Tom van den Berg

The Future of Finance

From counting beans to farming knowledge

The finance function is evolving from a mainly transaction processing organization to a center of information. Key words in this transformation process are Simplify and Innovate.

Simplify and innovate the transactional processes.  Intercompany reconciliation, accruals, account reconciliations  and closing processes are still taking a lot of time in most of the companies and can also lead to unwanted  and unexpected write offs.  But the tools are available to simplify these processes by automating them and hence avoiding time spend on collecting data and not having enough time for a proper reconciliations.

Simplify and innovate the planning process.  Evolve from a static budget process to a continuous forecasting process.  Predictive tools are available for forecasting and can also be used to signal deviations from the plan and to do root cause analyses in order to take proper actions in a timely matter.

Simplify and innovate the reporting process.  For external reporting, applications exist for disclosure management and will help in complying with legal requirements.  In respect of management reporting, visualization of the data will make it more understandable.

In a nutshell, for the future, the finance functions will have to minimize the transaction processes to the bare minimum and focus on generating knowledge within the company.  It is said that data is the new oil and the finance function is sitting on a large well.  It will be their role to turn this data into information and next into knowledge.  By doing this, the finance function will add value to the definition, the monitoring and the financing of the strategy of a company and to the management of its working capital. 

Join us at the Corda Campus in Hasselt Belgium for our upcoming seminar on this exciting topic on september 21.