transformation of finance

BI, Analytics & Reporting

- 2 min read

Can a bold new focus on data lead the transformation of finance?

The finance function of the future will be built on analyzing, planning, and reporting, but does this mean a shift in finance talent, qualifications, and mindset is needed?

Latest Board research sets out to answer these questions and more.

As companies experience new flows of revenue and growth (post-pandemic) their Office of Finance is expected to be a major stakeholder in driving this recovery. The C-suite demands acceleration of the digital enterprise, growth, and new transformative business models as a number one strategic priority. It’s clear the Office of Finance must likewise rise and own the digital transformation challenge. 

Last year showed the importance of being agile and ready to pivot products and services to new opportunities, customers, and sources of demand. Planning and budgeting previously undertaken once a year, is no longer fit for purpose, as inflexible budgets hinder enterprises from exploiting new opportunities as they happen. The need for real-time data and analysis was a top priority for companies over the last 18 months. Along with the ability to quickly forecast changes in the market and the opportunity to embrace the change. 

Yet many finance teams rely on outdated technology, with vital strategic plans in many cases still running on basic spreadsheets. Finance leaders today need more sophisticated insights and planning capabilities, beyond traditional budgeting processes, to both plan and be ready for new opportunities when they arrive. This means being ready to exploit the biggest asset for business in the digital age. Data. 

The transformative value of data comes by empowering the finance function to unlock and generate insights from data to make game-changing decisions. The problem is that the Office of Finance potentially lacks the skillset and technology to get under the skin of data and perform the deep analysis required.  

It doesn’t have to be this way. Opportunity exists today for finance leaders to democratize access to standardized data, planning, and analytics via the cloud. This in turn reduces reliance on finance teams for repetitive and routine finance tasks and instead frees them up to focus on high-value analytics and insights generation to help accelerate the digital enterprise. 

Progressive finance leaders know they must spend less time fixing the basic processes and more time leading the finance function of the future, and it’s clear that to do so, the finance function itself needs to be subject to the similar transformation asked of the rest of the enterprise.  

This means a bold new focus on analyzing, planning and reporting on what the future could look like, rather than being satisfied to report on the past, and a shift in talent, qualifications and mindset to become a true digital champion and lead the finance function of the future. 

These are big questions, with far-reaching implications for the future of the finance function. It’s precisely these questions and more, which we are asking in an upcoming Board research survey to over 500 Finance leaders across major industries worldwide. We look forward to sharing our findings when ready, in the months ahead.  

Register here to find out more.

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