IMA, Deloitte Publish Report on Intersection of Technology and Finance

Press release
Published August 19th, 2020 - 09:09 GMT
IMA, Deloitte Publish Report on Intersection of Technology and Finance
Institute of Management Accountants
Highlights
Survey of finance professionals finds widespread conviction that automation will continue to play a major role in the finance function

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) today published a report with Deloitte’s Center for Controllership detailing how advanced technologies contribute to the constantly evolving finance function and what new skills finance professionals must gain to remain relevant and resilient.

“From Mirage to Reality: Bringing Finance into Focus in a Digital World” provides insights on how technologies, such as automation, analytics, and visualizations, serve as enablers in how work is performed and how finance teams can develop their skills and competencies, build cultures of continuous learning and education, and utilize technologies to enhance and optimize their work. The report is based on a global survey conducted between November 6, 2019 and January 6, 2020 of nearly 800 finance and accounting managers, directors, controllers, and CFOs.

The report further found that more than 85% of respondents believe automation will significantly impact the way their companies perform their work within the next three to five years, likely manifesting in changes to financial reporting, general ledger and close accounting, operational accounting, financial planning and analysis, and controls and compliance processes. It would follow that such advancements will permit finance to continue to become less transactional with a more centralized finance function, driven by critical thinking, analytics, and advanced technologies.

“Technology will continue to occupy a greater role within the finance function, and recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have only accelerated this trend,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, IMA president and CEO. “As the urgency for digital finance transformation grows, it is imperative that finance professionals upskill and encourage their employees to develop future-ready competencies.”

To adapt to these changes and develop these needed skills, respondents especially recommend finance teams invest in training in:

  • Budgeting, Forecasting & Reporting Tools
  • Cloud-Based Accounting Solutions
  • Data Analytics & Visualizations

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technological advancements for many organizations and their accounting and finance functions, it’s also accelerating the future of work, workforce, and workplace,” said Beth Kaplan, managing director for the Center for Controllership, Deloitte & Touche LLP.  “As organizations discern what their ‘next normal’ looks like, now is the time to lean into areas that will offer operational efficiencies and enhancements for finance and accounting teams, just as with broader organizational groups.”

Background Information

IMA (Institute of Management Accountants)

Empowering accountants and financial professionals to drive business performance, IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession.  Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 90,000 members and 350 professional and student chapters and  provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; Shanghai and Beijing, China.

 

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