In recent years, the telecommunications industry has popularized the term, “the last mile,” to describe the technology required to connect the end customer to the central network. For many, the last mile has been a bottleneck, preventing consumers from taking full advantage of the breadth and speed of digital service in their home or office until the final connection is built. Many finance professionals feel similarly constrained.
The last 20 years have seen transformational change in the finance function. Benchmarks show that costs have more than halved, levels of automation have increased dramatically and changes in organizational structure have driven economies of scale, created centers of expertise and allowed for much closer alignment of finance and business.
As the global economy slowly heals, finance leaders are looking to fulfill the promise of the last 20 years. Much of the hard work has been done, the infrastructure largely in place. The challenge is to build upon this platform to drive dramatic improvement in the quality and value that finance delivers.
Specifically, this means focusing on three key areas:
- Integrating insightful analytics into every aspect of the management process
- Operationalizing enterprise risk management into a holistic system of prevention, detection and risk mitigation
- Liberating finance professionals from the collection, organization and communication of routine business information