By Nilly Essaides
Finance has already changed a lot from its days as an accounting/back-office function into an analytics-driven adviser to business leaders. It has become more efficient. It has rethought the placement of services through the creation of global business services centers (GBS) and dispatching of business partners to work with the operations. But its operating model is far from settled. (At least) three forces will reshape the finance operating model of the future:
- Digital transformation: New technology solutions like cloud, big data and predictive analytics and robotics process automation (RPA) will enable finance to change the way it delivers services to its internal customers.
- Workforce: The rise of the millennial generation, and its successor generations, will alter what’s considered mainstream ways of doing work. Finance executives will be collaborative, mobile, virtual, rely on social media to interact and crowdsourcing to find answers.
- Market forces: Finally, external changes will alter the way finance organises itself, for example the pace of disruptive innovation, the rise of global risks – political, regulatory and environmental.
How will these forces (and others) reshape the finance operating model? Ask yourself these five questions:
- How will the finance function’s operating model change between now and 2025; will the change be an evolutionary or a revolutionary, i.e., the end of finance as we know it?
- Specifically, what role with digital transformation will have on how finance is organised? And are they other forces in addition to the listed three that will affect the evolution of the function?
- Will large, multi-functional GBS give way to smaller, functional specialized centres of expertise, e.g., for tax, treasury and analytics? (Will analytics be housed within finance or be a companywide function?)
- Will BU finance staff be entirely eliminated or perhaps be drastically reduced to a thin layer of one or two business partners?
- How will changes in the workforce affect the finance operating model and how will the operating model affect finance talent requirements?
What do you envision as the finance operating model in seven to 10 years? share your projections and I will write a blog capturing your comments and draw alternative models. Crowdsourcing the future of finance is a befitting way of looking into the future.
Source: Generation CFO LI Group