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Digital transformation affects finance departments. But, according to BearingPoint, only 35% of financial managers declare that they have a digital strategy for the finance function.

First, to develop a new digital strategy, CFO have to deal with new disruptive environments, the economic volatility, the finance pressure, new technologies etc… They also have to anticipate them!

Then, CFOs also have to deal with pressure:
– On deadlines
– On quality
– On cost

But, CFO especially need to manage their team, to make them change their working methods! They have to make some efforts on project such as change management (communication, training..)

A digital strategy for the transformation of the financial function allows to control and anticipate all these impacts and changes. But, only 35% of CFO declare that they a digital strategy!

CFO has to make efforts to catch up!

According to BearingPoint, this delay (in terms of digital and transformation of the finance function) is due to:

– CFO priorities: data quality and data reliability first!
A clear lack of knowledge of the tools
Resistance to change
Fear of the Cloud and insecurity of data
Lack of anticipation of the skills required by financial employees.

However, the transformation of the finance function must be taken into account rapidly! If not, finance departments are going to lose their influence in organizations. They will also lose attractiveness for “digital natives”

As BearingPoint explain, CFOs have to think seriously about the transformation of the finance function “the adoption of technological levers must allow CFO to make their department more efficient and to concentrate all the efforts on analysis with added value. The digital transformation of the finance function can also allow to transform the other departments of a company”.

Which projects to transform the finance function?

The main projects of the transformation of the finance function are about:

– Standardisation of financial reports
– The convergence of information systems: New cloud applications appear on the market and add a real added value to the traditional ERP. According to BearinPoint, 34% of finance department have a project of deploying a Cloud Application for planning and forecasting.
– A real time access to data (that’s what CFO want – for 76% according to BearingPoint).
– An update of the indicators that lead to the elaboration of new processes.

In terms of internal communication, 82% of CFO are waiting from Cloud applications an improvement of information sharing and good practices. The Shortways solution displays the right information (procedures, business rules…), at the right time, directly in business applications. As a result, you train and support your employees in these changes.

To conclude, we could say that the digital strategy of the financial department involve three things: tools, processes and man and women!

Sources :
• BearingPoint « Vers le Digital CFO ? »
• Finyear « Les clés de la transformation de la fonction de directeur administratif et financier »