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Making finance the
predictive powerhouse
How to create an agile finance function
Preparing for what’s
next hinges on finance
planning teams
Today’s uncertainty has dialed up the
pressure on Chief Financial Officers (CFOs)
and their finance planning and analysis
(FP&A) teams, who are now being asked to
help businesses prepare for what’s next.
62%
53%
of CFOs are seeing
more demand for
insights from
financial data,
worry that
the finance
function is
reactive.1
2
FP&A teams lack
the agility to give
businesses the
insights they need
85%
of their time managing
data and just
15%
analyzing it.
FP&A teams spend
3
Reducing planning
time by 80%
Improving forecasting
accuracy by more
than 95%
Freeing up 12 hours of
employee time each week to
focus on more interesting work
80% 95% 12hr
Agile FP&A teams deliver more timely,
accurate and on-demand insights…
4
How to get from
here to there
To bring more agility to finance planning,
it’s essential to address the four areas that
impact planning processes and ultimately
operations maturity: data, technology,
talent and processes.
The goal: Make the FP&A team more
agile, efficient, proactive and resilient.
5
6
88% of finance executives think artificial
intelligence (AI) will increase accuracy
and predictability of forecasts.
4%
of FP&A teams use machine
learning or AI to get more
value from data, although
of finance executives think
artificial intelligence will
increase the accuracy and
predictability of forecasts
Just
What’s happening
Data: Right data, right way
6
But they lack a single source of gold
standard data and face significant
adoption roadblocks due to:
Perception that
automation has risk
01
lack of funding
02
reliance on legacy IT
and spreadsheets.3
03
FP&A teams that have their data house
in order have improved their use of
data in several ways, transforming data,
AI and technology through total
enterprise reinvention:
Take control of data
Data: Right data, right way
7
01. Taking a stakeholder-first approach
02. Creating a stronger data foundation
03. Harnessing artificial intelligence
04. Conducting scenario planning
8
A global oil and gas company
created a model that delivered
more than 85% accuracy for
year-end projections with
reduced fluctuations by using
an AI-powered financial insights
generator to combine multiple
data sources.
Engaging AI-powered
financial insights
Data: Right data, right way
While technology continues to open new
possibilities for FP&A professionals to work
and collaborate with the business and
stakeholders, 54% of finance executives
are concerned about the lack of technical
tools and resources.
What’s happening
9
9
And
76%
of FP&A teams still depend
on hybrid systems which
are spreadsheet based.
Technology: Strengthen the stack
Resilient FP&A teams understand technology
is essential to providing the connective tissue
that drives insights between Finance and
other parts of the business.
These teams use the right technology for the
right task and create a seamless connection
across tools by:
Maximize existing
technology investments
10
01. Creating a resilient tech stack
02. Unleashing the power of cloud
03. Getting the most out of spreadsheets
Technology: Strengthen the stack
11
Stanley Black & Decker adopted
digital technologies like automation
and AI for transactional tasks as
part of an effort to build more agile
finance operations.
This freed up the team for
strategic work including
advanced financial modeling to
forecast future risk or predict
demand.4
Adopting digital
technologies
Technology: Strengthen the stack
12
Finance executives struggling with access to
talent are most in need of business intelligence
and visualization capabilities
What’s happening
56% of finance executives are
struggling with access to the
right talent.
Non-traditional finance skills
are top of their list.
F&A/Business
Knowledge
Analytical
Skills
Coding skills &
ML Knowledge
Business
intelligence &
Visualization
capabilities
9%
20%
20%
51%
Talent: One team, many skills
FP&A teams with agility are set apart
because they focus on diverse skills
rather than a singular one.
They recognize the need to strike the
right balance by:
Build teams with a variety of
distinct, complementary skills
13
01. Making data literacy a priority
02. Working as one team
03. Partnering to fill the gaps
Talent: One team, many skills
14
Improving access to talent is about being
more than a talent consumer. It’s being a talent
creator, too. As part of reimagining our finance
strategy, Accenture is focusing on reskilling
and a mindset shift for our people.
Our Finance Reimagined Learning Program
supports our people in becoming business
advisors. Participants build skills in areas such
as problem solving, design thinking,
collaboration and cross-cultural teaming.5
Being a talent creator
Talent: One team, many skills
15
Most organizations don’t have FP&A
processes that systematically connect
Finance to other business areas like
Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain on
a single platform. As a result, FP&A
teams lack a true 360-degree view
of the business.
Business leaders’
top 3 FP&A priorities:
What’s happening
Process: Truly data driven
Real/right-time
insights
Real-time close
Real-time
scenario planning
01
02
03
Finance planning teams shift their
teams’ efforts from transaction to
strategic by redesigning and
automating FP&A processes:
Redesign and automate
FP&A processes
16
01. Streamlining processes
02. Using workflows to connect functions
03. Continuously improving to refine processes
Process: Truly data driven
17
Establishing visibility to
make informed decisions
Process: Truly data driven
A global hospitality company transformed
Finance from a transactional service to a
strategic asset by moving to intelligent finance
operations. Finance leaders can now predict
trends and make more informed decisions—
helping the business improve performance
and grow value profitably and sustainably.
