Successful organisations encourage their business departments to partner with the
finance team to deliver data insights for better decision support. This is according to
a study jointly
undertaken by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA®
(Institute of Management Accountants) on the progress commercial finance
functions are making in business partnering.
The report, "Financial Insight: Challenges and Opportunities,' draws on global survey
data; finance leadership roundtables in New York, London, Toronto, Vancouver,
Singapore, and Hong Kong; and interviews with more than 750 senior finance
executives from some of the world?s leading organisations.
Karen Smal, Acting Head of ACCA SA, said: "We see business partnering as one
of the critical ongoing challenges for the CFO organisation to get right. With the
wealth of data and information available to enterprises, there is a big opportunity for
the finance function to drive future growth. But it?s an opportunity that has to be
Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA?s vice president of research and policy
added: "The concept of business partnering is not new. The finance function has
always had a role in providing information vital for good decision making. Technology
and other advancements are fuelling the potential for business partnering,
challenging finance teams to keep pace and maintain internal influence.'
Rapidly changing business environments and increasingly complex digital
environments are listed among the main challenges CFOs and their finance functions
face in delivering effective financial insight. However, finance organisations that
adopt a business-centric approach and emphasise the importance of good finance-
business partnering practices can not only meet those challenges but capitalise on
them by extending their influence and leadership across the enterprise.
According to the study, CFO organisations need to take the opportunity in three
Create a sustainable mandate for finance-business partnering practices to
Fix and rework the quality of data insights provided to the enterprise
Deploy the right finance talent with the right mindset to deliver.
The report predicts that the growing digitisation of businesses and a highly
competitive enterprise landscape will have a profound effect on the future of CFO
organisations because in a fast-moving, data-rich business environment, enterprise
data insights will be increasingly important in creating advantage and corporate
To read Financial Insight: Challenges and Opportunities
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