Digital progression in finance and the outlook for 2023

January 19, 2023

This year’s outlook has radically changed from predictions a year or so ago. At the end of 2021, executives were focused on the recovery phase from the pandemic and overall confidence in the economy was quite positive. While predictions with rising interest rates, accelerated technology integration and struggling labour markets did occur, the economic outlook for the coming year isn’t as positive as previously anticipated.

Despite stricter financial policies to alleviate economic concerns, many executives still focused on growth. As businesses implement more human-focused management plans, the work environment and company culture, the predominant efforts are integrating technology into business systems and processes. Despite concerns about technology use and costs, digital acceleration, particularly in corporate finance, has risen significantly.

The progression of human resources

With the core of HR transformed by technology, the coming year will inevitably bring more automation and leveraging of data. Automating business processes will be vital for employer and employee relationship for 2023. Simplifying activities is a priority for HR employees. Whether enhancing reliability or expanding the benefits of applying banking as a service (BaaS), CFOs using a people-focused approach must consider what technology is out there to make their work more productive and flexible for their employees.

Leveraging New Technology

Studies have suggested that SaaS products are heavily dependent but often underused and typically very costly. Furthermore, using multiple tools or products to tackle the same problem is a big concern. These problems results from ‘SaaS Sprawl’ caused by the simplicity of implementing and managing software within a business. It often results in a company-wide lack of clarity in the technology stack.
While many leaders recognise the importance of selecting and delivering the right technology, it can be challenging. As fintech continues to transform daily activities in corporate finance, senior leaders should look for the right software for them and their business and not necessarily the most recognised or highest rate tool available.

Enhancing Reliability of Data

The increase in remote and hybrid working and dependence on the cloud has resulted in less reliable and secure data. CFOs must focus on data accuracy and ensuring they can predict, forecast and measure large data sets to ensure continued growth and success.
Nearly half of CFOs in a recent study claimed they lack accurate cash flow data, so utilising technology that makes financial data analysis accessible and easy will be critical in a disruptive economy. As our work conditions continue to change, the generation and management of data are essential. Regardless of industry, CFOs regularly forecast their information, as data reliability can vary. If frequent measuring happens with unreliable data, it impacts the productivity of a CFO and means important decisions and capital allocations are made on inaccurate information.

The Importance of Cybersecurity

Significant cybersecurity breaches have become commonplace in digital environments. Over a third of CFOs reported that cybersecurity is a top priority, and protecting their business, customers, and associated data continues to be of prime importance this year.
Ensuring your business has a response plan is paramount for this year, but having a cyber resilience plan in place will enhance the ability to manage a potential attack and ensure systems remain operational. Recognising the need to manage and plan a cybersecurity strategy is required. With new regulations on data breaches appearing, senior leaders must focus on managing risks that impact growth and take a closer look at their time and investment spent on security measures. Cybersecurity is no longer an optional element of business practice. It is an essential part of the business infrastructure.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

Why 2023 Will Be the Year of Data Scientists

January 13, 2023

As we begin a new year, one of the most highly regarded talent pools will be data scientists, as their particular skill sets will become even more valuable for businesses. 

During 2022, hiring in the tech industry exceeded many other sectors impacted by the transformation preceding the pandemic, the great resignation and a range of economic factors. This year, industry leaders expect to see tech hiring accelerate, especially in data science. With rising dependence on data and technology and new fields emerging, the overall value and demand for data-science-focused roles will increase. Data science hiring is anticipated to dominate this year as more individuals with the skills will explore a lucrative, skills-focused market, and these skills are particularly transferable in other markets like finance, pharma and supply chain. This will create more opportunities for potential candidates and reward them with higher salaries and incentives.

Power to the candidates The data science industry is still progressing as fields like AI and Machine Learning are accelerating. As a result, the meaning of a data scientist is constantly evolving, and businesses need to create teams with new skills. It’s challenging to have lots of experience in areas that are only emerging, especially for senior-level positions. Taking into account the changing roles, finding available talent can be challenging. Technology businesses will continue focusing on securing individuals for their data science roles throughout 2023. The niche skills data scientists have and the existing skill-based market have generated high competition for candidates within the tech scene. This means candidates have the power. 

