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Perspectives

The modernization of financial controllership

How can emerging technologies transform the banking industry?

Financial controllers are looking at an exciting period of change as emerging technologies accelerate the possibilities for managing financial information. Learn how financial controllers can imagine and implement programs to address the challenges and opportunities unique to banking in our new series on bank controllership modernization.

The financial controller's landscape is changing

​In the age of information, emerging technologies are changing the way we work, think, and communicate—and banking is no exception. Today's financial controllers face increasing pressure for enhanced financial information, thanks to increasing regulations, a need to keep an eye on costs, and the promise of economic growth. To keep up with these demands, bank controllers are looking to emerging technology to manage risk, improve efficiency, and deliver deeper insights.

Responding to change

​During the past decade, banks have found themselves in a regulatory tsunami will little time or resources available to reassess people, processes, and technologies through a strategic lens. Instead, financial controllers have relied on existing financial processes and the general ledger to keep up with reporting requirements and inquiries.

As the general ledger expanded in size and complexity, it led to challenges in managing and reconciling financial results. Decentralized "shadow finance" groups emerged to supplement general ledger information and provide ancillary data, analytics, and product level details to meet external and regulatory reporting needs. These groups dispersed some of the traditional financial controllership activities, resulting in suboptimal, costly infrastructure and operations, along with fragmented governance.

"Bank controllers have an opportunity to streamline operations and thrive in the modern era by embracing Digital Controllership.™"

A modern approach for financial controllers

​Emerging technologies—and the expectation of growth—are driving a new approach to change. The Digital Controllership™, developed by Deloitte to help banks imagine and implement solutions, offers an opportunity to strengthen and streamline controllership operations and improve governance structures.

Here are three steps financial controllers can take to embrace modernization successfully:

Define the target operating model. Within the unique culture of the bank. understand what controllership delivers and the model that will achieve its strategic goals. Establish clear roles and responsibilities around reporting and deploy resources against those roles, then leverage automation technologies and service delivery models.

Elevate the "controllership game." Controllers should recognize that data is the new currency, and begin to reevaluate finance systems and processes. Building a sound technology foundation will help ensure data integrity, facilitate accurate reporting, and allow analytics and insights, while providing flexibility as bank needs and technologies evolve. Automation can help standardize many routine- and non-routine accounting processes while improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Adapt governance to the modern landscape. As operating models and processes evolve, take steps to make sure the governance framework is adjusted to address new and emerging technology-related risks.

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Establish a short- and long-term modernization strategy

Modernizing bank controllerships will require enhancements across operations, technology, and governance. Establishing a short- and long-term strategy is the key to success—a plan that leverages emerging technologies to deliver quick wins and establishes an achievable, sustainable long-term vision.

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