- Though there has been an unparalleled boost to digital in finance, it is vital to speed up the digital journey
New Delhi, 16 March 2021: While 92% finance leaders in India have started their journey to introduce digital interventions in finance, only 11% believe they are at an advanced stage, according to EY India survey report ‘Digital disruption in finance’. EY India performed a survey with 89 finance leaders including Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), controllers and finance heads across Indian corporates to understand their take on the current state of their finance transformation journey.
As part of the Finance 4.0 journey, several Indian corporates started reviewing the design of their finance function and its operating model wherein technology and digital transformation were at the core. The pandemic has given an unparalleled boost to digital in finance making it vital for finance leaders to gain insights on megatrends shaping their businesses’ future and relook at their digital transformation strategies.
The survey indicates while 56% participants demonstrate confidence on the completeness and accuracy of data generated by finance function, only 22% are able to achieve this without significant manual intervention. Furthermore, 33% respondents are able to do this on a timely basis. This means finance teams continue to undertake extensive manual effort to compensate sub-par automation and generate timely information with reasonable completeness and accuracy. In times when emerging technologies can play a significant role in reducing manual tasks, companies need to think about relieving finance teams from deadline pressures through optimal technology intervention.
Sandip Khetan, Partner and National Leader, Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS), EY India said, “Technologies such as advanced data analytics, robotics, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are creating new opportunities and driving finance transformation across industries and sectors. Companies need to be agile and innovative while thinking about leveraging technology for finance. When organizations trust their finance data and are able to generate multi-faceted KPIs including non-financial data, they have the potential to transform their operations and unlock greater value.”
83% survey respondents indicate day-to-day transaction processing, monthly management reporting and financial statement closing process among their three top priorities to automate and optimize. In addition, 78% respondents wish to prioritize the enhancement of existing capabilities of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs) and data analytics using visualization tools and Robotic Process Automation.
93% respondents agreed that generating non-financial performance data is becoming an important KPI for their finance function. Additionally, 73% respondents indicate their top three business case drivers for digital in finance as providing more reliable outputs, reduced manual intervention and increased automation.
Despite 71% respondents acknowledging in-house talent capable to lead and manage transformation projects, 72% respondents suggest they are yet to invest more time and effort in developing a learning and development plan and executing it to upskill their people to be future ready.
Jalpa Sonchhatra, Partner, Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) EY India said “Automation in finance will lead to new role profiles for finance teams to grab by acquiring new techno-accountant skills. Companies need to have frameworks to define current and future roles to identify skill and competency gaps. Companies that involve their employees in this process and provide right opportunities to be future ready will struggle less with change management for adoption of new technologies.”
A right implementation partner would mean swift implementation of the digital solution and effortless change management. 72% respondents have well acknowledged the key challenge for successful finance transformation is selecting the right implementation partner. However, 49% respondents suggest understanding of their business and finance processes is the topmost credential they look for while evaluating a digital transformation partner.
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