REDWOOD SHORES, USA: To be able to define and benchmark the key aspects of modern, technology-enabled finance, Oracle and Accenture from their barrio have co-sponsored a global study with Longitude Research. The study from its part has been done among 1,275 CFOs, senior finance executives and line business executives from organizations around the world of varying sizes and industries — 300 of whom were senior non-finance executives — and institute that-
The modern CFO is what may be called as a technology evangelist who recognizes the value of digital and cloud technologies for the finance function and the business as a whole, but a gap remains sandwiched between CFO ambitions and reality;
Finance departments recognize that cloud capabilities will be useful for budgeting, planning and forecasting as they fulfill modern finance’s mandate to be a strategic partner and help drive business growth; and
To act as a strategic partner to the business, forward-thinking finance teams are using sophisticated analytical tools, modern applications and the latest social, mobile, cloud and collaboration tools to stay closely linked to the vision, strategies and activities of their peers across the enterprise.
Despite the fact that – the study found that many CFOs are making major strides en route for creating a more productive and efficient technology-enabled finance function, it is clear that much work lies ahead. For instance, too many enterprises still rely on outdated data for key decision-making, not least due to the challenges of consolidating numerous disparate systems.
This report shows that CFOs over the past year have made progress since an earlier Oracle and Accenture study, The CFO as Catalyst for Change, which found CFOs across the world wanted more strategic engagement but instead were focused on battling costs, followed by economic volatility, and organizational complexity.
CFOs are seen as technology evangelists, but a gap remains sandwiched between ambition and reality:
Over two-thirds of respondents agree the CFO is a strong evangelist for the transformational potential of technology and nearly three-quarters of finance executives believe novel technologies reading in the league of cloud, mobile technology and social media will change how finance is structured and run.
Nevertheless, only 20 percent of C-suite executive respondents accept as true that their finance organizations have adopted cutting-edge technologies, in contrast to sales organizations, in which 43 percent of C-suite executives view as already having done so.
Approximately half of respondents saw an upsurge in the number of finance analysts hired over the past two years, reflecting the growing need for finance talent with a deeper and broader range of business and analytical skills.
As a case in point, 23 percent of non-finance respondents feel that the ability of finance to provide an up-to-date view of performance against budget “falls below expectations,” and nearly twice as many finance respondents (42 percent) think they could do far better.
CFOs are taking up the cloud to modernize finance:
Survey respondents clearly see the potential for the cloud to be able to deliver fresh insights through advanced analytics and business intelligence. More than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) are already using the cloud to support budgeting, planning and forecasting, and another 34 percent plan to move them into the cloud within the next year.
In addition, more than two-thirds of executives surveyed have either already adopted a cloud-based system in some part of their organization for core financials (standing at 24 percent), or are planning a road map for doing so (standing at 45 percent).
CFOs endure to focus on automating processes, consolidating system and real-time reporting to be able to drive operational excellence, but more progress is required:
Even though 30 percent of finance and line of business executives responding agree their processes are still paper-based, there is a clear trend toward automating and digitizing processes, with nearly 50 percent now using mobile apps and 53 percent leveraging web-based systems.
Senior management backs the technology vision:
Merely 5 percent of the respondents cite lack of senior management support as a barrier to adopting new-fangled technologies in the finance function. Ability, rather than willingness, seems to be a greater factor, with 38 percent of respondents citing lack of internal skills as a key barrier.