- Ninety-nine percent of CFOs want to use real-time data to improve decision-making, particularly in times of crisis, but only 16% are capable of doing so, an Accenture survey finds.
Despite the pandemic, CFOs are investing an average of 33% of their department's budget towards building real-time operations and processes; the budget figure is 50% for companies of $10 billion or more in annual revenue.
- 43% of CFO respondents say the biggest barrier to real-time decision making is getting the technology in place, 39% say it's strategy know-how, and 58% are concerned about having the right talent.
Nearly 70% of CFOs say a real-time financial model will be key to responding to any crises that arise next year.
Rising interest rates, more pandemic-related economic stress, and a recession top their list of concerns, alongside hiring and retaining talent.
"Not only do finance leaders need to outmaneuver uncertainty, but [they need to] leverage an intelligent finance operating model ... to give them the speed to make the enterprise succeed," Christian Campagna, head of Accenture's CFO and Enterprise Value network, said.
The survey calls a finance operating model intelligent if it combines AI and machine learning algorithms with diverse, real-time data sets.
Almost 45% of CFOs say they plan to have nearly all of their finance processes and operations in real-time over the next three years; 34% say their goal is to do real-time scenario planning, and 24% say the ability to provide real-time insights is the highest priority of their finance function.
"By embracing change and pivoting to intelligent operations, the role of the finance function is increasingly elevated while positioning the company for growth," Manoj Shroff, head of Accenture's intelligent finance operations offering, said.
The survey is based on data from 450 CFOs and other finance leaders at companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenue.