Finance in a digital world: It’s crunch time for CFOs
A series on digital transformation in Finance
When you say the word reporting, binders full of spreadsheets, charts, and footnotes might come to mind. Or maybe conference rooms with executives grinding through slide presentations. And behind it all, there’s an army of Finance people who’ve been working for weeks to pull it all together. In the best of all worlds, external financial reporting and internal management reporting would be intelligent, interactive, and real time. This guide describes how digital tools like automation, advanced analytics, and machine learning are making reporting faster, more insightful, and less costly – and the lessons learned along the way.
- Crunch time VII: Reporting in a digital world
- Crunchtime V: Finance 2025
- Cunch time IV: Blockchain for Finance
- Digital tools for CFOs
- Talent essentials for digital transformation
Crunch time VIIII: Tax in a digital world
Far too often, Tax gets involved after the fact, when the best they can do is make the most of a tough situation. Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. The reason is simple: New data modeling tools make it possible to deliver valuable tax insights about different financial scenarios—in real time. Which means business leaders get the benefits of those insights before they have to make their decisions.
Download Tax in a digital world
Crunch time VIII: The CFO guide to cloud
Cloud benefits are real, but that doens't mean cloud is easy. The bigger your ambitions, the more challenging implementation will be. But like so many other things, the value you get depends on the rigor you bring to getting it done. Companies that make the move now can get a jump on competitors in terms of innovation, agility, and cost.
Download The CFO guide to cloud
Crunch time VII: Reporting in a digital world
Imagine a future where executives no longer rely on binders of static data to inform their decisions, and where reporting – both external and internal – is intelligent, interactive, and real-time. This guide looks at how companies are using today’s digital tools to upgrade their reporting processes to get better information distributed faster – and at a substantially lower cost.
Crunch time VI: Forecasting in a digital world
Organizations are shifting to forecasting processes that involve people working symbiotically with data-fueled, predictive algorithms. It’s all made possible by new technologies— advanced analytics platforms, in-memory computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including machine learning.
Today, these technologies in the hands of expert forecasting talent give companies the ability to discover things they’ve always wanted to know—as well as things they didn’t know they didn’t know—with more confidence and speed.
Crunch time V: Finance 2025
Whether it’s phone apps, home automation, or cashless commerce, digital disruption is the new normal for consumers today. It’s changing what we do – and how we get things done – in countless ways.
What does this have to do with the future of Finance? Everything.
The technologies needed to reimagine Finance are here and will only get better. Plus, we can learn a lot from other business functions. Modern factories give us a glimpse of what automation can deliver. Smart contracts show us new ways of tracking assets. The lessons are out there, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We can focus instead on adapting and adopting.
Crunch time IV: Blockchain for Finance – what CFOs need to know
Ten minutes into a discussion with a group of blockchain professionals, one CFO shook his head. “This is ridiculously ambiguous,” he complained. And it didn’t take long for others to agree. In response, we set out to demystify blockchain for CFOs, focusing on how finance organizations can apply blockchains to streamline processes, improve controls, and transform finance operations.
Blockchain for Finance is a practical guide for finance organizations that want to understand options for blockchain and make effective decisions about moving forward. It features more than a dozen Frequently Asked Questions finance teams can use to make sense of blockchain technology, as well as a high-level roadmap for adoption. It also includes a seven-point checklist for CFOs who are thinking about embarking on the blockchain journey.
Digital tools for CFOs
Some of the new digital tools available to finance focus specifically on updating core systems and existing capabilities. Other tools, "exponentials", are designed to deliver new and different capabilities. Together, they form a toolset finance can use to improve its own performance and serve the business more effectively, especially when they are used together.
Our research suggest that seven technologies have growing interaction and relevance for how the work of finance get done:
Talent essentials for digital transformation
The growth of digital business is already reshaping the talent marketplace, far beyond finance. As organizations seek to upgrade their workforces in all areas, they are placing a premium on people with
- Leadership: A sharp view into the future and a clear roadmap for getting there
- Culture: Less predictability, more
- New skills: Technology savviness combined with business understanding
- Engagement: An opportunity to learn,
grow,and innovate for digital natives or Millennials
“Digital transformation is fundamentally human-centric because it’s about imagining new ways of value creation. For that to happen, people have to be digital enablers as well as users of new digital capabilities.”
Framing the future
Which path makes sense for you? What kind of roadmap will you need to realize the benefits of digital transformation? In the end, organizations will need to chart their own courses. But no matter which future you envision, the leaders will likely be those who figure out how to make digital work for finance—and for the whole business, too.
“Not having a roadmap would be really dangerous these days because the pace of transformation is speeding up in every industry. Be on the lookout for quick wins and use them to validate your direction.”