Make finance functional

Today’s uncertainty has dialled up the pressure on chief financial officers (CFOs) and their teams across finance planning and analysis (FP&A) as the function helps the business prepare for what’s next. To understand this dynamic, we surveyed 550 CFOs and finance leaders from companies with over $1 billion in revenue. We discovered that in most cases, the FP&A function lacks the agility to provide the business with the insights they need to manage growing uncertainty. So much so that some leaders question the proportionate value that FP&A delivers.

At a time when 62% of CFOs are seeing more demand for insight from financial data, 53% worry that finance is too reactive. This gap between the demand for insights and finance’s ability to deliver them suggests that planning teams are struggling to give the business what it needs quickly.

Our own data and experience working with finance organisations across industries reveals that FP&A teams that flip the 85% and the 15% – spending most of their time generating insights rather than preparing data – can become more agile and realise significant business benefits. To bring more agility to finance planning and, ultimately, more value, it is necessary to reinvent business processes by addressing data, technology, talent and processes. Specific actions and the extent of the changes needed depend on where an FP&A team begins. The goal: make the FP&A team more agile, efficient, proactive and resilient.

From ‘How to Create an Agile Finance Function’, Accenture

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