Content thumbnail Is the Future of Finance New Technology or New People?

7 L`]^mlmj]g^lYpeYfY_]e]fl2eYfY_af_\YlYYkYkljYl]_a[Ykk]l In their efforts to meet the increasing compliance demands According to Carolyn Bailey, Americas Digital Government of tax authorities, tax teams already consume and distribute Tax Transformation Leader at EY, tax teams need to radically significant amounts of data. But in some countries, tax streamline the collection of data through information authorities now expect that data in real time — an management systems. “The data they collect should be expectation that is likely to become more common as tax aligned with a global data management strategy that administration around the world becomes increasingly addresses tax requirements across multiple jurisdictions,” sophisticated. Many organizations are not ready for this she said. “Once collected, the data should be analyzed to change. In particular, organizations that continue to rely on identify the value it contains for the organization, then manual spreadsheets, which can be inefficient and raise the assessed for sensitivity and various audit risks before being risk of tax statement errors and potential reputational shared with tax authorities around the world. By establishing damage, will find it difficult to comply. robust data management and analysis processes for tax information, CFOs can help make this possible.” For Simon Kelly, former CFO and COO at Australian media J]Y[`af_qgmjYfYdqla[khgl]flaYd company Nine Entertainment Co., this means historical data Many organizations find it difficult to introduce the is losing some of its importance. “While historical information technology needed to generate forward-looking insights. is important for areas such as reporting and tax, it doesn’t For example, they are often impeded by multiple ERP add a great deal of value beyond that,” he says. “Value-add systems, legacy applications and non-integrated architecture. is in the real-time data about how things are trending in our business right now.” In the future finance function, however, inflexible and costly “In the future, the investment is going to need to be in IT infrastructure will be replaced by scalable and innovative real-time data and in generating insights so businesses can IT. Many CFOs are already incorporating new advances into respond to changing consumer preferences without waiting their ERP systems, such as: for accountants to pull together historical financials. The • In-memory computing historical transactional part of finance is really a commodity, not a competitive advantage,” said Kelly. • Cloud and hybrid cloud deployments (see p.10) For Vincent dell’Anno, EY Executive Director, Performance • Better and more mobile user experiences Improvement, Ernst & Young LLP, part of the investment • RPA to federate data from different systems. CFOs should be making is in real-time data, and the other Choosing the right tools to capture and mobilize data and part is in real-time analytics. “For example, there are enable the insight-driven enterprise is a complex challenge, sensors that are required to act in real-time or as close to particularly given the rapid pace of technological innovation. that as possible,” he says. “That means you want to facilitate But CFOs also need to focus on the “consumption” side. analytics as close to the source of data as possible, you want Finance leaders need to think about, for example, where to be able to drive streaming analytics where possible and technological innovations such as those cited might come relevant to the business problem.” up against the brick wall of organizational resistance, or This is also reflected by our survey, in which “improving what incentives systems are needed to encourage adoption. data and analytics capabilities to transform forecasting, Change management will be essential to address this critical risk management and understanding of value drivers” was “people” dimension. the priority most cited by finance leaders as number one for their finance function (see Figure 1). >a_mj])2 Priorities for the future finance function Improve big data and analytics capabilities to transform forecasting, risk management and understanding of value drivers 23%* Meet the need for new skills by transforming how finance talent is recruited, retained and developed 22%* Make significant changes to the finance function skill set 17%* Reduce finance function costs through new technologies such as robotics and process automation 14%* Refine risk management capability, including cyber 13%* Drive efficiency improvements through offshoring, shared services and outsourcing 12%* * % of finance leaders that chose this priority as number one

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