The other factor giving candidates added ability in the market is that the knowledge and skills in typical roles such as AI, computer science and statistics apply across the board. As a consequence, a data scientist from any discipline can work in fintech, insurance or healthcare, and they can use their skills straight away. This means that as other industries beyond tech begin to apply for data science-related positions, this will create further opportunities for these candidates. 

The tight labour market and the possibility to transfer skills means candidates can negotiate their roles and benefits and seek more flexibility. 

Businesses depend a lot on their data systems, which will likely take a significant step forward throughout this year. As companies apply more technologies and implement them into their business, such as investing in the cloud, this will make data positions far more critical and further developments outside traditional tech positions. 

Data scientists are required for more than just monitoring trends and generating insights because as companies store more information and launch new technologies, it creates more areas of exposure to possible breaches and adds more regulatory issues. Cybercrime has been rising for the last few years, and companies that have ignored investing in data science talent to manage security and privacy face potentially losing significant sums of money. Furthermore, those that fail to invest in security risk management systems, tech and governance controls are unlikely to succeed. 

As a result, organisations will be looking to hire for positions where a data scientist can manage their data across multiple industries such as supply chain, fintech, insurance and financial services. This creates a range of new roles for data scientists and increases the price to acquire them. As other markets compete for this talent, they will focus on the same talent pool but with more competitors. This year we will likely see rising competition and better offers made to secure candidates.

New industries

Emerging markets such as crypto will only increase the value of data scientists as these new industries require data specialists in their companies. Businesses will look to hire data scientists to handle roles in risk management, control and governance as the market continues to become more regulated. The risk and regulation side of the business is typically an area in which many lack tech and data staff, as most have traditionally focused on hiring for growth areas rather than risk.

A high-level data scientist with the skills and experience will be in a strong position. The tech market has shown resilience in hiring top talent, but new opportunities are appearing across other industries, and emerging technologies will generate higher hiring and demand levels. Companies will face stronger competition and need to offer more benefits, flexibility options and compensation packages to secure the best talent.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

The value of predictive analytics for future business success

December 14, 2022

Predictive analytics is becoming a critical tool for businesses looking to determine the results of key decisions before committing to them. The benefits are evident but implementing the tech can be a challenge. With rising inflation impacting costs and fears of recession affecting demand for services, companies across the country are decreasing their spending and exploring new growth opportunities.

Identifying where, when and how much to invest is critical, but it’s vital during a challenging downturn when choices can have a profound impact on the growth prospects of your business once the economy recovers. In an attempt to adapt their investment plans, companies are increasingly applying predictive analytics to support them in assessing opportunities and risks. 

James Petter, VP of data storage business Pure Storage, believes risk management is a major discussion point among CFOs and regulatory teams, especially in the current economic climate. Senior leaders consider risk management a top priority, assessing their economics, financial structures and technologies. Businesses contain lots of data, and most are trying to determine how to use this information. Often, companies are focused on the current market conditions and responding to these but moving forward, there is likely to be more of a push on looking ahead, and predictive analytics will play a significant part in this. The rise of predictive analytics is no surprise to Shankar Balakrishnan, VP for Europe at Anaplan. Balakrishnan refers to businesses using historical data to navigate challenging times as someone driving by only using their rear-view mirror. Balakrishnan believes companies must utilise more data on potential outcomes and react smarter to possible disruption. Anaplan recently partnered with the South Central Ambulance Service Foundation NHS Trust to support its predictive potential. By applying machine learning and predictive insights to their data, Anaplan determined the number of emergency call the ambulance teams would receive at any given time. This process allowed the trust to deliver resources more efficiently. 

The challenge of implementing predictive analytics 

For finance leaders, the challenge is understanding what to focus on. One initial area to work on is automating functions in the back office. Applying technology, such as robotic process automation and AI-focused data analytics, improves the processes, tackles skills gaps and improves efficiency. It can also provide intelligence that can support forecasting and planning. Automation like this allows employees to focus more on value-added tasks.

