The state every industry, not to mention every community, has been in for the last few years has called for resilience by the truckload. It’s been important for everyone, and for those in the accounting and finance industry during the pandemic, it became a necessity.
You may have some questions, such as: what does resilience mean for finance? And what is causing it to become a necessity?
I’m going to go over all of this right now, and hopefully you’ll leave with a new understanding of why resilience is key for the finance and accounting industry, and what it may be needed for in future.
Agility and resilience
How do we define resilience with finance transformation in mind? Well, here’s one way to do so:
“Our ability to make sustainable change in the face of uncertainty”
Uncertainty is something that most of us have adapted to do.
I believe that ways of working which have become increasingly popular post-pandemic, such as agile working, are making that adaptation a lot easier.
As one United Kingdom roundtable participant questioned for our research report, Transformational Journeys: Finance And The Agile Organisation, commented:
“Agility is about being agile, it‘s being human, and leaving the organisation more resilient and better placed to contribute to the strategic aims.”
As you can see, members of our community are already linking agility with resilience. The need for agility will only increase as technology grows and the need to adapt is heightened.
Acceleration isn’t going to stop
Pace of technological change will not slow, nor will organisational change. It’s not just the pandemic that has affected the need for resilience in the finance industry, but the rapidly changing technological landscape, too. Recent years have seen a significant acceleration in the evolution of technology and the explosion in the volume of data that we create and collate.
This rate of acceleration shows no sign of slowing.
As organisations seek to remain relevant and responsive to their customers, their adoption of technology and use of data will expand.
As finance and accountancy professionals, it is important to be familiar with these developments, as well as being willing to experiment – this is a process where resilience is a necessity: fail fast and learn.
Research tells us that finance is changing
We can already see evidence of resilience from the industry, in the form of commitment to change.
Tagetik recently asked a sample group this question:
“Thinking about the agility of the finance function within your organisation, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
‘We have a defined and budgeted digital finance transformation roadmap.’”
Of those they asked, 93%, and 98% of those who were CFOs, agreed with the statement. This tells us that many of the finance and accounting community is prioritising change and setting out strategies accordingly, so they will not be left behind.
So, what’s next for finance?
Resilience has been exercised by so many of us in the face of both the pandemic and technological change. But what will finance need resilience for going forward?
During the pandemic, it was clear that finance needed better processes, technology, skills and talent to make a sustainable change. As we return to normal levels of investment in change and transformation, are we prioritising finance transformation? And, if so, are we addressing all elements of “continuous transformation”?
Or do we run the risk of making small changes, and keep the culture and capability the same, setting us up for another storm in this fast changing complex world?
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