The company now had the visibility and
efficiency to quicky process more than US
$4.5 billion in payments during the
pandemic without disrupting operations.
FP&A teams today face an urgent
imperative to make faster, more radical
changes to how they work and support
the business. By becoming more agile,
FP&A teams can help businesses cut
through uncertainty.
Solve today’s challenges and respond to
the unknowns of tomorrow by making
finance a predictive powerhouse. Read
our full report for more.
18
Make uncertainty
less daunting
Contact us
19
Suraj Jadhav
Managing Director
Global Offering Lead, Finance Operations
suraj.g.jadhav@accenture.com
Tiffany Brown
Managing Director
Accenture CFO & Enterprise Value
t.m.brown@accenture.com
References
1 Accenture, “Business Agility in Finance: The
Missing Link,” 2020 at https://www.accenture.com/us
2 Accenture defines continuous accounting as the
migration toward real-time business outcomes by
transforming from a batch to a continuous process. This
includes continuous monitoring (detect compliance and
risk issues on a continuous basis), continuous closing
(perform reconciliation on a continuous basis daily and
weekly instead of monthly), continuous reporting
(continuously generate variances to the 3 financial
statements), continuous auditing/assurance (conduct
the end-to-end audit & assurance process—internal
control and external audit—continuously).
3 Microsoft and Microsoft Excel are trademarks of the
Microsoft group of companies.
20
4 Accenture, “Building Finance Operations to Drive
Growth,” 2022 at https://www.accenture.com/us-
en/insights/operations/building-finance-operations-
drive-growth
5 Accenture, “Accenture Expands Apprenticeship Hiring
to 20% of US Entry-Level Roles,” January 13, 2022 at
https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture-
expands-apprenticeship-hiring-to-20-
percent-of-us-entry-level-roles.htm
About the research
Accenture surveyed 550 finance executives of
companies with over one billion dollars in
revenue in Australia, France, Germany, Japan,
the United Kingdom and the United States to
gain insights into how their finance
organizations are using data, technology and
talent to make better, predictive and more
informed business decisions—and ultimately,
drive towards intelligent finance operations.
About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services
company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud
and security. Combining unmatched experience
and specialized skills across more than 40
industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting,
Technology and Operations services and
Accenture Song—all powered by the world’s
largest network of Advanced Technology and
Intelligent Operations centers. Our 710,000
people deliver on the promise of technology and
human ingenuity every day, serving clients in
more than 120 countries. We embrace the power
of change to create value and shared success for
our clients, people, shareholders, partners and
communities. Visit us at accenture.com.
Copyright © 2022 Accenture.
All rights reserved.
Accenture and its logo are
registered trademarks of Accenture.

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Creating an Agile Finance Function with Predictive Insights

  • 1. Making finance the predictive powerhouse How to create an agile finance function
  • 2. Preparing for what’s next hinges on finance planning teams Today’s uncertainty has dialed up the pressure on Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and their finance planning and analysis (FP&A) teams, who are now being asked to help businesses prepare for what’s next. 62% 53% of CFOs are seeing more demand for insights from financial data, worry that the finance function is reactive.1 2
  • 3. FP&A teams lack the agility to give businesses the insights they need 85% of their time managing data and just 15% analyzing it. FP&A teams spend 3
  • 4. Reducing planning time by 80% Improving forecasting accuracy by more than 95% Freeing up 12 hours of employee time each week to focus on more interesting work 80% 95% 12hr Agile FP&A teams deliver more timely, accurate and on-demand insights… 4
  • 5. How to get from here to there To bring more agility to finance planning, it’s essential to address the four areas that impact planning processes and ultimately operations maturity: data, technology, talent and processes. The goal: Make the FP&A team more agile, efficient, proactive and resilient. 5
  • 6. 6 88% of finance executives think artificial intelligence (AI) will increase accuracy and predictability of forecasts. 4% of FP&A teams use machine learning or AI to get more value from data, although of finance executives think artificial intelligence will increase the accuracy and predictability of forecasts Just What’s happening Data: Right data, right way 6 But they lack a single source of gold standard data and face significant adoption roadblocks due to: Perception that automation has risk 01 lack of funding 02 reliance on legacy IT and spreadsheets.3 03
  • 7. FP&A teams that have their data house in order have improved their use of data in several ways, transforming data, AI and technology through total enterprise reinvention: Take control of data Data: Right data, right way 7 01. Taking a stakeholder-first approach 02. Creating a stronger data foundation 03. Harnessing artificial intelligence 04. Conducting scenario planning
  • 8. 8 A global oil and gas company created a model that delivered more than 85% accuracy for year-end projections with reduced fluctuations by using an AI-powered financial insights generator to combine multiple data sources. Engaging AI-powered financial insights Data: Right data, right way
  • 9. While technology continues to open new possibilities for FP&A professionals to work and collaborate with the business and stakeholders, 54% of finance executives are concerned about the lack of technical tools and resources. What’s happening 9 9 And 76% of FP&A teams still depend on hybrid systems which are spreadsheet based. Technology: Strengthen the stack