Bearing in mind the potential risk and uncertainties, few leaders will want to make critical investments and resourcing plans on instinct. Risk management may be a priority in a crisis, but can business leaders avoid this crisis in the first place? Whether it’s a pandemic or cyber attack, making effective plans under pressure requires accurate and data-focused insights. Successful risk management needs data to deliver various scenarios and options. For example, in the travel and tourism industry, predictive analytics may prove critical to enable them to recover from significant disruption experienced after Covid. Aircraft manufacturers are using technology to find the best times to perform maintenance tasks, and airlines are using similar technologies to predict demand for flights and plan their staffing and fuelling requirements. Quality data and predictive analytics are critical to risk mitigation within the finance industry. They are vital for fraud detection, auditing and other types of advanced work.

The overall success of this technology depends on the quality of data fed into the system. Insights created on incomplete inputs could be misleading and potentially cause harm to a business. Implementing predictive analytics isn’t a one-time process. It takes time and effort to examine the findings, understand them and alter the system accordingly. It’s important to have clear goals when implementing analytics, adapt them when necessary and continuously revisit them to ensure the business is getting what it needs. Accuracy and compatibility are critical when measuring performance across various teams.

If leaders work with inaccurate data, they risk making inaccurate decisions. Similarly, if teams spend hours validating data, it makes the entire process impossible for decision-makers to react quickly. Despite the challenges, the benefits of predictive analytics are clear. With the insights it delivers, predictive analytics offers significant value for business leaders, converting data into critical information for a business.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

Deloitte and Persefoni partnership intends to decarbonise the finance industry

November 30, 2022

With rising demand for managing the impacts of climate change, finance-related businesses are experiencing new challenges. Deloitte is partnering with Persefoni to launch a new integrated service that measures climate exposure, meets new regulations and delivers more informed data-focused decisions.

Persefoni, a climate management and accounting platform (CMAP) provide businesses, financial companies and government agencies with the software required for managing climate-related data and business performance with the same level of confidence as their financial reporting system. The software solutions will allow users to calculate their carbon footprint, perform climate modelling aligned to temperature rise scenarios and benchmark their impact by location, sector and other groups.

As Deloitte continues to focus on supporting clients on their path to net zero, it has formed a strong partnership with Persefoni. The collaboration will see the companies develop analytical solutions for the finance industry, supporting businesses to find a new path for measuring, disclosing and managing their carbon footprints, from an operational and financial perspective as part of their climate journey.

Ricardo Martinex, the sustainability, climate and equity leader at Deloitte Risk and Finance, explains that by leveraging rich data in the Persefoni platform combined with Deloitte’s analytics and services, they can support businesses through their end-to-end ESG transformation. As finance-related companies focus on carbon accounting requirements, recognising and evolving the financed emissions in their portfolios will enable clients to chart financed emissions, explore critical business risks and find opportunities to improve the structure of their financed portfolio, as well as meet all reporting obligations.

As leaders of sustainability and finance combine to tackle CMAP requirements, Persefoni and Deloitte’s clients can apply Persefoni’s tools and Deloitte’s experience with ESG practices and financial analytics to address sustainability and climate goals. The partnership has seen Deloitte create and integrate accelerators, analytics and other tools to support clients in the finance industry, and understand risks and opportunities based on financed emissions portfolio data.

The financial services industry faces rising pressure from governments, regulators and capital markets and is moving towards disclosing operational and financed emissions footprint. As finance companies work toward their net zero targets and improve their impact on the climate, creating a structured CMAP use will be vital, especially as ESG disclosures become regulated.

Kentaro Kawamori, CEO and Co-Founder of Persefoni, explains that Persefoni is excited to partner with Deloitte, a leader in sustainability, climate and equity strategy and advisor to many leading businesses and financial institutions. Supported by Perseoni’s technology platform and Deloitte’s sustainability, risk and reporting services, their clients in finance will have access to the best support on their climate journeys, from meeting compliance requirements to measuring climate exposure within their portfolios and enhancing their business strategies.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

COP27: Big Data critical to climate resilience and food security

November 16, 2022

The global impact on food security is one of the major priorities at the COP27 climate summit. Recently the Commonwealth Secretary-General called on other leaders to collaborate and learn from each other to transform their future strategies.

Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, emphasised that for countries to deliver a more productive and sustainable agricultural industry and ultimately be more resilient to climate change, we must utilise big data and other digital technology. New digital tools can transform business plans within the agricultural chain and tackle productivity, harvesting, finance and supply chain management issues.

At COP27, Commonwealth Secretary announced a new policy guide focusing specifically on global food security. This guide is one of the first to explore how digital technology impacts the agricultural industry. Scotland believes that this policy guide is a critical step, not only for the Commonwealth but also for small, developing and middle-income nations. The guide supports policy leaders in recognising key areas that can improve and develop this market.

Agriculture is responsible for food security and employment in most Commonwealth member states, with over half of the collective 2.5 billion people residing in rural regions and connected with smallholder farming.
Created by the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda, the framework discussed in The State of Digital Agriculture in the Commonwealth guide explores various regions based on their current digital technology, infrastructure, and enabling further digital progression and suggesting strategies for progress.

According to the policy guide, while regions like Africa lack some critical data infrastructure, considerable progress has been made through digital innovation, new technologies and services. In Asia, technologies for agriculture have progressed across the region, but overall affordability continues to challenge the most vulnerable communities.

The business development market, financing and investments remain underdeveloped within the Caribbean and Pacific Small Island nations. In Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, smart digital technologies are widely used, and the policy guide encourages other regions to collaborate and learn from these innovations to assist them in making continued progress. While speaking about climate resilience and food security at COP27, Secretary-General Scotland emphasised that further efforts must be made by the public and private sectors to recognise the potential of digital and big data solutions for the agricultural industry.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

The power of automation on corporate strategy

November 10, 2022

A recent study by Harvard Business Review suggests companies expect finance teams to be more strategic, collaborative and automated. Increasingly, businesses are requested to provide financial details quickly and support leaders in achieving their goals. Finance professionals are, however, facing the pressures of daily administrative duties, which means fulfilling this strategic role is more challenging than expected. Many industry professionals believe it’s time for finance teams to automate tasks and start focusing on core strategies. 

Finance teams have a tradition of utilising new technologies that make the technical aspects of their jobs faster and simpler. Tech-focused businesses and associated C-suites are adopting automation to accelerate their efficiency and performance. The affordable and improved technology will likely transform the function of a finance team.

Many industries are adopting automation within their accounting teams. Businesses have automated processes delivered by their finance teams, such as financial close, accounts payable, financial planning and analysis. While automation impacts accounting services, there is still much to be done in this industry. According to a Deloitte report from 2020, over 75% of respondents said their business accounting processes are predominantly manual or require significant manual input. Under 4% of respondents suggested that their business has implemented robotic process automation (RPA), while around 2% had integrated machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Considering the existing economic and financial conditions, geopolitical uncertainties and increased inflation, finance teams are under further pressure to raise their performance levels and focus on their corporate strategy. The Harvard Business study suggested that 89% of finance teams can provide unique and valued input on business challenges. A further 83% believed there is a potential risk to their business if the finance team doesn’t contribute to the overall strategy. However, many believe that finance departments are held back by basic tasks, which prevents them from adopting this more strategic role.

Automation doesn’t necessarily remove humans completely from a process, but it enables machines to focus on repetitive work. While professionals can increase their productivity and drive key business objectives. If finance teams spend a large portion of their time on manual activities, they lose the opportunity to explore data and deliver high-value insights. By automating tasks, finance teams are in a stronger position to add more value. 

In finance, automation enables businesses to identify missing payments and remove potential errors. Automation can improve the analysis of customers and reduce or eliminate findings that can lead to poor decision-making and planning.

Applying automation to financial close

In a Trintech survey, over 50% of financial professionals said that meeting deadlines and timescales were the biggest challenges in the financial close process. Manual processes and reduced use of financial automated solutions can impact the ability to generate insights, particularly when working in a remote or hybrid environment. According to EY, over 60% of CFOs said their closing process is manual. When asked what stopped businesses from implementing the most efficient financial close, lack of automation and manual errors were considered notable factors. There is a growing recognition that manual activities and a lack of automation directly impact the challenges experienced during financial close but many are yet to have a solution to this issue.

