A number of finance leaders in the Southeast Asian region were revealed to have been pursuing a bold transformation agenda in a bid to bring change to the function for the future, according to a study by accounting firm EY.
The study found that only a small number of CFOs in Southeast Asia are pursuing a bold finance transformation agenda. Despite significant room for improvement, only 14% of CFOs in the region are making bold, holistic changes to transform the function for the future.
CFOs in the region were revealed to have been recognising the need to build digitised finance functions that can proactively support their organisations in achieving sustainable, long-term growth. Priorities include technology transformation, ESG data capture and assurance, and advanced data analytics.
However, the majority of Southeast Asian finance leaders in the study are taking a medium-risk approach by making significant changes in one or two specific areas of the finance function but not embracing holistic digital transformation.
With many enterprise resource planning systems approaching end of life, CFOs have a perfect opportunity to demonstrate their ability to set a vision and drive transformation. By successfully rationalising, harmonising and streamlining their technology ecosystem, CFOs can drive efficiency and agility in the finance operating model. This will achieve much-needed cost reductions as well as provide data and commercial insights to elevate finance as a better business partner.
Shrinking the finance technology footprint is an important cost optimisation move. Running too many systems results in higher maintenance costs not only in terms of license fees but also data integration.
Finance leaders can make use of unified solutions that allow the integration of data used for different reporting across the enterprise. By seamlessly connecting as “middleware” across various systems, unified solutions support the speed, accuracy and agility that businesses need in the current reporting environment.