Research from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Oracle shows that finance teams want to be more strategic—spending less time on data gathering and routine tasks, and more on data analysis and business influence.
Finance leaders want to be operationally agile, able to shift gears quickly to provide this strategic leadership. Yet only 30 percent of survey respondents described their own finance functions as agile.
The research found that that the following three traits are critical for an agile finance organization:
- Greater efficiency through automation. In order to achieve operational agility, finance organizations must start by simplifying, standardizing, and automating transactional processes as much as possible—using new technologies such as cloud, robotic process automation, and machine learning. In addition, they should centralize subject matter expertise—whether that expertise is in tax reporting, data analysis, FP&A or other subjects—in cross-functional, integrated shared services and centers of excellence.
- Better information to predict the future. Agile finance organizations unleash the potential of big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence to stretch the traditional role of financial planning and analysis. FP&A becomes a powerhouse that generates the insights organizations need to develop innovative business strategies.
- More influence to drive business outcomes. Agile finance teams develop new skill sets in statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and business partnering to support rapid decision-making and performance management. With these skills in place, finance can implement cross-functional teams with multi-disciplinary and business partnering skills—providing strategic guidance to the various lines of business.
Getting Better Information to Predict the Future
Every organization today collects reams of data—information they can potentially use to help every department and line of business understand how they contribute to company performance. In an agile finance organization, leaders are evaluating line-of-business performance, communicating results, making recommendations, and setting goals for the future.
The challenge is that many finance teams lack the time and resources—and, in some cases, the “soft skills”—required to take on these new responsibilities.
In an upcoming CFO webcast, guest experts will explore how finance leaders are leveraging enterprise performance management (EPM) to help them achieve the 2nd pillar of operational agility: better information to predict the future. Our speakers will look at:
- The limitations of traditional financial reporting, in terms of scope, efficiency, and accessibility
- The challenges finance leaders aim to overcome with internal reporting
- What finance leaders need to be aware of as they introduce the discipline of EPM within their organizations
- How finance leaders gain, as well as maintain, buy-in and support for EPM
Join us for this webcast with CFO magazine and The Hackett Group.
Attend this webcast and earn FREE Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credit