Automation presents several benefits, but there are challenges related to the implementation process. Businesses must understand these issues and be prepared to create the necessary solutions. Before launching automation, companies must determine whether to automate their existing workflows or restructure them. Prioritising areas for automation must focus on repetitive tasks that are more likely to incur errors and recurring costs. Financial operations represent the core of many businesses, especially if these changes can be risky. Some solutions require organisations to invest considerably to implement the necessary changes to their systems. 

One of the biggest challenges to overcome is the underlying fear of employees and getting them to invest in the automation process. Some finance members may be concerned about being replaced by automation and other technology. Others may be worried that their team is piloting automation for the rest of the company. It’s critical engaging with employees to eliminate any negative perceptions of the process and highlight the benefits. 

With further technological advancements, businesses may fall behind their competition if they fail to recognise the benefits of automation. Shifting from manual to automated processes can be very beneficial, increasing performance, saving time and reducing the chance of fraud. Finance teams are now a central part of business operations. The CFO today is directly associated with key strategies. As technology becomes more sophisticated, businesses can automate more activities. 

Finance teams are dependent on the continued availability of accurate data. Leveraging data solutions and other technologies are signifcantly beneficial for forward-thinking businesses, creating more insights and widening capabilities. 

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

How critical data visualisation is for the finance industry

October 24, 2022

Representing data using graphics like charts, animation and infographics are regarded as data visualisation. Visual displays and representing information in this manner help communicate complex data relationships and data-driven insights in a form that makes it simple to understand and determine a structured plan. The primary objective of data visualisation is to assist in recognising patterns and trends from large data sets.

There is a significant volume of data available today, and to generate any benefit from such considerable data, real-time analytics has become critical for all industries, including finance, to gain a competitive edge. The finance industry is experiencing a significant digital transformation and growing pressure to innovate. To achieve this digital transformation is delivered in various ways, and by leveraging data visualisation, the finance industry can utilise benefits like:

A more comprehensive view into customers’ behaviour and needs

Timely financial intelligence to make informed decisions

Enhanced client reports

Innovative fraud detection

Detailed view of risks across the entire business

Some data visualisation tools in the finance industry include:

Risk reporting and analytics – integrating a range of data sources into a singular source can be challenging. This is the case with banks when reporting risks and performance figures. The main challenge is generating reports that highlight the risk areas applicable to the industry, like market credit, operation risk and so on. Data visualisation is the ideal choice in these cases since data can be consolidated in real-time from multiple sources to create reports that can provide visual analysis. Data analytics can also enable quality data checks across sources to generate error-free reports.

-Client reporting and CRM – client relationship management systems and clients’ reports go together for the finance industry. CRMs provide and help improve relationships with customers. Client reports give finance businesses a complete overview of the customer, risk analysis and other things. Integrating big data and data analytics in real-time provides visual reports with clear information required to make informed decisions and support examining client spending patterns and other variables.

Managing liquidity – finance companies must manage liquidity effectively and have real-time access to all liquidity positions such as currency, locations and relevant products. It’s critical to compare financial figures against standard ratios on an ongoing real-time basis. 

Data visualisations make comparisons simpler by providing clear visual reports and risk analysis. Integrating data receipts from other sources provide detailed information to predict and analyse liquidity. 

Customer analysis – determining customer needs and behaviour is a critical part of the finance industry and helps businesses create new products and services to meet customer requirements. By empowering finance businesses to interact with their customers, data visualisation technology can provide them with relevant and modern information to offer financial products created to customer needs.

Integrating with social media – social media is a creative way for finance businesses to market products and improve their relationship with customers. This provides big data which can be integrated with CRM applications. Data visualisation tools can connect all data sources and provide data analytics is very important for these companies. 

Enhanced identification – using data visualisation, the visual results can be produced for any data without managing filters and sorting lots of details. A range of graphs and charts can be generated instantly to highlight specific details. 

