The modern finance function will maintain controlled and effective financial reporting, but also create a framework for explorative, cross-functional insight.
As automation continues to take hold of the finance function, we expect to see a shift in the activities it performs. Moving away from reactive responses, transactional activities and backward-looking analysis, the finance function will become collaborative, forward-looking and insight driven. Breaking free of traditional boundaries, it will spread its influence throughout the organisation with a network of finance business partners.
Working in an integrated and collaborative way, these finance business partners will be at the heart of operational decision making, providing what-if analysis and scenario modelling.
Embracing data and technology
Finance functions will harness advancements in technology and data to help drive effective decision making across the business. Data will be sourced from multiple sources and stored cost-effectively, using cloud technologies to provide the flexibility for rapid scalability.
Advanced analytics techniques will be used to optimise relationships between a growing number of datasets and make insight more valuable and easily accessible. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can then be applied to identify historic performance correlation, capitalise on future opportunities and manage risks in a way that would not be possible using human interpretation alone.