Planning business finances is a complex task, much more so today than in the past. Today there are many new variables to take into account that in the past did not bear as much weight, or simply didn’t exist.
“Today’s decision makers face environments in which things that were isolated from one another just 30 years ago are bumping up against each other, often with unexpected results” (Harvard Business Review).
Business leaders must be aware of the changing landscape. The capacity to anticipate, plan for, and adapt to it will determine how much, or how little, their organization succeeds.
Trends that are shaping the business landscape include government regulation, technology and people and culture.
These factors make financial planning all the more challenging. Below, we discuss these 21st century challenges, and include suggestions for how you can deal with them.
There is more government regulation and oversight today than ever before. Today there is much greater emphasis on global efforts, cooperation, and coordination, making it necessary to ensure “compliance with international governance standards and accurate reporting of financial data” (PwC).
One such regulatory framework is the GDPR, which led to a wave of new or updated regulations, forcing organizations to comply with increasingly strict requirements.
Compliance with unclear, inconsistent, or changing regulations can be a challenge. Like any other change, ramping up planning to adapt to what may be a very different set of rules can be tricky.
There are many tools that can help you stay on top of your financial data. For example with DataRails, regulatory reporting is made simple. DataRails’ spreadsheet data integrity ensures that spreadsheets are controlled and monitored while meeting the highest regulatory compliance requirements. Additionally, DataRails is compliant with regulations including Sarbanes-Oxley, Solvency II, and Dodd- Frank.
Technology is increasing the pace of business. CEOs must “harness technology, innovation, and talent to execute the strategies that meet greater expectations” (PwC).
According to McKinsey, “we’re in the ‘Age of Speed.’ Organizing for speed has become a critical component in today’s consumer market.”
Finance departments can count speed on their side with DataRails. Finance professionals can work with real-time numbers extracted from any spreadsheet or transactional system (CRM, ERP, GL) while ensuring data integrity and reducing the risk of errors. DataRails is an Excel-based platform that allows organizations to manage, share, and control their spreadsheets without changing how they work. By automating financial processes professionals can work faster and always stay up to speed.
With DataRails’ unique Office native integration, professionals can pull data from their database to Excel, Word, or Powerpoint and see changes in real-time.
People and culture
The people and culture of finance are shifting. PwC has identified 5 key people and culture challenges for finance:
- Finance as a business partner: Business partnering is nothing new in finance. But how can you really own the business partner role?
2. Finance professionals’ skill: Most finance specialists currently lack the capabilities they’ll need in future. How do you reskill and upskill your workforce?
3. New technology and automation: Finance functions are investing heavily in new technology and automation. Does your workforce know how to use the new tools?
4. Finance people profiles: You might not find the future finance people profiles in the traditional job market. How and where can finance attract and recruit the right talents?
5. Finance leadership profiles: CFOs may not know how to lead with entrepreneurial behaviour embedded in an agile culture. How do leaders manage this mindset transition?
Financial management in an increasingly complex world is about asking the right questions and adopting the right tools.
The world is significantly more interconnected and complex than it used to be. Navigate this landscape by leveraging innovative technologies like DataRails that can help you unravel financial complexity.
DataRails is a FP&A software that empowers each finance professional to independently work with data and deliver actionable, data-driven insights. Finally, count on numbers you can trust and reduce inefficiencies without having to change how you work on Excel. With DataRails, strengthen the connection between finance and operations to drive better organizational decisions.