Humans Versus Machines: Who’s the Real Winner When it Comes to Effectively Running Your Finance Department?

As a finance professional, you’re probably aware that automation plays a big role in streamlining operations and providing visibility into company spend. The increased efficiencies automation brings can free up your team’s time and with greater transparency into spending, your finance team are able to make more informed decisions. But where does that leave the human members of your team and will AI take all our jobs? Who would actually come out on top in a battle between humans and machines?


We wanted to objectively compare the strengths and weaknesses that each bring to the finance department to not only see who comes out on top, but also the ways in which they complement each other in building a high-performing finance function.


Humans versus Machines: Who Comes Out on Top?

When it comes to effectively running your finance department, do humans or machines deliver the most value?



In this infographic, we compare six areas – workload, analytics, flexibility, accuracy, speed and diplomacy – to weigh up the respective strengths of both your team members and the automated technology in your business.



The human workforce is the heartbeat of any organisation, a catalyst for innovation and creativity. Using real-time data, finance teams are able to adapt to new situations, learn from their mistakes and make continuous improvements along the way. Machines can learn too, and there is no doubt that in the last few years there have seen significant improvements in artificial intelligence. But who will make the big decisions in your business and can machines apply empathy and rationalisation skills?


Through automation, eliminating a paper-based finance process means your employees can spend less time manually analysing data and instead focus their efforts on strategic activities such as negotiating better rates with your suppliers. Now that’s something a machine can’t do.

In any organisation, it’s essential to recruit the best people for your finance team. It can be difficult to find key attributes such as an analytical mind, excellent time management skills and strong negotiation skills. So, when you do find these strengths in your talent, it’s important to hold on to them. A largely manual process can take its toll on your finance team without you even knowing it and result in a high turnover. The cracks begin to appear from mistakes such as human error, time wastage, tiredness and the build up of stress. Stress can lead to dissatisfaction and a lack of motivation in the workplace.


Removing tedious, manual processes that make up so much of a finance person’s day means they can shift their attention to more meaningful and fulfilling work, like helping your business to look ahead.

The benefit of having more productive, engaged employees using a more streamlined process translates to impressive bottom line benefits:

  • A finance employee using an integrated expense, travel and invoice solution saves 530 hours annually
  • Companies using either automated expense or invoice software save £31,000 and £33,000 respectively with SAP Concur solutions


To learn more about how human and machines can work together to achieve results in your organisation –  take a look at the Humans Versus Machines infographic to find out who comes out on top!

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