The regularly published “CFO 4.0 Study” takes the pulse of digital transformation in the CFO function in European organizations - and for the first time also in Asian organizations. We show the status quo, the challenges and the opportunities for organizations in different countries, industries and sizes to leverage this megatrend.

Following Part 1 of the CFO 4.0 Study 2021, we published the second part of the study covering the topics of 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.

Part 2 of BearingPoint’s CFO 4.0 Study 2021 shows that data-driven organizations reported significant improvements in decision-making capabilities and adaptability to internal and external changes. A comparison of the five factors strategy, organization, people, technology and data shows that there is further room for improvement, particularly in the latter two. Every second organization states that better use of highly qualified data is one of the most important benefits of digitization.

Data-driven companies are leveraging more advanced technologies and harvesting the fruits of faster and improved decision-making

Analyzing the survey results, we found that only 28% of participants considered their companies to be data-driven, meaning they have implemented data-driven tools for several or most of their business use cases. The most implemented technologies were used for advanced analytics, where 96% of respondents rated advanced analytics as either already applied or relevant to their business. More modern and sophisticated technologies such as event streaming, artificial intelligence inclusive machine learning, and data lakes have yet to unfold their potential in CFO functions.

The influence of digitalization in accounting, controlling and treasury

The second part of the study covers technological developments, highlighting predictive and continuous accounting in accounting departments, extended planning & analysis (xP&A) in controlling areas and improved risk management and fraud detection in treasury.

Antti Hämäläinen – Global Head of Finance at BearingPoint

There is a clear gap between widely adopted technologies such as Robotic Process Automation and modern emerging ones such as event streaming, artificial intelligence inclusive machine learning, or blockchain. To adapt those modern technologies, organizations require more complex know-how and need also to implement more sophisticated tools. 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.

Antti Hämäläinen – Global Head of Finance at BearingPoint

Investments in new technologies remain high – security and cloud-based solutions gain importance

In recent years, the COVID 19 pandemic and BREXIT brought drastic changes. They reinforced the need for organizations to adapt quickly to changing circumstances while maintaining a high degree of flexibility in decision-making. While experience is a valuable factor in deciding what the next best step is in such situations, data-driven companies report being more successful in this area after adopting advanced technologies. Integration capability remains the essential criterion for enterprises when selecting such technologies. Still, security and cloud-based solutions were more than twice as likely to be chosen than they were in 2020.

Johannes Vogel

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

Interested? Part 2 of our “CFO 4.0 Study 2021 - Data-driven finance and technology“ is available in the download area.

CFO 4.0 study in brief

The results of our CFO 4.0 Study 2021 are based on survey data gathered through an online questionnaire from companies across Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Southeast Asia. CFOs and other key members of the CFO function were invited to participate in the survey. Overall, we received 256 completed questionnaires. Data collection was conducted from mid-April 2021 until the end of June 2021.

  • CFO 4.0 Study 2021 - Part 2: Data-driven finance and technologies
    CFO 4.0 Study 2021 - Part 2: Data-driven finance and technologies 2.08 MB Download

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