Collaborating and sharing data – The reports produced can be shared with multiple teams, simplifying data sharing within a finance business. Teams can collaborate and work together, whether it’s in the exact location or not. 

Detecting trends and anomalies in data – One of the main concerns for a finance company is determining fraud. Reports created with data visuals can help detect patterns that may be overlooked because of the sheer amount of data. These reports can help eliminate the potential for financial fraud. Many financial institutions have separate dashboards for fraud detection and risk management. 

In conclusion, data visualisation is a powerful tool and can significantly support the finance industry. By applying data visualisation services, consultants with experience within the finance industry can create a unique and competitive edge for their customers. 

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

How AI represents the next stage in digitalising the finance industry

October 12, 2022

With the significant advancement of technology, our lives have experienced considerable changes. By leveraging innovative technologies such as AI, ML and Big Data, we are transitioning into a new stage of innovation where industries worldwide are automating manual processes. This has made our lives similar and seamless, and the finance industry has also embraced this shift towards digital.

Artificial intelligence has emerged as a pivotal part of this digital transformation. In a report by McKinsey Global Institute, it’s estimated that utilising AI to improve core finance functions and provide customised services to customers will increase industry value by over $250 million.

A range of innovative tools is continuing to reshape the finance industry, and this is only the beginning. As we progress to the next stage of technological discovery and development, we must explore what role AI will play in disrupting the finance industry, its influence on businesses and how it will create a range of new opportunities.

The finance industry is recognising the significant transformative potential of AI. Industry analysts believe that by leveraging AI, the finance industry can save $1 trillion by 2030. Another study by Narrative Science a few years back suggested that over 30% of financial service businesses had already adopted AI-focused solutions such as predictive analytics and voice recognition services.

The emergence of innovation is predominantly focused on the customer experience. New AI-powered tools like chatbots are becoming a necessity for many new businesses on the front-end experience. Process and task automation and other analytics strengthen and elevate finance services on the back end. As suggested by Gartner, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), as an example, provides a very cost-effective service, amounting to around a third of the compensation provided to an offshore employee and about a fifth provided to an onshore employee. RPA does the manual work, utilising a rule-based system that automates repetitive tasks
AI in finance focuses on machine learning, but automation plays a significant role in banks. The finance industry has benefited considerably from machine learning. Banks can gather and explore vast amounts of finance-related data. Machine learning is a discipline of AI which enables machines to learn and progress by using data and not relying on human intervention.
Voice recognition is another modern innovation that applies AI to perform banking operations through voice commands. At the core of this technology is Natural Language Processing (NLP). This AI-driven technology is used to design a range of virtual assistants and chatbots.
In the financial scene, leveraging AI provides two distinct advantages; firstly a big increase in efficiency, and secondly, reduced stages that could be exploited for fraud. The trend of AI-focused lending initially emerged within the tech startup and was then rapidly adopted by other entities. Since market investment is mostly dominated by individual fund managers, it might be difficult to understand their influence on AI. However, AI-focused funds can considerably reduce the possibilities of human error through their ongoing evolving rules and algorithms.
Other significant factors behind the increasing demand for AI in finance include the development of cheap and efficient resources, the digitisation of financial services and the rise of new data on individuals and organisations.
The progression in advanced technology like Artificial Intelligence has transformed the financial industry. With the rise of next-gen tech applications disrupting the industry, technologies like AI and ML have significant potential to transform the sector for the better. Investment banks and financial startups are now utilising the best AI to enhance profits, maximise efficiency, eliminate errors and generate the best returns.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

How automation can support the finance team in a business

October 5, 2022

Automation can support business and the success of the finance function. In terms of the responsibility of CFOs, there is further recognition of the need to integrate digital measures within finance. Many finance leaders, however, focus on strategic challenges while remaining predominantly reliant on traditional systems incapable of delivering the desired results.

Any progress and evolution of the CFO is dependent on innovative tools and is capable of automating selected financial functions. Progress appears when finance shifts from silos to increased integration across the internal value chain. Automation in finance must focus on processes which eradicate the separation of silos within financial activities. Manual, repetitive tasks require automation, optimisation processes and elimination of the possibility of errors, so human intervention is limited and focused on more strategic tasks.

