Faced with nonstop innovation and constant pressure to drive sustained growth and profits, CFOs are radically reshaping their roles, and fast.

So what does that look like?

Today’s CFOs are responsible for creating an engaging workforce environment, where employees not only understand the business but thrive in a culture that’s digital and data-driven.

Without the right data, intelligent finance technology and talent, CFOs face an uphill battle when tasked with digitally transforming their finance operations. This couldn’t be truer than when harnessing data to simplify tasks like accounting and control and compliance.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key aspects of intelligent finance you need to know.

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CFOs who harness data, talent and intelligent finance are reshaping their roles and driving sustainable growth.

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Taming the data

Data is tricky, and often a huge challenge for CFOs to master. Why? Most company data is inconsistent and stored in various places, making it hard to manage. CFOs struggle to solve data problems across all functions, typically without their data in good working order.

And this problem isn’t going away. In fact, we found that 53 percent of CFOs worry that the finance function is reactive or that data and information-sharing processes are not streamlined. And, two years from now, 46 percent expect to still feel this way.

But they don’t need to.

Thanks to machine learning-enhanced automation, CFOs won’t need to manually slog through pulling insights from mismatched sets of data. Instead of reconciling the data as you go, this technology lets you correct your master data files quickly and systematically. You’ll be able to run and analyze reports in real-time.

To use data to drive value, boost productivity and improve strategy, you’ll approach business in ways you never have before. And this requires investing in the latest intelligent finance technologies. On top of machine learning, we’re talking predictive analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).​ And they can be applied across departments and regions and used to integrate acquisitions.

Intelligent finance in action

Rolling out the latest technologies to automate routine finance and accounting tasks isn’t as complicated as you might think. Not if you have the right support and resources.

Here’s an example to show you what this looks like in action:

  • Travel and expense reporting: With a well-documented policy and reporting process in place, you have the data to start analyzing the travel and expense costs. AI empowers you to efficiently audit all the reports at once and even pull in information to cross-check against that data. From there, you can look outside of your own data by pulling in external data.
  • Armed with the power AI, you’ll instantly know how much it should cost for an employee to stay in New York City on business. You can even pinpoint how much it should cost to travel from place to place using Uber.

The right process and people

So how do we help our clients reap the benefits of data analytics and AI?

We take them through a four-step transformation process, where we:

  1. Build a foundation for change.
  2. Automate finance and accounting processes.
  3. Introduce data analytics tools.
  4. Activate AI capabilities.

It’s also important to staff up on a fresh, new generation of finance and accounting talent. These are motivated, highly skilled leaders on the rise. And they’re eager to get their hands on the latest in intelligent finance tech. Think data scientists who can decode big data and analytics to bring forward new insights that free up trapped value.

With the best in intelligent finance tech and talent within reach, CFOs are better positioned now more than ever to be disruptive changemakers.

The question is no longer how but when? When will you start championing digital transformation—and truly drive enterprise value and sustainable growth?

​Jim Enzor

MANAGING DIRECTOR – F&A TRANSFORMATION

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