Finance Transformation in a digital world – An Insight report from Deloitte

November 12, 2018

The latest financial industry report by Deloitte referred to as the ‘Crunch Time V Finance 2025’ report investigates the digital transformation of the finance industry.

Deloitte Finance Future

Deloitte explains that technologies applicable to the finance sector are available and are continuing to progress. There is a range of real-time case studies of new digital technology being applied to business functions and businesses can use and implement these practices into their own company. The needs of businesses are constantly changing and the rate of innovation continues to rapidly progress.

Leaders in the finance industry are exploring the possibilities available with applying different technologies to the future business activities. Finance professionals are asking how finance activities will be performed and who will perform them. Furthermore finance leaders are researching how finance activities can contribute further to the success of a company.

Deloitte explains their predictions for the finance industry.

 

Finance Factory

Deloitte suggests that transactions will be touchless as the process of automation and blockchain extend further into the finance market. Further progression within cloud-based ERP and automation will develop the potential to simplify processes and reduce the need for human intervention. Blockchain will only accelerate this transition and enhance the potential of humans to add potential value to this process.

The Role of Finance

With further automation, Deloitte believes finance will ‘double down’ on overall company insights and services. Deloitte explains the resources that will continue to be controlled within finance will depend on their ability to provide value. This will require detailed insights and a high level of customer services. Deloitte suggests that some finance businesses will transform into specialist business service centres.

 

Finance Cycles

Deloitte explains that finance processes will eventually be performed in real-time. With reports and forecasts being produced automatically on demand, traditional cycles will become of less importance. Finance businesses will still require to produce regular reports, but other external investors will likely request frequent performance reports. Leading businesses will operate in a new manner, shifting away from conventional monthly or quarterly forecasts, to continuous real-time reporting.

 

Self Service

Self-service is predicted to become more commonplace which may cause some concerns within the finance sector. There are, however, many business members who don’t require support when it comes to basic finance procedures. Deloitte believes that simple activities from budget queries to report production will become automated. Over time, smart systems will be capable of understanding the types of business information required by individuals and be capable of delivering that information whenever required. Deloitte suggests that over time, standard data sheets will be converted to visually appealing information that is both informative and accessible to customers.

 

Operating Model

New service models will continue to develop as robots and algorithms create a more diverse financial industry i.e. the growth of freelance workers. Automation offers a new system for controlling costs. Finance companies will have the opportunity to reassess how their business is organised, where work is carried out and what processes no longer need human involvement.

 

Enterprise Resource Planning

Deloitte believes that financial systems and microservices will disrupt traditional ERP. ERP vendors are already integrating digital technologies like automation and blockchain into their products. Deloitte believes there will be a shift within the ERP arena as new specialist applications and microservices emerge and integrate with ERP platforms. As more businesses move towards Cloud-based ERP, businesses will become more standardised, Instead of developing customised systems, businesses will acquire what services they require from an emerging marketplace of new applications and microservices. Finance will be focused on how these emerging services work together to improve processes and create new insights. Technology is getting more intelligent and is becoming more integrated into ERP platforms without human intervention. Finance professionals will focus on utilising applications to generate the information they require to enable smarter and quicker decisions.

 

Data

The development of APIs will create data standardisation, but Deloitte believes this is insufficient, suggesting that many companies will find it difficult to manage their data store. There are few businesses that are putting the effort in to align and integrate their data store now, which means they won’t be capable of capturing the full potential of digital transformation. Automation will make the process of handling data simpler, but Deloitte believes it will continue to be a complex task.

Workforce and Workplace

Finance systems are progressing rapidly leading to changes in the way employees carry out their activities. More focus is now being placed on data scientists and business analysts, which will mean a radical transformation for many financial companies. Deloitte recommends that new hires should represent future activities. Beyond the technical expertise, key qualities will be focused on strong customer service skills, flexibility and collaboration skills.

 

There are still many questions to be answered in regards to the future of for the Finance industry. Industry experts believe there needs to be radical changes and getting the right staff and technology in place to utilise the potential benefits of the upcoming digital transformation is essential. There is no doubt that whatever happens in the future, automation patterns will continue to accelerate and expand due to the recognised cost benefits of this process. The future holds great potential for finance businesses that are seeking to develop more value for the companies they support. If Finance can deliver higher qualities of information, within a more efficient timescale, they are likely to succeed in the near future.

 

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4 REASONS WHY THE UK IS THE BEST PLACE FOR ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT (EPM) PROFESSIONALS TO ADVANCE THEIR CAREER

January 7, 2017

Dear EPM professional looking to take your career to the next level. This report is designed to give you an overview on why you as an EPM professional should consider relocation to the UK to help progress you career in an international environment.

I’m Mike! If we have not already spoken, I have been working in the recruitment industry for a number of years with a specialist focus within the Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management field. I am currently focussing solely within the EPM domain as it is an exciting, expanding market which I feel has great future potential.

