What’s out for finance in 2024

Prophix ImageProphix Apr 2, 2024, 7:00:00 AM

By nature, finance is a forward-looking process. CFOs play a pivotal role in charting the course for the year ahead.

And in an era of innovation, there’s no better time than now to set your sights on moving onward and upward. Feed that hunger for change, tackle new possibilities, and take risks.

But to harness the power of the next generation of finance, what do teams need to commit to? And what do they need to officially let go of to grow?

In this article, we’ll cover what’s in and out for finance this year, and how you can prepare your teams to shift to a new way of working.

What’s out for finance this year

Staying loyal to ‘the way it’s always been done’ is holding teams back from embracing the next generation of finance. The truth is, hiding from change won’t stop it from happening. And the longer you stay complacent, the faster you’ll fall behind.

So, finance teams are faced with a choice: Do you want to adapt and embrace the next generation of finance? Or are you staying in the past?

As a finance leader, there’s only one right answer. You need to be in. From people to processes, moving forward is a commitment to progress. And on the flip side, it’s just as important to know what’s out, so you can truly leave it behind and embrace the next generation of finance.

And it starts here.

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What’s out (vs what’s in) for finance in 2024

Out for finance: Siloed data and limited sharing

When your company relies on siloed data, it means everyone has a different version of the truth. The thing about data living in different applications—or worse, multiple spreadsheets—means that at any given time, anyone on the team could be looking at old or outdated data. This creates a risk for different versions of the truth or outdated data making their way into your financial statements or reports (we’re looking at you, spreadsheets!).

To put this in perspective, imagine a scenario where your sales department operates on one set of revenue figures, while the finance team uses another due to discrepancies in their data. This not only leads to confusion and inefficiency during strategic meetings but also has the potential to skew budgets and forecasts, putting your company's financial health at risk.

In for finance: A single version of the truth

When you bring all your data together into one central platform, you can guarantee that your team is using the same data across all your key finance processes. This means that someone creating the budget and someone who’s working on a forecast are using the same up-to-date data pulled directly from the source – your next-gen finance platform. A single source of truth instills trust and confidence not only in your data, but with each other too.

Out for finance: Building your own tech

When you have many in-house processes and procedures, it can be tempting to create an internal system that can manage them for you. However, there are a lot of downsides to this approach. Often, in-house systems are maintained by one individual, and if they leave the company, the knowledge of how to operate that system is lost. In addition, many of these in-house systems lack data validation and automation tools, so they may not be saving as much time for your teams as you think.

In for finance: Building with tech

The best way to prepare your team for the next generation of finance is to build up your processes with a finance platform from a reputable vendor. You’ll reap the rewards of automation, data integration, and collaboration, while having a vendor who can handle security, compliance, and optimization.

Out for finance: Disparate systems

When you have disparate systems, it can be a challenge to manage all the different applications, including their logins, data management, and security. The more times you log into different systems, the more often you’re at risk of errors, disruptions, and headaches.

Finance needs systems that talk to each other – not ones that exist in a vacuum. With disparate systems, you have to do the manual work of extracting data, setting up user admins and security parameters in each different application – which is an extremely time consuming, manual process.

In for finance: Centralized platform

A next-gen finance platform has the power to eliminate your disparate systems. With a central place to access all your finance and accounting applications, it’s easier to execute your processes with speed and accuracy.

The next generation of finance will reward those teams who can seamlessly switch between different finance and accounting functions – from financial planning & analysis to disclosure management, and back to financial consolidation – using the insights from each to boost performance.

Out for finance: Limited collaboration

Collaboration is the key to success. Being able to seamlessly work with your team or cross-functional colleagues is an essential part of decision-making. But disparate systems and disjointed data can make collaboration a challenge. On top of that, collaboration between systems is another downfall. When systems can’t talk to each other to share data or automate workflows, it adds additional manual effort for teams.

And when a lack of collaboration combines with systems that don’t sync together, you can spend more time clarifying your results, rather than driving them.

In for finance: Agile ways of working

Bringing all your data into an integrated platform is a recipe for successful collaboration. This is key to ensuring your team is using a single version of the truth to drive your decision-making forward. Also, an integrated platform not only allows for data integration, but integrated workflows too.

Out for finance: Replacing talent with tech

When AI-enabled finance tools were first introduced, there was speculation that you may be able to replace your entire team with technology. However, the reality is that your tools are only as valuable as your teams’ talents. You need someone to support the setup, maintenance, and optimization of your next-gen platform, which is still more efficient than doing everything manually.

In for finance: Levelling up talent with tech

The best way to set up your team for success, now and in the future, is to train them on a next-gen finance platform. Not only will they be better equipped to support your corporate objectives, but you’ll be setting them up for their future endeavors, no matter the role they’re in. This approach fosters a culture where technology and talent grow hand in hand, leading to more agile, innovative, and adaptable finance processes that benefit everyone involved.

Say hello to next-gen finance

If there’s one lesson for finance leaders to take away, it’s that just because it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean it’s the right way. Manual work, disjointed data, and disparate systems slow down your processes. Automated and integrated processes and data allow you to buy back time for the work that drives your business forward.

Out with inaccurate data, limited collaboration, and low confidence. In with hyper precision, ultra-adaptability, and dramatic performance.

Because finance as you know it is out. And next-gen finance is in.

Want to learn more about navigating the changing finance landscape? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Next-Gen Finance and embrace what’s next.

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Ambitious finance leaders engage with Prophix to drive progress and do their best work. Leveraging Prophix One, a Financial Performance Platform, to improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making within a harmonized user experience, global finance teams are empowered to step into the next generation of finance with no reservation. 

 Crush complexity, reduce uncertainty, and illuminate data with access to best-in-class automated insights and planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and consolidation functionalities. Prophix is a private company, backed by Hg Capital, a leading investor in software and services businesses. More than 3,000 active customers across the globe rely on Prophix to achieve organizational success.

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