Deloitte / Genpact Alliance
May 04, 2021

Forging ahead with finance transformation

Finance transformation is still high on the CFO agenda. Businesses have been talking about it for years and accelerated it to embrace our fast-changing world. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must keep up the pace of change to respond to disruption, build resilience, and accelerate growth.

For finance teams, it means using digital technologies, enabling the shift from the pure mechanics of finance into business strategists and catalysts for change. Finance can then spend more time with the business, providing fast, accurate insights and improving decision-making.

In this second blog from the Deloitte/Genpact alliance, we share the thoughts of seven finance leaders at our recent CFO roundtable on finance transformation. And we discuss the challenges and how to overcome them:

1) Knowing what to consolidate, standardize, and automate

There are three types of finance to consider:

  1. Operational finance – transaction processing and core accounting
  2. Business finance – FP&A and analytics involving more knowledge-based work
  3. Specialized finance – such as tax, treasury, working capital

Think of finance as a target. Operational finance is the bullseye for consolidation, standardization, and automation. Moving outward, business and specialized finance need unique knowledge and expertise and offer fewer opportunities for managed services and automation. However, the more core accounting you move away from your finance team, the more time they can spend adding value, building connections, sharing valuable insights, and supporting strategic decisions.

2) Resistance to cultural change

Though the new generation of talent demands digital enablement at work and steers clear of transactional roles, other employees can be set in their ways and resist cultural shifts toward data, innovation, and continuous improvement mindsets.

Finance transformation must enhance the employee experience. And CFOs must share the vision for finance to move away from the mundane must-dos to learn new skills, grow with the business, and add more value.

3) Transformation fatigue

Businesses make great initial transformation strides with process mining, automation, data lakes, AI, and machine learning. But before you know it, you've hit fatigue.

Transformation can progress slowly in-house. Digital enablement is gradual. You painstakingly consolidate systems, standardize processes, and help people adapt to change. But when the performance needle doesn't move straight away, momentum and motivation start to dip.

Consider widening your business ecosystem, working with partners to enhance capabilities without the heavy lifting, and adopting cloud-based solutions such as finance-as-a-service to quickly get to where you want to go.

4) Recondition the ROI mindset

Investment in alternative operating models and digital transformation requires time, effort, and money. And finance teams are conditioned to only see the business case that demonstrates clear returns to justify the spend.

But there are alternative ways to prove the importance of transformation. Freeing up people to take on new knowledge-based work adds value. The benefits may not show directly as cost savings; they're qualitative and a completely foreign concept. The business case hinges on high-quality user experiences and leveraging information as a key asset to drive tangible business growth.

About the authors

Matt Schwenderman

Matt Schwenderman

Finance Transformation Principal, Deloitte

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Scott Van Valkenburgh

Scott Van Valkenburgh

Global Alliances Leader, Genpact

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