As you will know, EPM is a niche area and therefore it can be difficult to find enough experienced professionals to service client demand. As a result, I have spent the last few years interacting with international candidates (predominantly from Europe) and have been successful in finding a number of them new opportunities in the UK and helping them relocate.

When I initially spoke to the majority of these professionals, they had certain objections such as:

The UK is too expensive
I have a family so cannot relocate
I don’t know anyone in the UK, so it might be lonely

As part of my service, I was not only able to show them the fantastic career opportunities here in the UK but was also able to educate them about the about the cost of living, the education system and many other things to help quash any doubts about making the move that would accelerate their career growth.

After speaking to so many candidates who had the same concerns about moving to the UK, I thought it would be a good idea to create this report to help others who may have thought about moving to the UK but have something that is holding them back. My aim was to create a simple document that helped explain why the UK is a great place to live and progress your career. The main areas I have covered include:

The Rapidly Growing EPM Market
Cost of Living (particularly in London)
The Education System (for those of you with families)
International Community

Once you have read the document, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 7962066221 or mike@codexrg.com, I would be more than happy to go into some more detail on this and discuss potential opportunities for you.

The Rapidly Growing EPM Market

Whether your core skill set is SAP BPC, Hyperion Planning, HFM, TM1 or even Anaplan, there is demand for your experience in the UK. Since the collapse of the market in 2008 there has been an increasing demand for businesses to understand exactly where their finances are, so that they do not run into trouble. As a result, companies are investing heavily within their financial reporting and performance management tools. However, companies do not have extensive EPM skills internally so are either trying to hire people directly or are using 3rd parties (consultancies) to implement these systems and do the subsequent support work.

You have two options when deciding which type of company you would like to work for – that is – either directly for the end client or working with consulting organisations and there are pros and cons of both.

There are a number of consultancy companies who have a specialist focus within the EPM domain. They can be categorised into 3 main areas; Top 4 Consultancies (EY, Deloitte etc.), Large Systems Integrators (Accenture, IBM) and Small to Medium Consultancies who are solely focussed on EPM or focus on EPM alongside a wider skills base, such as SAP or Oracle.

Each provide different challenges and opportunities but there is usually a personal preference depending on career aspirations, work/life balance and prior experience. From my experience, you can progress your career equally quickly in a reputable small organisation as you can in a Top 4, what might differ is your eventual career path and the type of work you will be doing.

As mentioned, there are also opportunities to join end clients, however you need to be aware that; these opportunities come around less frequently, the salaries will generally not be as high as at a consulting company and unless you join a company who is constantly upgrading their software or doing a large implementation, you may end up focussing on administration/support activities. That said, you could end up with a fantastic work life balance (without travel) and gain the satisfaction of seeing projects through to completion and seeing the positive impact they have on an organisation, which you might not see as a consultant who moves off the project once it is complete.

Cost of Living (particularly in London)

This is a big one and one of the most popular concerns I hear from people considering relocating to the UK, especially those of you looking to live in London. It is true that London can be an expensive city to live in, but it is also true that the higher levels of salary that are paid here are proportional to the cost of living and there are ways that you can live here cheaper. For example, when it comes to accommodation, many professionals choose not to live in the very centre of London because of the high accommodation costs and choose areas that are away from the centre but have fantastic transport links. Further to that, many people relocating with families choose to live outside of London in areas such as Surrey, Kent and Essex as you get a lot more for your money and will be able to afford a much larger house (and a garden), which is obviously great for children. Even in these areas, you can very easily get a train into London from anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

At the end of the day, as long as you do your research, there are certainly ways that you can progress your career in an international environment without compromising your standard of living. By taking advice from some local experts such as your recruitment agent and estate agents you can usually get a good idea of locations to consider.

From experience, accommodation is the biggest difference between the UK and most countries. Transport is another factor, but if you are working with a consulting company, most of your travel costs are covered; with end clients there are sometimes benefit packages which include travel cards or contribution towards travel.

Education for children (for those with families)

I recently worked with a candidate, who, after considering an offer from a company decided that the salary wasn’t enough to support his lifestyle. I asked to have a look at the costs he had budgeted and quickly realised that he had set aside £1,700 / month to put his 3 children through Private School! I asked why he had set this money aside and he believed that Private School was the only way he could get a good education for his children who couldn’t, at that point, speak English. I explained to him that only top earners in the UK will send their children to private school as it can be very expensive. The education system in the UK is very good and is very accommodating for international students. It is compulsory, if your children do not speak English, for the school to provide English lessons so that they can be brought up to speed with the language and the rest of the class quickly. This is also a good benefit of relocating to the UK, that your children will be able to learn another language which will help their future careers.

Again, if you are working with a good agent who has experience relocating people from international countries they will be able to help give you the right information and contacts to find a good school for your children.

International Community

For those of you with family and friends in the UK, this is rarely a concern that comes up and is often in fact a motivation for people to move …

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Mike Jones

Founder & Managing Director

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