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Coffee Chat Episode 4 - The Future of Finance


Coffee break chat with Daniel Bruce from KPMG Australia and Rohan Persaud from CCH Tagetik on what is the future of finance and what CFO need to focus on after COVID-19.

Transcript


Good morning everybody and welcome to Coffee chats for financial professionals.

I'm Rohan Persaud, Country Manager, here in ANZ for CCH Tagetik.

grab a cup of coffee grab a tea, come join me as interview industry experts as they share their experiences, thoughts, and opinions, and what they see in the market today.

With me today, I have my friend, Mr.

Daniel Bruce who is the partner at KPMG responsible for financial strategy and transformation.

Welcome Daniel.

Thank you, Rohan.

Glad to be here.

Great.

Well, Daniel, you've got a great title and it is pretty self-explanatory, but maybe you just share with our viewers what is it that it actually means and what do you do.

okay so yeah I'm a partner at KPMG here in Australia based in Sydney and I'm focused on finance strategy and transformation and around the finance function, I'm also a National Enterprise Performance Management Leader and also a member of a global steering committee of an Enterprise Performance Management, the way that KPMG go-to-market in that space as as also I have a focus on energy and natural resources from from an industry perspective but I also work across industries.

I mean that's a pretty busy busy day for you busy week Wearing all those multiple hats, Daniel, what are the two to three burning issues that you see in the Office of Finance today? Well, I think there are three big issues that I see.

The finance functions really need to step up into driving strategy in the businesses businesses that are in.

Taking control of how strategy is measured, performance against strategy and how capital is allocated, really driving outcomes from the investment of capital rather than just being the school paper in the background.

And another thing that Finance functions are really struggle struggling with is the fight for talent.

I think we've got to step back and accept that Finance really needs to change and grow its capability.

And that requires development of capability and not just trying to hire it.

There's not enough great Finance people at in the market that are in the really understand the difference between being the accountant in the background and being a real Finance person that leads the business forward.

And the third thing that I would say is as we are seeing the government in corporate reporting standards moving towards the adoption of the integrated reporting framework that's driving a really big need.

Finances always had a big need to control all the data and really govern the data in the organization in order to produce financial statements.

But now with the integrated reporting, we are seeing CFOs sign off on data that is financial and non-financial across the sustainability, across people, across environmental impact.

And all of that data needs to be be able to be at the same level of quality to produce those reports so that there are accepted by the mid year end and by investments so that that's a huge issue for finance.

okay great and what I lived for that messages is that it's not just about technology, its processes and its people as well, right.

Getting everything all tied in together.

So you know those are the challenges them what's the impact on businesses and how they overcome these obstacles? well you know Finance functions really need to accept that business partner conceptually is changed every Finance function that I have to speak to if I ask them do you guys do business partner, and they say yes we do business partnering unfortunately what a lot of finance functions mean by that is I turned up at the business meetings once a month tell them they are over budget and tell them to do something about it.

rather than really working with the business and being what we would refer to as the business is co-pilot.

Open them really make better decisions and drive outcome for the business that's that's where Finance needs supply and it's how Finance can keep its relevance in the business of the future and especially as we go through this sort of disruption what's going on the moment.

obviously, also technology can really play a part here coz I think we've seen in the office and finance overtime, a lot of a mixture of tools a lot of different things being used, spreadsheets, a lot of different products being used, the data not really working together, and so one of the options that it's available to the people now is some of the cloud-based solutions that give people a fully integrated solution for the Office of Finance, post the transaction price in the ERP.

Tagetik is certainly are a good example of one of those where you can defining of measures, planning, consolidation, forecasting, disclosure management to the market, all in one place using one set of data that is control controls that has the right levels of controls and governance around it.

that's a big difference to what has been available in the past and I think people have to say and start accepting them you know it's just so important now.

Because of that issue that I was talking about before it turns a really getting a handle on data People would have to take that level of control and really have any one place and you have to be able to do that reporting and do internal reporting and doing external reporting.

you know that's a fantastic message again and you and I have discussed a couple of times in the early days of us knew how do you move the office of Finance off Excel and they're not getting the right right level of insights from that format, and we are seeing the same thing with cubes right.

Organizations have thousands of cubes and are they still can't get information from it so moving towards some sort of Unified Platform make sense.

But Daniel, we are coming through COVID-19 and we are getting through to the other side and what is it that the CFO should be focused on? so you know I think this this level of disruption that we are seeing.

We've seen a lot of disruption over the last 10 or so years, this one is obviously much bigger than than some of the some of the previous ones but it wouldn't be the last one either.

So finance gonna get better at being able to cope with that disruption and in order to be able to do that they really got to step into that business performance strategic, driving the strategic outcomes of the business.

They are not responsible for delivering these Strategic outcomes but they should be taking control of that.

And they should be making sure that there is real transparency about what the money spent on, how it's spent, the outcomes of the delivery from it and ensuring that there is real clear information for decision-making rather than what a CFO friend of mine refers to as in I reckon culture that we say in a lot of businesses.

whoever got the biggest I reckon, "I reckon, we should do this," whoever got the biggest I reckon, wins the argument.

That's no way to run a business.

Real information based on collecting it correctly in the first place and then having it in a way that you can use it for decision making, it's been talked about so much but people aren't delivering on it yet and Excel and all cubes and things do not deliver that for you.

great, thanks for that.

Last question, final thoughts for our viewers today? I really want Finance people to step up and be bold in an organization.

Finance has so much more to offer than its traditional services.

It can really be that co-pilot of the business that I was talking about before rather than just offering the people that keeps going in the background and produces stats reports that the business itself itself isn't that interested in this so much more than I can do.

and you need to take the opportunities that are in front of you.

If you organization is thinking about putting in a new ERP system, take control of it, and say let's use this to really drive a change in the way a business operates, let's gather metadata, let's have better control over that data so that we can go and get into that right place and to be able to report on it more effectively, using it fo the budgeting and planning and use it to drive the strategy that business.

Great businesses need a really thriving Finance function not just an efficient one.

Too many ERP programs are being deleted on the basis of improving the the efficiency of the processes in the back office.

It doesn't work.

They need to be looking at it as a way to improve the way that your business operates.

Alright, everybody, fantastic messages from Daniel.

So Daniel again thank you very much for being my guest, they really appreciated you have on the call.

no problem at all.

I'm excited about this stuff as you can tell.

Yes, indeed.

Everybody, if you like more information, Daniel's email address should be flashing up on the screen, also you can find them on LinkedIn and easy to find you like to have more information on financial transformation, Daniel is always available.

So thank you everybody for joining me today, please join me next week as I interview Mr.

Anthony Marzetti who is our Vice President of Product Development at the Tagetik and he's gonna share with us a little bit of innovation and what we're doing as an organization to help companies and customers through some of the challenges they have today so until then, Stay safe.

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