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What does the future hold for the Finance Departments?


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What do business leaders think about how finance departments will look like in 10 years? How do you think will the finance departments be shaped in the future? Share your opinions here -

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What does the future hold for the Finance Departments?

  1. 1.  Being an award-winning provider of web-based expense management software, we stay tuned to the thoughts and opinions of industry leaders We believe that finance departments will change dramatically over the next decade, moving from a primarily number crunching role to a more strategic role in businesses This trend will be accelerated by the increasing use cloud computing in various business processes
  2. 2.  Advances in cloud technology have led to the automation of several day to day tasks of the finance department Now, tools enable us to add real business value The advent of cloud computing and its impact on the finance department over the past 5 years in particular is difficult to ignore It is clear technology is dramatically changing the way finance departments work But does this automation spell the end for finance departments? Will technology eventually automate all financial activities?
  3. 3.  We spoke to Finance Directors and a CEO of leading businesses to see where they predict the biggest changes, where they identify the biggest needs and to hear what they foresee will be the major developments of the finance department 1. Lindsay Melvin, CEO, CIPP 2. Philip Thomas, Head of Finance, JC Decaux 3. Simon Mannings, Head of Finance, Merz 4. Elaine Ray, Finance Director, Global Action Plan These FDs and CEO’s believe that the finance function will continue to change and play a vital role in business growth
  4. 4.  As part of the rapid adoption of cloud services, finance departments have begun to look at how their function and role will change Without making changes to the way they work and use technology, overall business benefit is unlikely to be fully realised In the future, FDs will be smaller in size; the automation that cloud provides saves cost by removing or reducing the number of employees; and what that department will be called upon to do will change considerably from today This then raises the question: what will the IT department of the future look like?
  5. 5. “I SUPPOSE MY DREAM MIGHT BE TO HAVE FINANCE DEPARTMENTS WITH NO ONE IN THEM” Rapid globalisation and technological advances have seen remote working growing exponentially over the last decade Increasing workforce mobility and worker empowerment is being fed by legislation emphasising work/life balance and the increasing consumerisation of IT Employees will increasingly expect to be able to work and access corporate data remotely on personal devices Business travel will now reduce as technological advances will see more and more meetings and events held virtually
  6. 6. “PAPER BASED REPORTING PROCESSES THAT EXIST WILL GRADUALLY BECOME RELICS” Gartner predicts, in 2012, 80% of the enterprise workforce will be mobile and this will have wide-ranging the implications on FDs Businesses will no longer take a paper-based or PC-centric approach to business processes, but must operate systems that can capture information across an array of personal devices The paper-less approach will enable intelligent software to analyse emergent behaviour patterns to stop problems or flag issues before they occur
  7. 7. “THE DATA CAPTURE PLATFORM WILL BECOME A LOT MORE FLUID” Cloud technology empowers businesses to manage & implement powerful, integrated business processes that are scalable at the click of a mouse Organisations will be able to make dramatic cost and time savings Organisation’s dependency on employees will reduce as number-crunching and data storage functions will be moved to the cloud SaaS models will increase efficiency & productivity Processes within FDs will become streamlined, eliminating gaps and freeing up staff to focus on driving business growth
  8. 8. “SMALLER CORE FINANCE TEAM” This automation will reduce the size of FDs, in terms of staff numbers, but expectations from them will increase FDs have been under a lot of pressure over the last five years, the recession, increased regulation and changes in the roles and demands from within business have seen a need for faster information & more flexible finance teams FDs are now expected to not only provide information but to offer real insight into what the information means FDs will now be expected to support decision making for the benefit of the business as a whole
  9. 9. “I REALLY HOPE THAT BUSINESS MANAGERS WILL BE THE FINANCIAL LEADERS FOR THEIR DEPARTMENT” Finance departments will become more involved in strategy and decision making Business managers will become more aware of the business implications of financial information so that they can make more informed decisions Automation of financial processes will mean financial data will be more readily available throughout organisations and will become a bigger part of everyday decision making, throughout the business not just the finance department
  10. 10. “OUTSOURCERS HAVE THE SAME VISION AS THE ORGANISATION” While outsourcing will help save costs, it is important to analyse the business value added by the same SaaS solutions take away the stress for finance departments Yet many suppliers see customer service as an afterthought in the design and delivery of their solution, putting too much emphasis on functionality and the ‘self-service’ element of selling services on the web Good outsourcers will seek to ensure they are customer focused and not remote suppliers of cloud based systems, that they don’t simply save costs but add real business value
  11. 11.  As economy & technology continue to evolve, the role of the finance department in businesses will also change Even though FDs are sinking in size their importance in an organisation is growing The need for good finance professionals will remain even if their role within business is evolving This transition is expected to accelerate and the finance department of the future will rely on carefully selected outsourcing partners and technology to process and reconcile, and in some cases analyse transactions, whilst finance personnel will use the information produced to more heavily support the business decision making process
  12. 12. To view a our video on the ‘Future Of Finance’ and to share your views, visit To stay connected with WebExpenses, find us on – Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube
  13. 13. An award winning provider of web-based expensessolutions software serving customers across a diverse range of industries and sizes.