FSN’s “Future of Analytics in the Finance Function” Survey 2020 provides a captivating insight into the technology, people and process challenges of providing a dependable platform for insight and decision-making.
Analytics is a core competency of the finance function, yet this research finds that 14% of all finance functions admit that it delivers very little insight. This startling finding is regardless of an organization’s size and pertains in equal measure to each of the four core financial processes, namely; Record to Report (R2R); Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (PBF), Quote to Cash (Q2C) and Purchase to Pay (P2P). Furthermore, only a third of finance functions say they spend the right amount of time on analytics.
Traditional financial statement-based analytics tied to the month-end reporting cycle dominates analytical effort, but the crucial potential of operational processes such as Q2C and P2P is unrecognized and under-exploited. These processes are seen merely as transaction systems, but if the modern finance function is to fulfil its analytical potential then it is perhaps time to call change and start to view them as fully-fledged information systems that can support broader insight and decision-making.
More than half of all organizations participating in the survey did not have an information systems strategy. This is of course markedly at odds with the rampant changes all around us. The survey strongly signals the possibility that many finance functions will get left behind, by market forces and strong competition if they cannot fulfil their information needs.
We hope that you find the survey’s findings set out in this document thought-provoking and interesting. But above all we hope that the contents of this report together with FSN’s 2020 “Innovation Showcase”, will inspire you to explore and discuss the future of analytics in your own organization with your colleagues.