Accounting for change in the new world of Finance

In a world where disruption is the new normal it can be challenging to recognise those large seismic shifts that will truly change an industry.

The Finance, Accounting and HR functions, units that have led and driven so much change in recent decades are undergoing their own inter-generational transformation with AI based cognitive computing, Visualisation, Advanced Analytics, Robotic Process Automation and cloud based Finance systems.

These are reshaping accounting, reporting and performance management functions in the same way robots once reshaped the world’s assembly lines.

Many believe they can see the changes around the corner but fewer, we suspect, are really prepared for the scope and speed of the transformations they will soon face.

Accountancy functions as we know them will change completely, transactions will be ‘touchless’, finance cycles will give way to real time reporting, new service delivery models will emerge, data standardisation will become even more critical and employees will be doing new things in new ways.

Internationally, that change has already begun and Deloitte has been strengthening its resourcing to provide leadership in the Australian market at a time when there is a shortage of skilled experts in this field.

This month we welcome Michelle Murphy as a Deloitte Australia Partner. After almost two decades consulting with Deloitte and others in the UK and Europe, Michelle brings critical insights to the opportunities and challenges facing Australian companies over the next few years.

One is that companies need to be prepared to overcome the temptation to protect investments in the existing software and server based systems which were once the disrupters but which are now being disrupted.

Those who don’t move risk being left behind as cloud based platforms provide Software as a Service (SaaS) back office applications that are the basis for ongoing and continuous improvement in the efficiency of processes and in the provision of real-time data and insights.

The danger of not moving, as competitors become more agile, is the risk of losing market share while at the same time becoming less cost efficient. Established companies face the additional challenge that new businesses coming into the market, particularly technology based start-ups, are entering fully enabled with faster, more agile back offices.

Michelle has joined Deloitte Australia after almost 20 years in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, where she has led global transformation projects working with major international corporations.
She has led Workday enabled global Finance and HR transformation projects for a range of global companies across pharmaceutical, banking and service industries.

The lessons of large scale overseas transformations are that change can be implemented efficiently and that the benefits for companies in terms of agility and performance are already being materialised by many while their competitors hesitate to start.


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