- Nearly two out of three CFOs and other financial executives (62%) said their controller departments are, at best, somewhat prepared to meet future demands in data analytics, governance and compliance, technology such as cloud-based finance and advanced delivery models such as flexible work, Deloitte and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) found in a survey.
- While three out of four executives (76%) said their controllership has started a digital transformation, 95% of them said they have more work to do or are changing too slowly, Deloitte and the IMA found in a global survey of 1,300 CFOs, controllers and other financial executives released Monday.
- “Controllers overwhelmingly know they need to transform, but that doesn’t change the fact that challenges on the journey to a more modern, strategic and digital controllership remain,” Kyle Cheney, a risk and financial advisory partner at Deloitte, said in a statement.
CFOs sped up digital transformation at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, aiming to get a grip on plunging revenues, turbulent capital markets and an economy-wide cash crunch.
“Well beyond a sharp pivot to remote work, this disruption catapulted forward the need for critical skills, tools and resources, ushering the not-so-distant future of controllership into a present-day reality,” Deloitte and the IMA said.
Company leaders since the COVID-19 outbreak have expected CFOs and their controllers to provide sharper strategic insights, exploit real-time data and analytics tools and operate with greater efficiency and agility, Deloitte and the IMA said. “As a result, automation, data integrity initiatives and talent development are on the rise.”
The stepped-up effort has not fully paid off, Deloitte and IMA said. “There have been mixed results for successfully increasing the overall pace of automation implementation and the adoption of a clear path to a functioning modern finance factory.”
The CFOs and other respondents said data and analytics needs upgrading the most, with 46% of respondents acknowledging “initial or emergent maturity in this area,” Deloitte and IMA said, Specifically, financial planning and analysis was viewed as requiring the most progress in order to meet the future demands of the controller’s office.
Nearly two out of three respondents (65%) said their company has achieved “maturity” in governance and compliance, including using automation and analytics for continuous monitoring of controls, Deloitte and the IMA said.
“To meet current and future demands, an evolution from value reporting and preservation to value creation and strategic business partnering has become essential,” according to Deloitte and the IMA.
Limits in time, budgets, staff expertise and resource capacity pose the biggest barriers to transformation, Deloitte and the IMA said.