The introduction of innovative new systems and processes has enabled the finance industry to transform in recent years. Finance leaders need to remain focused on evolution and how digital technology and other innovative systems such as predictive analytics and machine learning will influence the industry over the next few years.
For finance leaders to remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve requires innovation and thinking bigger. In order to look at the future, we need to ensure that businesses are capable of meeting the most basic financial processes covering financial consolidation, budgeting, planning, forecasting and reporting.
In recent studies from EY, Accenture and the Modern Finance Forum over 75% of finance leaders intend to be more proactive and aligned with operations and the wider business. Over 70% of finance leaders also would change business in terms of their involvement with innovation and nearly 50% of all respondents believe their current function lack the tools to facilitate the demands of their strategic priorities.
What studies and data like this show is that finance leaders clearly want to be doing more and to be working closely with their business. However, these professionals are limited by the tools and services provided for budgeting, planning and reporting. While they may have been the optimum services in their time, many are simply not sufficient for modern finance practices. Many financial leaders looking to do more simply don’t have the tools to implement the changes they want or are unsure whether they are prepared for the future.
Modern finance leaders are beginning to implement more modern and sophisticated CPM technology to manage today’s challenges. New platforms provide a unified system and modern approach to many of the areas that need covering. Finance teams are provided with a broader scope of functions to enhance financial productivity, allowing teams to allocate more time to working with their partners and focusing on strategic plans.
Implementing a new platform is enabling finance leaders to create a new course for their digital finance future. To support finance leaders in this transition there are five core steps to consider:
Understand your business – collect insights from your business and ensure you really understand their core success metrics and KPIs
Focus on agility within planning and forecasting – implement a dynamic forecasting process and integrated business planning structure that is more agile and adaptive.
Streamlining Financial Close – Where possible, simplify jobs through automation, remove manual tasks, reduce potential errors and include comprehensive audit trails.
Automated Reports – Generate automated reports and shared dashboards for other business representatives to generate a single shared platform.
Focus on Advanced Analytics – Utilise innovative tools such as predictive analytics and scenario analysis to improve collaboration with other business teams and use this information to implement measures that will impact financial results before close.