Digital transformation in becoming more urgent for companies. The finance function is at the forefront of these transformations, and that is why, Finance Departments are learning to reinvent themselves to adapt to this new uncertain environment. A Markess study looks back at the key trends in finance department digitalization, the new jobs or positions and the place of the CFO in this major change.
Transformation of the Finance Department
Tomorrow’s key trends in organizations
In terms of automation of the finance function, several core competencies are already proving to be indispensable in companies.
- The ability to continuously assess the performance of the finance department
- The continuous search for innovations and solutions to improve operational efficiency.
- Automation of processes by piloting and control of robots
- Administration and control of digital solutions (P2P, O2C)
Electronic documents, software implementation, processes (invoicing and purchasing) and the deployment of Robot Process Automation technologies will increase productivity within the Finance Departments.
Often considered as one of the most mature or standardized functions, senior management expects Finance Departments to have accurate, real-time insights into the economic and financial performance of the company, its business units and activities in order to make informed decisions more quickly.
- The digitalization and automation of tasks enables financial departments to transform themselves to provide higher value-added services.
- The finance function as a business partner requires several core competencies.
- The deployment of predictive analytics solutions
- The implementation of performance analysis with the business lines.
- Simulation and co-construction of new economic models
- The development of an internal advisory role on business performance
To meet the new challenges of economic performance, all the company’s functions and business lines need to be rapidly equipped. The implementation of high-performance analysis solutions requires a Finance Director who is a total leader in the digital transformation of the company.
The Data Architect is the finance business of tomorrow. The value of data is bound to grow naturally with massive digitalization. This new role requires several skills in numerical financial system modeling and data science with AI.
Open Data Enrichment
Data Compliance (DCPR)
The companies of tomorrow must be open to allow full collaboration between teams. This reality requires a review of several core competencies in the near future.
- Managing cross-functional workflows
- Connections via Web Services / API to external solutions and sources
- Agile structuring of the collaboration with each of the activities
- Development of service bookstores and marketing of the finance department
Issues and roles of the CFO in the digital age
In a digitalized finance function, the CFO of tomorrow will be a data architect. He or she is the repository of the company’s financial data, and must be able to transpose the company’s business models into a digital universe. The CFO 2.0 will also be a performance partner, driving and challenging the performance of the company and the administration. It is the guarantor of the implementation of adapted digital tools, enabling real-time analysis of trade-offs.
All repetitive tasks and processes will be automated and digitalized. With the same scope of resources, the CFO must provide a service with higher added value for the entire organization.
Finally, the Finance Department of tomorrow must enable total openness and collaboration within the company, through integrated workflows and access to external information databases in Open Data. Tomorrow’s CFO must be a leader with a digital vision and skills to manage digital tools.