Finance organizations within global corporations face mounting pressures and increasing complexity in meeting external and internal reporting, budgeting and planning requirements. Heightened scrutiny around new financial regulations, more diversified business portfolios and complicated corporate structures, increased competition and market change, and greater economic uncertainty—these and other forces are creating what one executive refers to as a “perfect storm” for finance.
Yet out of this cauldron of rising demands and complexity, progressive finance leaders see a big opportunity to evolve their organizations and improve the value they deliver to management and other stakeholders. Achieving that evolution will require finance teams to rethink financial reporting and planning processes, adopt next-generation performance management platforms, and look outside of traditional skill sets for needed talent.
to close the books faster and with greater transparency then ever before. Regulators and internal management want to react more rapidly to what is happening in the business in order to more effectively manage risk and growth opportunities through the planning, forecasting and budgeting process.
Meeting those demands has become all the more challenging with increased regulatory reporting requirements and structural complexities brought on by record mergers and acquisitions and increasingly globalization.
Nevertheless, while recognizing the challenges they face, progressive finance executives also see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. This is a transformational journey, they suggest, and those who successfully make the trip will be in a far better position to help their businesses succeed in the marketplace. For example, while regulatory demands are rising, some say those requirements in many cases are better aligned with the way businesses themselves need to adapt their financial processes—integrating financial, close, consolidation, and reporting more closely with the strategic planning process.
Massimo Romano, Head of Integrated Reporting for Assicurazioni Generali, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, sees the changes taking place as an “Evolution of the Species” for finance.
“This is a very disruptive period, which means it is a fantastic opportunity to evolve,” he says. “The finance community is dealing with something that is incredibly new and difficult, but it’s an opportunity to grow our role from simple bookkeeping to something much more valuable. Yet all that is possible only if you evolve your mindset and your capacity to manage through a perfect storm.”
Finance transformation within global organizations is well underway in 2016. The challenges may be intensifying, but to progressive CFOs and finance executives, so are the rewards.
These are some of the key findings of a recent report by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, entitled “Progressive CFOs: Inspired by What’s Required.” The report is based on discussions with finance executives from global corporations in Europe and North America. Download your complimentary copy today.