Research Report: Finance Leaders See Their Influence Growing

Viki Ghavalas

At many companies, the finance organization’s responsibilities have already gone beyond the traditional accounting and controlling activities of the past. In the recent CFO Research survey sponsored by SAP, it’s clear that finance leaders see their influence expanding further.

In fact, nearly 90% predict that the influence of the finance function on the company’s business decisions will increase. It follows that 70% think finance is most valuable if it either leads the business or is an equal partner in the use of advanced analytics.

They also consider the ability for finance to interpret analyses to be a key success factor. Over 84% think that over the next five years the finance function will face much greater demand for reporting that includes meaningful insight in addition to the underlying data.

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But decision making is not the only area where finance leaders see their influence growing. They also expect to expand their areas of oversight, most notably to IT; 38% expect IT to be added to finance’s purview in the next five years, if it isn’t already.

Clearly, the finance professional of the future will need to understand IT and be able to work with colleagues and use IT to deliver higher value by improving process efficiency or providing operational insights.

Although finance leaders mention IT most often as the area they expect to come under their wing, it is not the only area. Risk management and mergers and acquisitions follow closely behind – not surprising, given that financial analysis is at the heart of both. However, less predictable were mentions of nontraditional areas such as HR and marketing.

For a deeper dive into the report, read the management summary or download your complimentary copy of the full report, Why Finance Is Excited About the Future.


About Viki Ghavalas

Viki Ghavalas is worldwide program manager for the finance line of business at SAP.