Through automation, financial services can adopt a more performance, value-based approach rather than being the traditional cash manager or gatekeeper. New technologies make it possible for financial processes to deliver results in near real-time to CFOs. Eliminating silos and automating manual tasks means CFOs can reshape the finance industry and their financial skills. Transforming activities means finance professionals can focus on critical business areas.

Simple automation measures for finance can include introducing onboarding performed by suppliers i.e. accessing a portal to input accurate information (which suppliers will likely do to receive prompt payments) will reduce errors significantly. AI/RPA technology can deliver faster, less human-focused invoice and purchase matching, accelerating payment approvals. Automation processes can enhance the overall AP team morale by limiting time spent focused on purchasing supplier enquiries, performing reconciliations and other compliance duties.
CFOs also have a duty to control the risk of fraud. Automation, particularly automating payments can reduce that risk. Manual activities can unintentionally create opportunities for fraud. Deploying automation can validate selected payment processes and ensure incorrect payments do not occur.

Integrating automation offers several operational benefits. Enhancing accuracy and reducing manual data entry is just one aspect. Focusing on improving workflow and process automation is another area. The benefits of automation are diverse, ranging from improved staff morale and retention to transforming finance into a value-centric business.

Failing to consider finance automation can leave CFOs exposed and limited by traditional services. Attempting to meet the strategic challenges of a business when dependent on conventional systems and manual activities can be very challenging. The future of the finance function isn’t focused just on technology, but it is a significant factor to consider. Success will depend on determining how the finance function operates and supports a business.

Written by:

Connect with :

Recent News & Insights

New Deloitte and IMA survey suggests the majority are unprepared for the future of finance

September 22, 2022

A new survey of finance professionals found many are unprepared to meet the demands for more insights and information, despite ongoing significant transformation efforts already in place. The national survey from Deloitte’s Centre for Controllership and IMA (The Institute of Management Accountants) discovered that 76% of finance professionals confirm their controllership functions have started their transformation journeys but nearly 95% report additional work is needed and admit progress is slow. A further 65% admit their business function isn’t prepared or only somewhat prepared to meet their future demands. 

The report “Stepping into the future of controllership: from accounting to finance”, explores the impacts of the pandemic on financial services and how finance professionals can use this period to drive innovation within controllership and generate more value for their businesses. 

According to Kyle Cheney, risk and financial advisory partner at Deloitte, a clear lesson from the pandemic is that driving digital functions within controllership is here to stay. Cheney explains that activities previously considered a part of the future of finance, such as data modelling and analytics, are now mainstream parts of the industry. Financial controllers are confident that they need to transform, but this doesn’t change the fact that there are still challenges to overcome on the shift toward an innovative, strategic and digital controllership future. Further data from survey respondents found a mix of responses between the existing and future conditions of controllership, including maturity gaps within vital controllership, enabling and domain areas. Enablers, like governance and compliance, were ranked as the farthest along the maturity continuum by 65% of finance professionals while nearly 50% reported data and analytics to still be in the early stages of maturity. 

Similarly, over 50% of respondents identified financial planning and analysis (FP&A) as a dominant area most in need of progress to meet the future demands of the controllership function. 

Over 60% of surveyed finance professionals agree that advanced maturity levels, or those considered to be integrated or optimised, will be required across enabling and domain areas to achieve the demands of controllership function in the next few years. The report also highlights actions that finance leaders believe will increase their ability to perform in a more innovative, challenging and increasingly digital era. 

Loreal Jile, IMA VP of research and thought leadership and the lead on this study, highlighted that transformation in controllership is more than adopting new technology. It also involves considering how finance teams use that technology to become more strategic partners to the business. Jile explains that the hope is controllers, CFOs, and other finance leaders can use the report as a roadmap to continue progress with their digital plans. The report can enable organisations to structure organisational silos to support intelligent, flexible and more resilient operations capable of managing future industry challenges.

Written by:

Mike Jones

Founder & Managing Director

Connect with Mike Jones:

Recent News & Insights