The role of finance is changing. No longer limited to tax reporting and compliance, CFOs are being called upon to make high-quality, forward-looking data available in real time. In addition to supplying information swiftly, Latin American finance teams are charged with translating their insights into actionable business strategies.
Automation is the key to delivering high-value planning and analysis. This is one of the primary themes to emerge from a survey of Latin American finance professionals conducted by CFO Research. You can hear more from Fernando Lewis, VP of sales for SAP S/4HANA in Latin America, along with other insights from the survey, on this podcast. The study identifies four key finance trends, based on the 166 responses received from the region.
The future of finance is value creation
The survey was conducted across the globe to discover the future of finance from the perspective of high-level finance executives in Latin America. The data is telling. 95% of finance executives from Latin America say that they expect to see their work in finance becoming more interesting, meaningful, and valuable over the next five years.
Additionally, more than three-quarters of respondents (76%) do not expect to be doing the same type of work they are currently doing in five years. Rather, they see the role of finance as increasingly focusing on value-added business contribution, with individual finance executives becoming guides who will strategically pivot decision-makers towards profitable growth. These finance professionals take pride in their ability to create value for their organizations – 98%of respondents are keen to remain in the profession and witness the transformation.
The finance mandate is entering new spheres of influence
Four out of 10 finance professionals from Latin America predict that IT will increasingly fall under the finance mandate—if it isn’t there already. Respondents from Latin America are certain that the future finance function must overcome the barriers to CIO collaboration, and stand ready to employ increasingly advanced technology if it is to provide higher-value treasury, cash management, tax, risk management, procurement, and decision support services.
Unified data is the key to dealing with rapid change
Practically all respondents (98%) agree strongly that their companies’ success will depend on their ability to adapt to the rapid pace of change and greater business complexity. For 9 out of 10 finance professionals (89%), success depends on the finance function’s ability to translate complex data into swift and decisive action in a way that will allow decision makers to grasp key insights, assess risk and deliver fast, reliable results.
Digitalization and process automation will help finance professionals provide insights and analysis
What they must do to adapt to the rapid-paced business environment is a matter of some concern for Latin American finance professionals. Approximately half of the respondents (54%) believe their finance function has the right combination of collaboration, reporting, and analytics infrastructure to produce meaningful business analysis with the speed and responsiveness that decision-makers demand.
A large majority (87%) say that their organizations must acquire capabilities in advanced analytics, predictive tools, complex business modeling, and Big Data to support management decision-making. These respondents believe that their companies will be pressured to bring enterprise information systems in line with personal technologies if they are to attract and retain top talent.
The future of finance is bright in Latin America with the right tech innovations. There appears to be little standing in the way of the finance function’s aspirations to increase its contribution to high-value data analysis, value creation, and decision support.
Want to know more about the future of finance in Latin America? Download the report and learn how finance professionals can leverage innovative collaboration and reporting and analytics technologies to help them strategically guide businesses toward profitable growth.