I’ll get straight to the point — finance transformation is hard.
An estimated 70% of digital transformations fail, for reasons ranging from insufficient resources, lack of buy-in and inadequate capability due to scarce training across the organization.
Although finance transformation can be daunting, digital adoption allows finance teams to become future-ready and look forward rather than simply report on the past.
Finance teams are uniquely placed and therefore in the best position to provide visibility and strategic guidance — and can be the conduit for driving enterprise-wide digital transformation. But that means accounting and finance professionals need to transform before the technology, equip their team with the right capabilities — and morph from a traditional “scorekeeper” role into leaders and advisers for the entire organization.
Unfortunately, many organizations do not provide the training necessary to prepare their finance teams for digital transformation. A recent report from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants® and Oracle revealed that only 6% of finance leaders have a robust finance training program in place.
If you’re looking for ways to prepare your team for successful digital transformation, start by adopting an agile finance model to drive the transformation.
Agile finance involves embracing the technologies and skills that enable digital finance adoption. An agile finance organization is flexible, resilient and efficient. Agile finance teams work quickly and decisively by flowing real-time data to decision-makers.
The three elements of an agile finance transformation model, as defined by AICPA® & CIMA®, are:
Operational excellence — Reengineering legacy processes, adopting best practices as identified by modern technologies that enable standardization and automation to provide enterprise data sets.
Digital intelligence — Leveraging the enterprise data sets to generate insights to drive decisions that create business value.
Business influence — Adopting the skills and organizational factors required to establish finance function capability to effectively communicate and enable execution of the insights gathered for transformation success.
We can connect these key organizational factors into three segments or pillars:
An organization’s people best design an organization’s processes to drive operational excellence using modern and flexible technology.
If your organization is planning or implementing digital transformation, it can help to learn from the successes and failures of those who have come out on the other side.
Oracle leveraged the AICPA & CIMA agile finance model to guide its digital transformation and move to the cloud. While the process was not without hiccups, the results were beyond expectations, saving the company significant time, money and resources.
For example, Oracle has reduced the time it takes to close its books and report earnings to the street to nine days — 23 days faster than average — faster than any other S&P 500 company. The finance team is delivering accurate, real-time information to management for faster and better decision-making.
We all know that the future is uncertain, and that changing conditions will challenge the finance world. Adopting an agile finance model can help your organization thrive amid uncertainty.
Don’t look at technology as a disrupter, but as a key enabler.
If you would like to hear more about leading successful finance transformation, tune in for a free webcast on Wednesday, June 22 from 11am until noon ET, where I will discuss agile finance with Matt Stirrup, senior vice president within Oracle’s Global Business Finance team. You’ll earn one CPE credit and get practical tips to help you navigate your organization’s journey.