What can credit managers expect in 2020?
Over the last year, we’ve spoken at length about the evolution of the role of the finance professional, partly due to automation. This process looks set to continue as we move into 2020 and new technology makes steady progress. So, with that in mind, what will become of finance professionals in 2020 and what technologies and trends should credit managers look out for?
An increase in automation
Looking ahead to the coming year, developments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) mean that routine administrative tasks will be automated. So, while people are still essential, they will undertake more nuanced tasks, rather than roles robots can do perfectly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This increase in automation will go hand in hand with personal interaction becoming a higher priority, driven by customer demand. Therefore, finance professionals will need to harness their communication skills and focus on improving relationship management.
The emergence of new job roles
There has been some concern that the increasing use of technology will lead to job losses. However, what we predict in 2020 is the creation of new roles as human workers move into more value-adding roles. This will result in finance professionals working alongside the tech in order to make more intelligent, informed decisions. Subsequently, finance professionals will also need to refine their analytical skills. This will also improve risk management as human workers will be able to monitor the risk of investment capital. In turn, businesses can take more calculated risks and increase the number of clients they are able to take on. However, we could also see a skills shortage in 2020, as demand from employers increases while the availability of workers with these abilities stagnates.
A focus on quality
In the next year, we’ll see a bigger emphasis placed on providing high-quality experiences as businesses and finance teams realise just delivering a product isn’t enough. This is spurred by finance professionals having more time to focus on personal and powerful human interactions – something which is always valued by customers. Additionally, we may begin to see a greater focus on social responsibility within finance, particularly towards debtors.
The use of technology like, for example, Onguard’s CreditManager, facilitates a more layered and complex approach to dunning procedures. Thus credit managers can take various steps before sending the debtor to a collection agency, rather than doing so immediately. As a result, finance teams can take a more human and considerate approach to collecting debts. In turn, we may also see collections and bailiff agencies also taking their social responsibility more seriously. This will result in them taking better care of their debtors and adhering to the rules that protect them.
More tech = more time
2020 will be the year businesses gain the confidence to take the leap and adopt new AI, ML and RPA. The role of the finance professional will continue to evolve in line with this. As a result, we will see these technologies become a lot more pervasive in the next year. The positive impact of this will be felt not only by the finance department, who are able to dedicate more time to value-adding tasks and exceptions, but also customers. As these technologies become more commonplace in 2020, customers will benefit from more quality and personal human interaction with finance teams, in which debts are handled more compassionately and effectively.