The Future of Operational Finance


The Future of Operational Finance

How disruptive technologies will impact the finance function

Smart CFOs invest in robotization as a stepping stone for other disruptive technologies like cognitive computing, where systems not only present data but generate actionable information. Those who don't may have already fallen behind: disruptors like blockchain will make their impact in the next five years. In which category are you?

The Role of the CFO is changing

In the near future the CFO’s time is no longer dominated by operational tasks. The balance in the role of the CFO will shift away from getting the books right and running a tight Finance operation. Instead you’ll be shaping your company’s overall strategy by instilling a financial mindset throughout the organization. Balancing these roles makes a CFO’s job more challenging than ever. No longer focused on processing lagging data and instead leveraging leading analytics to make decisions that make an impact. So how do you get there?

The Future of Operational Finance

Emerging technologies will advance your finance function

Refined datasets will empower the CFO to focus on making the decisions that maximize business and customer impact. And it is this technological enablement that will allow the balance in the roles of the CFO to evolve. Intelligently leveraging internal and external data will strengthen the role of the CFO as strategist but only if technologies are effectively leveraged to optimize the operational roles first.

Pay close attention to these five technologies

Innovations in technology in the last fifty years have enabled the Finance function to evolve from hindsight to insight. Whereas it took thirty years for the technology of the twentieth century to capture and distribute data, a shift in half that time has empowered people to leverage that data through performance tracking, mobile devices and robotic process automation. We see five technologies that you should pay close attention to for the next big leap:

  • Blockchain: Increased transparency into all transactions via the distributed ledger increases the speed of exchange between entities and reduces the number of intermediaries.
  • Cognitive: Self-correct repetitive tasks such as AP/AR, leading to reduced costs and improved accuracy to enable identification, recovery, and reduction of overpayments in high volume, complex transactional data environments.
  • Robotics: Reduced labor across all routine financial transactions leads to dramatic revisions of talent models.
  • In-memory: Enhanced visibility into information and more efficient processes enable faster execution of transactional processes such as A/R and A/P.
  • Cloud: Shortened close cycles and a reduction of reconciliations/data entry through a single platform increases access to efficient, well-defined data models.

CFOs, get ready: your industry will be disrupted

Disruption is moving faster than ever and business models are dramatically changing. Think of the impact on their industries that streaming music, ride sharing apps, and digital video on demand services have had. Are you nimble enough to respond to similar disruptions to your business? Finance has a unique opportunity to seize the moment and move from a diversified culture to a Finance factory: a fully automated control center with process visualization tools. This will drive the Finance department forward and leverage disruptive technologies like blockchain. That change has to start at the top.

Dive in to leap ahead

Deloitte has built engagement delivery tools to help organizations assess their current maturity and navigate the course to the future. Our interactions with global finance organizations lead us to believe that most of us are “sleepwalking” into this future of inevitability – with nearly 50% of the time currently still being spent on data extraction and modelling. This leaves precious little time for decision support and catalytic change management. What is your Finance function doing to prepare for the coming disruption?

More information on disruptive technologies in the Finance domain?

Do you want to know more on technologies that will disrupt the Finance function? Please contact Fred van der Waa / +31 (0)88 2885472.

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