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Corporations are fast becoming data- and analytics-fueled digital kingdoms. The finance organization is best positioned as the source of analytic insight because it can connect market and operational data to financial outcomes. Yet, too many CFOs remain stuck in the role of Chief Bean Counter as compliance, control and accounting activities rule the day.

Meanwhile, the enterprise continues to wrestle with a morass of data, analytics immaturity and legacy technology.

CFOs must get out from behind the desk, own the enterprise data and analytics agenda, and cut through confusion to drive profitable growth.

More than 75 percent of CFOs believe they are not very well positioned to meet the needs of tomorrow's digital business requiring a significant change in how they work.


A process-based mindset will not win CFOs the digital throne. While most CFOs acknowledge the need for digital transformation, less than half have developed a strong digital plan.1 CFOs could automate 50 to 60 percent of the finance function, shifting data and analytics from being an ancillary activity to a consistent routine.2 Advanced leaders are creating faster end-to-end transaction processing, real-time risk management via analytics and more.

CFOs must lead the journey to digital ROI. Many organizations are making significant digital investments without presenting a solid business case to Finance. Forward-looking CFOs enable their team to leverage data and analytics so Finance becomes the definitive voice, citing which digital investments deliver value.

CFOs need to act like activist investors. Using digital, Finance can put enterprise data to work to deliver right-time, financially-valued forecasts of market disruptions, major changes in consumer or competitor behavior, or ROI tracking for new investments.

1 Accenture Strategy Digital Finance Survey, March 2016.

2 Accenture Strategy estimates based on insights from client

CFOs, you have just been crowned.


This window of opportunity will not last long. CFOs must forego Finance’s usual cautious and incremental approach, acting now.

"Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces."



Athena P. Reilly

Athena P. Reilly

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CFO & Enterprise Value



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