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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Brie

5 Trends CFOs Should be Aware of in 2022

CFOs today play a crucial role in their organization as strategic advisers in addition to supervising the numbers – these leaders must be data-driven and embrace techniques and technologies that allow for greater visibility across the organization and faster data for better decision making.

To meet these new expectations of providing relevant data and insights in a timely way, CFOs must stay on top of relevant trends and prioritize digital transformation projects.

Accelerate FP&A Cloud Adoption

Organizations can embrace a digital-first strategy by moving to the cloud. 90% of businesses are already using the cloud and anticipate increasing their usage, putting businesses that haven't yet adopted this core strategy at a major disadvantage.

Looking ahead, CFOs must expedite cloud adoption and implement holistic solutions. Because cloud-based providers are more experienced in handling large amounts of data, they can provide better access and data security than on-premises providers. FP&A teams will increase the speed, accuracy, and predictability of their insights by implementing cloud-based solutions.

Improve Decision-Making with Real-Time Data

Accessing accurate data quickly allows CFOs to help organizations stay ahead of the competition. Data is often isolated in different point solutions across an organization and without automation, it makes it difficult to collate. Organizations can receive real-time visibility to the data related to the close and reconciliation processes by utilizing a holistic Record to Report platform with dashboard views built-in. Focusing on data accessibility removes roadblocks and allows businesses to be more efficient in understanding data and identifying areas that require additional attention.

According to Gartner, augmented data management will spare up to 20% of finance analysts' time for collaboration, training, and high-value analytics jobs by 2023, reducing their dependency on repetitive and regular data management operations. Accountants are analytical thinkers, and automating their tasks allows them to devote more time to higher-level initiatives and strategic decision-making. Automation frees up the human ability to focus on other important duties, such as identifying exceptions, which is commonly done through automation.

Adoption of Advanced Technologies is Increasing

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption is one trend to keep an eye on, as it may assist firms in making better data-backed decisions and improving agility. Many companies have expedited their AI deployment and will continue to do so throughout the organization. According to a PwC study, half of the organizations surveyed have accelerated their plans to deploy AI as a result of the crisis created by the pandemics, and 86% of those surveyed believe AI will become their primary technology this year.

By expanding automation strategies with technologies such as machine learning and AI, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used for more complex activities, such as budgeting and forecasting. This will allow relevant personnel to concentrate on the most important decision-support components of their job. According to Deloitte, 95% of organizations that have used RPA have reported increased productivity. Furthermore, 93% of firms who have used RPA say it has aided their team in improving compliance, and 77% believe it has provided better management information.

Hire, Retain and Develop Digital Skills in Finance

To support a continuous, technology-driven, real-time business, digital skills are required. Because skill needs are changing so quickly, finance leaders need an "always-on" skills-sensing ability to locate new skills and evaluate skills-development priorities. This allows finance to make quick course corrections and deploy skills closer to when they are needed.

While some organizations merely want candidates who can demonstrate how analysis is crucial to the finance function, CFOs are increasingly searching for candidates who can demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills.

According to a poll of 769 finance leaders conducted by EY, 57% of respondents believe that developing prescriptive and predictive analytics capabilities is critical to their company's long-term success.

Furthermore, their success as a CFO is dependent on employing people with emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills to fully realize the potential of adopted technologies.

Support the Enterprise with Digitization Initiatives

CFOs must work closely with CIOs to create and evolve their finance and accounting teams into ones that benefit the entire organization by being more adaptive to business change. In comparison to a siloed strategy, the organization is more effective when it works cooperatively to identify and implement needed technology.

As CFOs look to the future, supporting digital transformation and the ability to scale swiftly is crucial. Prioritizing data portability without going over budget is critical; the transition should be driven by the finance function's data no longer being compartmentalized.

CFOs may secure an organization's long-term success by embracing technology that provides the greatest ways for platforms to speak and share data with one another. CFOs are seen as not only financial leaders but also data stewards for their companies. These executives will have crucial insights into their organization when data is used effectively, allowing them to make the most competitive and smart business decisions possible.

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