Digital technologies are transforming finance into an analytics powerhouse that derives insight from data. As such, finance is positioned to become the hub of enterprise analytics by the end of the decade.
But the Finance 2020 organization must earn this role or be relegated to an automated accounting function. Success hinges on a finance workforce of the future with very different skills. Are your people ready to trade spreadsheets for scenarios and reports for recommendations? For finance to expand the business value it delivers and stay relevant—they better be.
Man and machine. Automation, minibots, machine learning and adaptive intelligence are quickly becoming part of the finance team. In the Finance 2020 organization, humans and machines will join forces to multiply finance’s clout with the business. Humans will pivot to the judgment work that machines cannot do.
Business experimentation. As the Finance 2020 organization provides deeper business insights, its relationship with risk will change dramatically. While finance must always maintain rigor and discipline around costs, cash and compliance, some roles will shift from policing risk to embracing it.
Radical mindset shift. The Finance 2020 organization will embrace unconventional skills. It will need different points of view and interpersonal skills to solve problems and “sell” concepts to the business. That’s why tomorrow’s key finance hires will include social scientists, behavioral scientists and anthropologists.
78% of executives say problem solving is more valuable to the enterprise than leadership, communication and technology skills.
Grow the impact—not the workforce
The new finance talent strategy must reinvent its organizational construct and roles to strike the optimal balance between activities done by humans and machines.
Seek diverse talent—in unexpected places
Non-traditional hiring practices are needed to bring in talent with diverse thinking and capabilities. This means looking beyond business schools and the Big Four.
Reinvent the culture—by welcoming rebels
In addition to leadership that sets the tone, finance organizations must encourage outside-the-box thinking that rejects orthodoxy.
David A.J. Axson
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy
CFO & Enterprise Value