  • 10. Resilient FP&A teams understand technology is essential to providing the connective tissue that drives insights between Finance and other parts of the business. These teams use the right technology for the right task and create a seamless connection across tools by: Maximize existing technology investments 10 01. Creating a resilient tech stack 02. Unleashing the power of cloud 03. Getting the most out of spreadsheets Technology: Strengthen the stack
  • 11. 11 Stanley Black & Decker adopted digital technologies like automation and AI for transactional tasks as part of an effort to build more agile finance operations. This freed up the team for strategic work including advanced financial modeling to forecast future risk or predict demand.4 Adopting digital technologies Technology: Strengthen the stack
  • 12. 12 Finance executives struggling with access to talent are most in need of business intelligence and visualization capabilities What’s happening 56% of finance executives are struggling with access to the right talent. Non-traditional finance skills are top of their list. F&A/Business Knowledge Analytical Skills Coding skills & ML Knowledge Business intelligence & Visualization capabilities 9% 20% 20% 51% Talent: One team, many skills
  • 13. FP&A teams with agility are set apart because they focus on diverse skills rather than a singular one. They recognize the need to strike the right balance by: Build teams with a variety of distinct, complementary skills 13 01. Making data literacy a priority 02. Working as one team 03. Partnering to fill the gaps Talent: One team, many skills
  • 14. 14 Improving access to talent is about being more than a talent consumer. It’s being a talent creator, too. As part of reimagining our finance strategy, Accenture is focusing on reskilling and a mindset shift for our people. Our Finance Reimagined Learning Program supports our people in becoming business advisors. Participants build skills in areas such as problem solving, design thinking, collaboration and cross-cultural teaming.5 Being a talent creator Talent: One team, many skills
  • 15. 15 Most organizations don’t have FP&A processes that systematically connect Finance to other business areas like Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain on a single platform. As a result, FP&A teams lack a true 360-degree view of the business. Business leaders’ top 3 FP&A priorities: What’s happening Process: Truly data driven Real/right-time insights Real-time close Real-time scenario planning 01 02 03
  • 16. Finance planning teams shift their teams’ efforts from transaction to strategic by redesigning and automating FP&A processes: Redesign and automate FP&A processes 16 01. Streamlining processes 02. Using workflows to connect functions 03. Continuously improving to refine processes Process: Truly data driven
  • 17. 17 Establishing visibility to make informed decisions Process: Truly data driven A global hospitality company transformed Finance from a transactional service to a strategic asset by moving to intelligent finance operations. Finance leaders can now predict trends and make more informed decisions— helping the business improve performance and grow value profitably and sustainably. The company now had the visibility and efficiency to quicky process more than US $4.5 billion in payments during the pandemic without disrupting operations.
  • 18. FP&A teams today face an urgent imperative to make faster, more radical changes to how they work and support the business. By becoming more agile, FP&A teams can help businesses cut through uncertainty. Solve today’s challenges and respond to the unknowns of tomorrow by making finance a predictive powerhouse. Read our full report for more. 18 Make uncertainty less daunting
  • 19. Contact us 19 Suraj Jadhav Managing Director Global Offering Lead, Finance Operations suraj.g.jadhav@accenture.com Tiffany Brown Managing Director Accenture CFO & Enterprise Value t.m.brown@accenture.com
  • 20. References 1 Accenture, “Business Agility in Finance: The Missing Link,” 2020 at https://www.accenture.com/us 2 Accenture defines continuous accounting as the migration toward real-time business outcomes by transforming from a batch to a continuous process. This includes continuous monitoring (detect compliance and risk issues on a continuous basis), continuous closing (perform reconciliation on a continuous basis daily and weekly instead of monthly), continuous reporting (continuously generate variances to the 3 financial statements), continuous auditing/assurance (conduct the end-to-end audit & assurance process—internal control and external audit—continuously). 3 Microsoft and Microsoft Excel are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. 20 4 Accenture, “Building Finance Operations to Drive Growth,” 2022 at https://www.accenture.com/us- en/insights/operations/building-finance-operations- drive-growth 5 Accenture, “Accenture Expands Apprenticeship Hiring to 20% of US Entry-Level Roles,” January 13, 2022 at https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture- expands-apprenticeship-hiring-to-20- percent-of-us-entry-level-roles.htm
  • 21. About the research Accenture surveyed 550 finance executives of companies with over one billion dollars in revenue in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to gain insights into how their finance organizations are using data, technology and talent to make better, predictive and more informed business decisions—and ultimately, drive towards intelligent finance operations. About Accenture Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song—all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 710,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at accenture.com. Copyright © 2022 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks of Accenture.