Future of Finance

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Finance Innovation Survey 2021

How Swiss Finance Executives are building resilience through innovation in Finance

Over summer and autumn 2020, Finance executives across all industries helped us shed light on the enablers for Finance to build resilience. We aimed to delve into the effectiveness of digital Finance, the new skill sets required to make use of advancing technologies and how organisations have adapted their talent sourcing as well as overall organisational setup.

Finance executives face even more pressure to improve efficiency, while in parallel new specialist capabilities need to be developed to cope with recent business turbulence.

  • Finance executives have recognised the importance to deliver “beyond Finance”: 90% of respondents see Finance as the key provider of information for managerial decision-making
  • Still today, nearly half of the Finance capacity is dedicated to Operational Finance and is expected to decrease to 32% in two years' time
  • Profitability and environmental analyses, along with specialised Finance activities are gaining importance
  • Innovating to shape new Finance

    • The main motivators to implement digital Finance are better insights, followed by cost reduction and AI/machine learning, advanced analytics and data visualisation are considered the most promising technologies for Finance
    • 64% of executives surveyed state that more than half of their processes will be automated by 2022, either through ERP or Robotic Process Automation
    • Planning & forecasting is not yet leveraging the full potential of currently available technologies

    New Finance will increasingly require new skills: both technological and behavioural

    • Technological acumen, in particular data science skills, are currently not yet widely present among Finance personnel, even though they are considered important
    • 42% of respondents state that hiring of data science graduates is increasing
    • Finance training offerings remain dispersed, with only a minority of respondents offering a holistic Finance development programme

    Most Finance organisations benefit from some degree of centralisation, although there remains considerable scope to improve both efficiency and operational resilience

    • 46% of executives say that their operating model consists of a local Finance organisation for country-specific topics combined with centralised delivery of transactional Finance activities
    • 78% of respondents have specific Finance activities centralised
    • Finance organisations demonstrate a certain level of flexibility to deal with internal and external change but the current structure is still somewhat rigid

    Finance Innovation Survey 2021

    Read the other reports in the series:

    Finance Innovation Survey 2017

    Download the report

    Finance Innovation Survey 2019

    Download the report

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