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How should CFOs prepare for their future profession

KPMG Future Ready Finance Global Survey 2019

CFOs face a host of forces that have opened up opportunities for Finance to take a leadership role in the enterprise like never before.

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future ready finance global survey

Factors such as rapid technological advancements, relentless regulatory changes, the rise of agile enterprise models, an explosion of data, and a heightened need for analytics have combined to place an abundance of new demands on the Finance function.

In our latest KPMG Future Ready Finance Global Survey 2019, we identify how Finance must evolve to adapt to new forces and take a posture of enterprise leadership.

The good news is that success is achievable. The real challenge is not forming a strategy, but rather executing this strategy. The survey shows that nearly two-thirds of organizations have struggled to implement their most forward-thinking priorities.

In the following paragraphs we summarized 5 steps for CFOs how to prepare for their future profession:

1. Don't just focus on Excel

Transcend Finance’s role as a control function to become the enterprise focal point of enabling better business decision-making and driving enterprise performance. First determine what questions the business most struggles with, then identify what data, analysis technologies, and skills are needed to answer them. Harmonize data sources and establish a single source of truth that can be relied upon for insight generation.

2. Think like a venture capitalist

Create an agile program funding mechanism separate from the annual budgeting process that balances investments in core areas with riskier ones and relies upon forward-looking investment criteria that go beyond pure ROI.

3. Take a comprehensive, flexible approach to talent

 Given the scarcity of the most important skills sets needed in the next-generation, focus on developing staff with high level “enabling” skills that can adapt to the changing technological landscape, and build, buy and borrow skills as needed.

4. Lead in driving the adoption of advanced analytics and automation technologies

One of the most critical characteristics that distinguishes high performing organizations from others is that Finance places an even higher priority than executive management on using automation and advanced analytics to increase the quality of analysis and insights needed to answer the most pressing business questions.

5. Establish a digitally-enabled service delivery model

Do not optimize Finance processes in isolation. Instead, design operating models that enable end-to-end processes that transcend functional silos and promote self-service within the organization while ensuring a strong focus on the customer.

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