Like many organizations across industries, banks and credit unions embraced digital transformation following the pandemic when consumer, employee and business needs rapidly changed. Now, the financial services industry is experiencing consolidation – mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is ramping up as financial organizations seek efficient growth.
Banks and credit unions that have experienced recent M&As are faced with a unique challenge: determining if the tech stacks they deployed as part of their digitization initiatives can work together or whether they must standardize one system for consistency. Many accounting teams are evaluating systems, choosing the best one and re-training employees.
Finance Functions Evolve with Technology
Some bank and credit union accounts payable (AP) departments have seen invoices double as the result of a merger or acquisition. It’s critical in these circumstances to give your team the digital tools they need to cope with increased work volume.
AP automation helps finance departments amplify efficiency, saving time and money. It can also improve data accuracy, provide real-time reporting and allow finance teams to enhance customer experiences through faster, more accurate service.
However, new digital tools like AP automation can’t provide value if your team doesn’t have the digital skills necessary to use them. Many organizations today are facing a digital skills gap. This is especially pronounced in finance departments, where automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are driving efficiencies, yet only 18% of staff demonstrate digital competency, according to Gartner.
Gartner says 40% of finance roles will be new or significantly reshaped by 2025 due to technology. Today’s workforce must adapt and learn new skills to maximize the potential benefits of digitization.
Addressing the Digital Skills Gap with Upskilling
PwC recently reported that 70% of financial services CEOs see skills shortages as a threat to organizational growth. Yet only 30% of them are taking action to improve the skills and adaptability of their employees. Most financial services businesses are choosing an ad hoc response to addressing skills gaps instead of investing in a deliberate long-term strategy.
Upskilling programs are one of the most compelling ways to bridge the digital skills gap in banks and credit unions. Upskilling refers to training and development opportunities that help employees expand their job-related skills and knowledge to advance their career path. These programs can take many forms, including online courses, in-person training and on-the-job learning.
PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey found that 16% of financial services CEOs say they’ve effectively reduced organizational skills gaps with upskilling initiatives. In the current climate of change for banks and credit unions, these programs can help unify teams, increase productivity and improve talent retention. Plus, they enable teams to maximize the potential of the organization’s technology investments.