Almost half of finance leaders in Ireland never get around to advising on strategic decisions due to the burden of administrative tasks, according to new research by MHR International.

The survey of 250 finance leaders found that 98% of respondents plan to invest in a finance solution within the next two years.

Examples of finance solutions include planning and analytics tools, performance management platforms and accounting and business management systems.

Over a quarter of finance leaders surveyed consider human error to be the biggest risk within finance, while over 34% consider unsaved spreadsheets and lost documents as the biggest risk.

Maynooth-based MHR International, a global HR, Payroll and finance solutions company said this research shows that there is a strong desire among finance leaders in Ireland to invest properly in new finance solutions.

"While many organisations have finance solutions in place, they may not be utilising them for optimum business performance or they may not be the right fit for the business," said Eamon Rheinisch, General Manager of MHR Ireland.

"It is clear for an organisation that investing in the right finance solution can ensure peace of mind with greater security, lower risks to error while expediting processes and freeing up finance teams to get on with more strategic tasks which will be of greater value to their business going forward," he added.

The research shows that organisations that have finance solutions in place have freed up more time to focus on other tasks.

For example, the survey found that 64% of finance leaders can now provide more cross company analysis - including retention rates, salary increases, absence rates while 52% said they now work closer with other departments.

The research also found that revenue forecasting and payment submissions are considered by finance leaders in Ireland as the most important to automate, while the biggest priority for finance teams are controlling costs and compliance.