5 Trends shaping the future of Finance

These are the trends that every company, at every stage of its life cycle must take into account when making future plans.

CFOs and Finance leaders often struggle to make sense of the many trends that impact their finance function and the broader organization today.

1 — Digital transformation

As organizations continue a path toward digital transformation, finance management must evolve more quickly. CFOs need to revise competency models to address the digital shifts impacting their business, which will inform how they recruit, develop, retain, and provide career growth for staff.

Finance staff must understand how digital technologies interact with the corporate ecosystem and how to articulate bias and risks.

2 —Data-driven organization

Finance leaders must make trade-offs in governance standards to make their data more useful in decision-making.

CFOs can fully harness data to overcome barriers, transform their role, and work alongside CEOs as a critical partner.

Finance must optimize data for decision-readiness rather than accuracy and precision.

3-Real Time environment

Finance leaders need to consider how their team will operate in real-time planning, budgeting, and closing the environment. They must think about what new platform capabilities such as AI, machine learning, and blockchain will mean for finance organizations and how they can leverage these to improve actionable data insights.

Reporting expectations have evolved, and this will increase pressure on the finance team to deliver real-time reporting. Moreover, stakeholders will demand real-time access to financial data and advanced analytics.

4 — The AI revolution has begun

In the coming decade, artificial intelligence (AI) will optimize or transform nearly every activity in Finance. Finance leaders should educate themselves on how the function may change, prepare their team with new skill sets, and explore the investments needed to deploy AI.

Key questions to answer are: How can I build a data infrastructure that can support AI? How do I develop or acquire the necessary skills?

5 — Growing use of global business services

Shared Services as a concept has moved far beyond finance transaction processing and now includes value-added services in Finance and beyond.

Automation is reducing the need to chase labor arbitrage across the globe. Finance leaders should think about how shared services can maximize value-added services, and how they will develop the necessary skills to do that.

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