Most Important for Finance Departments: “Improve the technical conditions”

Global trends are not always visible in the finance department. But some trends have a precise impact. The budgets of finance departments are changing – not least when it comes to digitalisation. So, which trends do CFOs and controllers need to monitor? And which steps towards change should you take today?

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In the future, finance departments should be able to reduce the time spent on compliance, reporting, and transactional activities. Instead, that time can be invested in advice and analysis.

Finance departments have long had a focus on increasing efficiency – often involving digitalisation and new tools, and frequently with good results. In many cases, the time saved and the resources made available increase the department's ability to contribute insights to the business. All of which means a changing role for the finance department.

A study by PWC reveals that five of the top six ways to improve the efficiency of finance departments relate to people and how they work. The study also highlights the importance of enabling employees to develop and acquire new skills so that they can develop personally while improving the approach to work.

Younger employees, in particular, need to be able to see ways forward within the company and to have opportunities to broaden their networks beyond their own departments, which can lead to new ideas, ways of working, and synergies.

PWC emphasises that it improving the technical conditions for getting the job done is critical. 61 percent of respondents stated that this was the most significant improvement factor. 55 percent saw communication as most important, while 46 percent cited collaboration as paramount – both of which are also facilitated by technology.

The study also found that 75 percent of business analysts’ time in finance departments is spent on developing insights that can be shared with the business. It is becoming increasingly important for finance departments to be involved in this area and provide decision support – with the help of a system that enables more efficient processes and better communication around finance issues.

The right information for the right decision

Navigating trends and prioritising change can be a challenge. According to Gartner, 85 percent of finance departments are undergoing or planning a change process. However, only 30 percent of these processes actually bring about the intended results.

Gartner lists three essential factors for finance departments to achieve their desired outcomes: The right data, the right tools and the right skills. Components of a successful approach, according to Gartner, include “decision-ready” data that can be acted on directly; data visualisation tools; and digital skills in the team.

Gartner also says that 54 percent of finance departments struggle to provide the right data and reports to enable informed decisions. This can lead to decision-makers ignoring reports, selecting data that “fits”, or making decisions that are not based on data.

Gartner emphasises that when CFOs embrace the value and potential role of data, many opportunities are created to proactively manage trends, adding that: “…trends should be considered and re-evaluated in the finance department's strategic planning, based on the extent to which they enable various and urgent business priorities.”

PWC lists information silos, unstructured data, and increasing data volumes as factors hindering the transformation within finance departments. The company also emphasises that reporting and analysis, automation, integrated information, and improved decision-making are crucial for the future of the finance department.

In this context, a connected, user-friendly Decision Support System, offered as an industry-specific package, can be of great value.

What does the right tool mean?

Hypergene enables you to digitalise your planning, follow-up, and analysis steps. This presents completely new business management opportunities, which can result in significant efficiency gains for the finance department and the business as a whole.

Hypergene's software provides Decision Support through the collection and presentation of business data to management teams, managers, and those who need to stay on top of Operational Management. Hypergene helps you make decisions, steer towards goals, and achieve higher levels of performance and efficiency.

10-minute video demo of Hypergenes solution: