finance departments

Building Digitally Astute Finance Departments

As the digital age expands in breadth and depth, CFOs are facing multiple challenges within accounting and finance departments. Low unemployment rates compound the growing need for finance professionals who have or are prepared to develop advanced digital skills. Despite these challenges, CFOs can realize success by reconfiguring the labor model used for financial functions.

Review the Drivers of Digital Transformation

There are various factors at play that are creating rapid digital growth. Advances in technology, and the pace at which they occur is certainly one.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Regulations across sectors from health and education to manufacturing and entertainment, require sophisticated tracking to assure compliance.
  • There is increased awareness that integration of systems across departments improves productivity, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line.
  • Variations in what different generations expect from employers are affecting work policies and processes.

Effective Labor Adjustments for CFOs

Not surprisingly, there are elements of a revised labor model that CFOs have already put in place.  This is especially true for finance and accounting departments as they are integral across business functions. These elements include:

  • Periodic use of external expert teams to quickly upgrade systems amidst rapid change.
  • Adoption of cloud computing capabilities that allow remote access to critical information at a moment’s notice.
  • Use of role-specific businesses for aspects of human resource management. This includes experts in the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of employees with highly sought, critical abilities.
  • Use of consultants, contractors, and freelancers to fulfill essential functions, either temporarily or as an ongoing practice.
  • Upskilling high-performing staff to lead ERP systems upgrades.
  • Incorporating continuous on-the-job learning, especially for IT and finance and accounting staff.

Decide Your Next Steps

As CFOs  meet with their finance departments to review their greatest current challenges, they should also make time to forecast those on the horizon. Doing so will allow them to decide where best to begin. Many organizations are initially turning to external finance and accounting firms to recruit and onboard people with digital transformation expertise.

You may also find, Adding a Big Data Expert to Your Finance Team, useful.