Navigating the evolution of the finance workforce of the future

Transitioning Controllership and the finance workforce to the Future of Work

The roles and expectations for the Controllership function are rapidly evolving and expanding with new possibilities. Understanding these transformation drivers may help organizations capitalize on the evolving talent landscape by informing strategies to re-architect the work, elevate the workforce, and adapt the workplace for the finance workforce of the future.

March 17, 2022

A blog post by Beth Kaplan, managing director, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Organizations may capitalize on the evolution of finance talent and rapid transformation of the Controllership function by understanding the key drivers of change and expanding skill sets as roles develop and expectations emerge to meet the finance of the future. These insights can help navigate the evolving landscape and inform strategies that may elevate the workforce and adapt the workplace to deliver a more effective Controllership finance function and meaningful Future of Work.

The roles and expectations for the Controllership function are rapidly evolving, and finance professionals are facing the continuous expansion of their skill set as roles develop and new possibilities emerge through a rapid transformation. As the work, the workforce, and the workplace continue to evolve, businesses may capitalize on the evolution by first understanding the near- and longer-term transformation drivers for finance talent and then identifying strategies for re-architecting the work, elevating the workforce, and adapting the workplace to transition into a meaningful Future of Work that delivers a more effective Controllership finance function and raises the bar for the organization.

The near- and longer-term transformation of work

The pandemic ushered in a rapid transformation of the work, workforce, and workplace. Virtual or hybrid work environments, more flexible culture, new technology, and adjusting priorities notwithstanding, a key transformation driver to one of the biggest talent challenges for organizations is the subsequent labor shortage. Many leaders expect labor and skills shortages to directly influence or disrupt their business strategy in the next year.1


At the same time, the expectations for finance and Controllership are rapidly shifting, and these transformation drivers are leading finance to evolve now to meet future demands. For example:

  • Experiences are both physical and digital, and the hybrid environment has accelerated the Future of Work
  • Business processes are merging the human and machine
  • Continuous innovation and agility are integral to success
  • Value is perceived in outcomes, and data is the new currency

This evolution to meet demands is creating new possibilities and opportunities for finance and the role of Controllership into the future, including:

  • Real-time information and automation, fortified by predictive capabilities, allow roles to become more strategic and less transactional
  • More strategic roles and efficient processes and resources enable finance professionals to evolve into more insightful business partners who are integrated with operations

Finance organizations will need to make a strategic choice now about how to operate in the future. With machines automating much of traditional work, the longer-term transformation of finance will shift its focus to delivering new work outcomes such as leveraging data and business acumen to drive value for the business. However, addressing both the near- and longer-term horizons of transformation can offer key insights that empower a more value-driven evolution of talent for the workforce of the future.

Looking at two horizons

Questions to ask near term: What are some steps that enable your virtual or hybrid workforce to continue to be effective, efficient, and empowered in their everyday work?

Questions to ask longer term: What should you do to support your organization’s ambition for the future of work, workforce, and workplace?

How will your choices sustain your competitive advantage in the wake of the labor shortage?

Creating value in transformation

End notes

1Deloitte Development LLC, 2021 Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, November 2021.

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