Given the rapid speed of changes across all industries, the enterprise finance function will need to accelerate its evolution, transformation, and influence over the next 5 years to keep pace.
According to research conducted by Accenture, we are beginning the most radical change of the finance function since first-generation enterprise resource planning systems were introduced more than 25 years ago.
The way the finance function is organized, the type of talent that will be needed and the roles that data and technology play in terms of the finance function will all be deeply different than the finance function today.
One of the significant shifts with the finance function will be moving from a transactional organization to one that leverages data and analytics to provide new insights that drive value across the enterprise.
Automation will take over much of the manual work such as gathering, reconciling, and reporting. The finance function will begin at the point the reporting is delivered. This frees up people to use their talents on higher-level tasks that focus on analytics and developing insights that enable the enterprise to take action.
Accounting and the finance function have traditionally been regarded as the leaders in providing information for enterprise performance management (EPM). Thanks to cloud computing and the evolution of AI and machine learning, the times are changing.
Forbes predicted that by 2020, accounting tasks including tax, payroll, audits, and banking will be fully automated using AI-based technologies, which will disrupt the accounting industry in a way it never was for the last 500 years, bringing both huge opportunities and serious challenges. Even though full automation has not been achieved – but the world is still heading in that direction!