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Grab those golden nuggets of wisdom from FP&A Week in 500 words or less.
Say goodbye to mundane tasks by 2025
The finance industry has been slow to adopt standardized processes and invest in data architecture, but automation is proceeding at pace. The finance factory will focus more on big data analytics and predictive modeling to inform business strategy and decision-making. Standardizing finance processes and using automation to reduce costs and show value where possible will be crucial.
"While few finance functions will have a truly touchless, back office by 2025, mundane tasks through automation are going to become easier.” - James Wakefield, Director, Finance and Performance at Deloitte Australia
Answer “what if?” questions with agility and flexibility
The finance industry is expected to produce multiple scenarios or "what if" plans to advise the board and C-level executives. Technology will play a crucial role in executing these plans in real-time. Finance teams need to be more agile and focus on expanding their role within the business to provide faster planning cycles and more insights.
"Updating your planning system for new hierarchies, new drivers within your business, new plans, and new ways of thinking and testing those strategies out are very important. You need the ability within the business to change those models proactively and quickly to incorporate those into your ongoing finance function." - James Wakefield, Director, Finance and Performance at Deloitte Australia
Garbage in, garbage out: the case for data rigor
Data rigor is crucial, with a strong leader overseeing it through proper change management. Without good data, the finance department is unable to take a role as a true strategic strategist across the business. Define the finance data model that supports transactional and reporting requirements.
"If you were to have the most clever system, and then just feed bad data into it, you're not going to get good decisions out of it. So it's important to advance those transformation agendas within your organization." - James Wakefield, Director, Finance and Performance at Deloitte Australia
How “purple” is your FP&A team?
Finding skilled people in the search for talent is increasingly difficult. In 2025, finance organizations still need to provide a mix of finance and technical skill sets. A Chief People Officer within Finance can invest in people to uplift their knowledge, financial knowledge, innovation, change management, and adoption of new technologies out there today.
"Finance organizations still need to provide a mix of finance and technical skill sets across different areas. We quite often refer to finance department as “purple teams” that have technology skills with accounting skills combined" - James Wakefield, Director, Finance and Performance at Deloitte Australia
Robots won’t replace you (for now)
AI can be used in operational data sources for planning, to capture data quality issues and provide outliers that might not have been recognized before. However, while AI can generate further ideas and provide a starting point, the human element will be needed for more creative thinking and decision-making.
"Just like you might start with a statistical baseline, AI might give you a starting point and generate further ideas for you. The human element is still going to be key in the planning process." - James Wakefield, Director, Finance and Performance at Deloitte Australia
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