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Digitalization, regulation and sustainability are forces that drive fundamental change in society, in economies, in our companies and, in particular, in the finance function. Currently, it is possible to anticipate some of these changes, but with others an educated guess is all we can achieve.

After several years of restructuring and optimization initiatives, the process and system landscape within the finance function has come a long way. However, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) continues to be under significant cost pressure while, at the same time, responsibilities expand from the traditional role deep into the core business processes. Achieving the ideal balance between insight, cost and control is becoming more challenging and CFOs need to find new ways of achieving this goal. In this CFO survey, the impact of three megatrends (digitalization, regulation and sustainability) on the finance function was investigated.

Broadly speaking the study shows that

  • Digitalization offers new opportunities to make the finance function more efficient and effective, thus helping CFOs to master some of the challenges they are facing.
  • Regulation is becoming more dynamic, increasingly complex and far reaching; it therefore affects a wide range of areas within a business.
  • Sustainability is generally moving from the realms of good intentions into daily management practice. However, speed, intensity and ownership of this trend vary Substantially.

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