In brief

In brief

  • Insights and imperatives for CFOs to harness digital to unlock potential multimillion-dollar in value.
  • Global Research. Accenture engaged a third-party research agency in 2017 to conduct a global study of chief financial officers (CFOs) in 80 oil and gas companies in 16 countries.
  • Five key insights emerged about the potential millions in value to be gained through new services, redefining the finance workforce, adjusting areas of investment and surmounting barriers to successful implementation.

The traditional ways of working in the finance function are being altered at fundamental levels. As an example, CFOs are refocusing people from routine data collection to deliver value-added analysis, which paves the way for realizing top- and bottom-line gains.

Our study finds that those companies that are harnessing digital finance to surpass peers in value creation have leading capabilities, such as:

  • Provision of new services made possible by digital technologies.
  • Closer collaboration with the business.
  • Pursuit of gains on multiple IT tracks—investing in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, along with developing core systems (e.g., enterprise resource planning, or ERP).

Leaders are redefining the role of finance as a strategic advisor, providing forensic-level insights and predictive foresight to inform better business decisions. In addition, digital finance is leading to efficiency improvements that support profitable business growth.

We have been able to improve our bottom line in upstream by more than 30% in the last two years in the US region [...] At a global level, we were also able to decrease debt by 20% in the last two years.

- US Integrated Oil & Gas Company

Digital Finance Enables the Leap

Accenture's video explores five key insights that emerged about the potential billions in value to be gained through redefining the finance workforce. See more.

View Transcript

Explore 5 key insights

Five insights emerged from our analysis of the survey data and through extensive conversations with CFOs in oil and gas companies across six continents:

  • Multimillion-dollar value. Maturity in digital finance is unlocking multimillion-dollar value in oil and gas.
  • New services and analytics. Advanced tools are helping oil and gas companies tackle major challenges.
  • Finance workforce. Digital investments and organizational changes are redefining the finance workforce.
  • Current and future investments. Investments in analytics, ERP, automation and AI are creating leaders in digital finance.
  • Barriers and risks. Many finance executives are unsure how to overcome challenges such as implementation costs, skill shortages and legacy technology infrastructure.

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Three imperatives for CFOs

Finance executives in oil and gas today need to:

  1. Define a bold vision of digital finance.
  2. Commit to moving fast—or, preferably, very fast.
  3. Collaborate with an expanding ecosystem of service providers for much-improved business performance.

Get the essentials

Digital is empowering finance teams to choose from a range of levers to unlock greater value. Many exploration and production companies are achieving cost take-out while retail and oilfield services companies are capturing top-line growth. A small set of our survey respondents manage to capture both.

The rise of new services centered around analytics suggests future finance functions will leverage digital increasingly to target improved insight for decision-making.




About the research

Accenture’s global research of oil and gas chief financial officers conducted by a third-party agency.


In-depth, 60-minute interviews, in person or by telephone, were conducted from July to September 2017 with executives of 80 different oil and gas companies.


Countries and six continents are represented by the 80 distinct companies in our survey.

Peggy Krendl

Senior Management Consulting Executive – North America

Scott H. Pharr

Managing Director – Europe, Africa and Latin America

Jonathan Smith

Managing Director – Asia Pacific

Thomas J. Culbert



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