Disconnected finance and operations teams can expose businesses to new risks, KPMG research reveals

Latest KPMG global survey highlights the need for alignment between finance and operations teams

KPMG global survey highlights need for alignment between finance and operations teams

Growth and competitive advantage are being damaged by a lack of alignment between finance and operations teams, a KPMG International survey of 1,300 business leaders has revealed.

The research for KPMG’s Value of Connection report uncovers that just over a third of the senior executives questioned are “very satisfied” with the alignment between finance and operations.

Key findings of the survey:

  • Just 38 percent of senior executives within the two functions are “very satisfied” with the alignment of objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) across the two teams.
  • Less than half of the finance and operations leaders surveyed said key business processes are fully connected across their functions, and only 41 percent are very satisfied with the ability of the IT systems of separate functions to interact.
  • Less than half of finance and operations leaders are “very satisfied” with their use of data for key business processes, with just 42 percent being “very satisfied” with their ability to make informed decisions based on data.
  • 85 percent of finance and operations leaders want to play a greater role in driving enterprise-wide transformation in the next three years.
  • 98 percent of finance and operations leaders are seeking to obtain new skillsets for their function; however, seven in 10 only think about the needs of their own function when obtaining new skills.
  • The vast majority of leaders (97 percent) plan to invest in at least one new technology during the next 18 months; however, 74 percent do not coordinate with other business functions when acquiring and implementing new technology.

This disconnect highlights an important challenge for business leaders as unconnected processes, siloed systems, differing priorities and disagreements over responsibilities cause divisions between the two functions, which can impact overall company performance and informed decision-making. 

The wide-ranging report also finds that collaboration is vital to overcome these challenges, with successful companies helping to bridge the gap through data sharing, integrated technology, internal efficiencies, and the creation of seamless customer experiences.

Meanwhile, those that fail to align the two functions may risk sub-optimal decision-making, inefficient resource allocation, missed opportunities and weakened customer experiences.

Findings from the survey also indicate that six in 10 of the leaders are unclear on their specific roles and responsibilities today in relation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and initiatives, despite 85 percent saying that ESG will be an area of focus for their businesses.

Furthermore, the report finds that the majority of finance and operations leaders currently lack confidence in their ability to leverage new technology, draw insights from data, and obtain the skillsets they will need for the future. As a result, improving and reinventing their functions’ operating model is considered a top priority.

Embracing new ways of working and adopting a coordinated approach to upgrading skillsets, data and technology, in addition to integrating business planning, could prove mutually beneficial in identifying overlaps in future requirements and helping to define and improve their operating models.

The full report can be downloaded at: home.kpmg/valueofconnection

For media queries, please contact:

Brian O’Neill, Senior Manager, Global External Communications
E: brian.oneill@kpmg.co.uk   

Methodology

The findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,300 finance and operations leaders located around the world. The survey was conducted in January 2022 and includes a healthy cross section of participants by sector, geography and company size.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively.

KPMG firms operate in 144 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities.

KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients. 

For more detail about our structure, please visit home.kpmg/governance.

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