Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and the finance organisations they lead have yet to fully exploit emerging technologies to better support the business, says a new report from ACCA (the
The report, Is finance function technology delivering on its promise?, which gauged in-depth views from finance executives across a spectrum of businesses, including Shell, Aviva,
He adds: "Of course it isn't true to say that finance technology has been standing still for the past 10 years. Leading companies have deployed technology to improve finance service delivery to the business, but the primary focus has really been around cost, efficiency and quality in transactional finance, and driving standardisation and improving controls. However, concepts such as self-service finance, or eliminating the need for people in transactional finance processes through greater technology deployment, continue to prove elusive. We'd also question whether there is a greater opportunity for business process outsourcers to bring more finance technology innovation to bear."
The report suggests the real opportunity CFOs have is to champion the adoption of transformative technology and predictive capability tools to support decision making. However, for all the aspirations that finance may have around the value and insight agenda, this remains a work in progress for most.
"The Chief Information Officer's team is either consumed with implementing the latest version of ERP, or with identifying and installing the newest customer-facing social and mobile technology that isn't really touching finance. This means the technology needs for finance get little attention when it could transform the function for the better. We should also acknowledge that the application of technology has the potential to change further what a finance career means. If technology increasingly automates transactional finance and is also able to mine insights at the same time, it will change what it means to be a finance professional, as well as the capabilities needed."
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