Transforming the role of finance leaders

The Resurgent Finance Leader report from Board, of 600 finance leaders worldwide, explores the transformation of the finance function, and provides evidence of how well global finance leaders are making progress in setting strategic imperatives at this point in time.

Our findings reveal now is the time for finance leaders across banking and financial services to back their own transformational capabilities and take on a more strategic and valuable role. These decision-makers know the finance function (as they know it) could be automated out of existence unless it makes the leap from background support function to strategic hub for vital data. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most finance leaders agree that it's time to accelerate the change from being a scorekeeper to a driver of performance, and that finance should be the natural home for all data.

The research also shows that while sector finance leaders know ?now is the time? for finance to make the transformational leap to become the strategic hub for driving more value from their data, not all leaders are completely convinced their finance function is entirely ready to drive business decisions, profitability, and performance.

Almost half (46 per cent) of respondents surveyed are not totally confident in the capability of the finance department to capture valuable insights which drive business decisions and profitability. This is mirrored by half (50 per cent) of all respondents who don't believe current finance reporting enables them to totally accurately project performance and adapt forecasts in real-time to reflect changing market conditions.

Clearly, banks and financial services institutions need to be confident that the decisions they make are based on complete and accurate data - and this needs to be fully transparent throughout the organisation, to minimise the risk of incorrect information being cascaded before it is submitted externally.

It's concerning then, that our report highlights that most finance leaders (71 per cent) believe how their finance function uses technology to influence business decision-making and drive strategy needs a complete overhaul or much improvement.

Banks need to implement technology that allow them to model multiple macroeconomic scenarios - demonstrating the impact of each and allowing them to plan and strategise accordingly.

Supporting this, banks need the capability to model scenarios based on both products and consumers, meaning no scenario is overlooked and their decision-making is robust. Low-code, no-code, cloud-based technology platforms will be the key to decision-making success for banks in the years ahead. These provide all the benefits of more complex legacy systems, but without the need for extensive coding. 

The vast majority (98 per cent) of respondents believe their organisation's executive leadership is willing to completely rethink traditional finance roles and responsibilities. Further reassurance is taken from the fact that a similar majority (97 per cent) believe their executive leaders are willing to support the finance function to become more strategic and accelerate the digital enterprise by enabling the function to become the hub of the of the most important strategic asset to the business: data.

The research supports the message that it's time to take action. The clock is ticking and in a lot of cases technology can be the enabler. Banks should review the market to understand the technology that is available to both support and influence change.

Join the Board sponsored webinar on 9 November at 11am to hear insights from the latest research, as well as a case study focusing on the importance of putting the proper assessment of financial resources at the heart of the planning process. Register your place.

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