change mindsets within the business and encourage employees to embrace automation to improve processes and drive efficiency. That goes for within the finance team and outside of it.”