Amsterdam, March 3, 2022 – BearingPoint expands Part 1 of its CFO 4.0 Study 2021 with a second part covering data-driven finance and technology. Part 2 provides insights on the types of data and technologies used, the benefits companies report from these and specific areas of application in controlling, accounting, and treasury.
In an analysis of the survey results, BearingPoint found that only 28% of participants considered themselves data-driven, meaning they have implemented data-driven tools for several or most of their business use cases. Advanced analytics is the technology with the highest adoption frequency; 96% of respondents rated advanced analytics as either already implemented or relevant to their business. More modern and sophisticated technologies like blockchain, event streaming, and data lakes have yet to unfold their potential in CFO functions.
Compared to the results of the 2020 study, integration capabilities remain a top criterion for organizations when selecting a technology. At the same time, security and cloud-based solutions significantly increased in priority over the last year.
There is a clear gap between widely adopted technologies such as Robotic Process Automation and modern emerging ones such as event streaming, artificial intelligence including machine learning, or blockchain. To adapt those modern technologies, organizations require more complex know-how and they also need to implement more sophisticated tools.
Antti Hämäläinen, Global Head of Finance & Risk at BearingPoint
The second part of the study covers technology developments, such as continuous and predictive accounting, which aims to deliver real-time insights and automation in accounting departments, shifting accountants’ responsibilities to more value-adding tasks and changing the organizational setup. Two use case scenarios from BearingPoint’s work with clients show implementation examples of the technologies.
In controlling, extended planning & analysis (xP&A) is a method that enables enterprises to find the relationships between the many entities engaging in transactions with one another, thus allowing them to detect for example trends and seasonality in the demand of items with the help of historical data to simplify cost allocation for the corporation.
The recent advancement in data technologies also benefits treasury in fraud prevention, risk management, and cash management, allowing treasury employees to focus more on strategic, value-adding tasks while mitigating risks and enhancing efficiency in a time-sensitive environment.
It is not enough to evolve traditional treasury processes. Companies must also use new technologies such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics. These have been developed to scale and speed not possible in the past, and we believe that treasurers will inevitably adopt them. And sooner rather than later.
BREXIT and the COVID-19 pandemic fueled the need for organizations to adapt to evolving circumstances while maintaining high decision quality. Although experience is a valuable factor in deciding the next best move in such situations, data-driven companies reported more success in this field after introducing advanced technologies to the meeting table.
The globalized, complex, and uncertain market is a driving factor for companies to acquire more financial analytical horsepower to support faster and higher quality decision-making.
Johannes Vogel, Director Finance & Risk at BearingPoint
BearingPoint’s CFO 4.0 Study assessed the digital transformation of the CFO function at organizations in seven European countries, including Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, and Switzerland, as well as in Morocco and Southeast Asia. A total of 256 organizations were assessed through a survey directed at the CFO function to provide insights on the current state of digitalization. The digital foundation consists of strategy, organization, people, technology, and data perspectives, all elements being equally essential in the digital transformation of the finance function. Since BearingPoint conducted the second consecutive study on this topic, a two-year time series analysis could be modeled on overlapping questions from pre-COVID from the previous CFO Study 2019/20 to the latest one.
BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three business units: The first unit covers the advisory business with a clear focus on selected business areas. The second unit provides IP-driven digital assets and managed services beyond SaaS. The third unit is designed to explore innovative business models with clients and partners by driving the financing and development of start-ups and leveraging ecosystems.
BearingPoint’s clients include many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 70 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.
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