Skip to main content Skip to Footer


Finance 2020: Death by digital

Digital is killing your finance organization—and it’s the best thing that ever happened to it.


"Accenture analysis shows that by 2020, cross-functional integrated teams will deliver 80 percent of traditional finance services."

Finance 2020—tomorrow’s digital finance organization—is a radical departure from the status quo. No longer an expense control, spreadsheet-driven accounting and reporting center, it is a predictive analytics powerhouse that creates business value. As this model takes hold, the chief financial officer’s (CFO) role will change from cost authority to business value architect. Finance 2020 will be the go-to source for decision support, delivering analytic insight to drive strategy across economic, market, competitor and customer perspectives. Yet this future is impossible without big changes to the finance operating model, technology and people.

Key Findings

Organizations should expect three significant changes to guide their Finance 2020 evolution:

  1. New operating model

    Digital is breaking down and reconstituting traditional finance components. This digital breakdown elevates finance to the insight engine for the business, comprised of three essential elements: analytics competency centers, integrated business services, and communications and control center.

  2. New technology

    Cloud-based platforms will be used for reporting, planning, forecasting and analytics. Next-generation digital capabilities and a cloud-based layer cut through complexity, augmenting ERP systems to free finance from inefficiency. With rich, multi-dimensional data in one place, teams apply advanced analytic toolsets to deliver sophisticated reporting and business insights.

  3. New hires

    The most essential new talent will not be “finance” talent at all. Leading companies will hire statisticians, data scientists, behavioral scientists, economists and even anthropologists. This brings new value to the finance profession as a whole, opening up exciting possibilities for what tomorrow’s finance career can be.


As CFOs plan their digital futures, there are five key actions that they must take:

  1. Define a value proposition.

  2. Develop a future vision.

  3. Determine the core capabilities.

  4. Create integrated service offerings.

  5. Get the right people in the right place.

Finance 2020 will protect the integrity of the enterprise and reduce costs while becoming the value creation center of the digital business.


David Axson
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CFO & Enterprise Value

David Axson has more than 30 years’ experience working with large global companies on strategy, finance and technology in more than 40 countries. An accomplished author, he specializes in advising clients on doing business in an increasingly complex and volatile global marketplace.

Mail to David Axson. This opens a new window.

Connect with David Axson's Profile on LinkedIn. This opens a new window.