Cybersecurity and data privacy concerns
Technology continues to change how companies manage their finance function, and most executives are fully aware—and supportive—of tech's role within their organizations. But precisely what benefits does technology bring today, how will this change in coming years and in what ways will tech influence the next generation of finance professionals? These questions are at the heart of the How Technology is Driving Change in Finance and Audit survey of 250 senior US finance executives.
Chief Technology Officer - Audit, KPMG US
Our research shows that companies have taken the leap to invest in and adopt critical technologies such as cloud (74%) and smart analytics (62%), and are now focused on maintaining security (80%) and getting the most out of these investments by addressing data management, quality and availability. The stakes to get tech right continue to be high - over half of respondents cited a high risk of failure as a top challenge to implementing technology.
Vice Chair - Audit, KPMG US
Executives must be able to play the long game because what we’re talking about is not simple. In some cases, there’s significant cost to making the type of change we’re talking about. But the long-term payback [is] ensuring that your organization has the technological capabilities to be competitive.
National Technology Assurance Leader - Audit, KPMG US
Robotic process automation is undervalued at this time." "With most companies looking for the best places to spend on technology, there’s low-hanging fruit [in] being able to automate manual functions and squeeze more efficiency out of their finance function holistically… It should be higher on executives’ radars.
National Managing Partner, Quality & Professional Practice - Audit, KPMG US
We still need people who understand accounting and auditing [and] also IT, but they also need the traditional skills: being able to speak with management [and] the audit committee in a way that’s understandable, take very detailed findings that are uncovered through the use of technology and put it in a way that’s understandable in non-audit speak.
In finance, “digital transformation” can mean many things; it can also bring different benefits. With significant investments already committed in most organizations, and more expected to come, it’s helpful to understand what specific benefits finance tech can deliver.
Digital transformation brings many benefits, not the least being more insights and less manual work. But our always-on, fully connected world has its downsides, too.
Cloud computing is one of the most important technological developments of the past two decades. The global economy simply could not function without it.
According to our executives the cloud (80%), smart analytics (70%) and artificial intelligence (61%) are the top-cited must-haves for today’s external auditors.
There’s no question that dramatic change is coming to finance reporting and the audit. But there’s little consensus around a timeline. Asked when they expect their external audit to be performed in a “dramatically different way,” most executives answered between four and five years (66%).
Download the study to find out how the widespread use of advanced technology will affect the next generation of finance professionals, and how will expectations differ between internal finance functions and external auditors.
Top challenges with respect to implementing technology in support of the financial reporting processes.
*Percentage of respondents who ranked as a top 5 challenge.
Cybersecurity and data privacy concerns
Lack of data quality and availability
Lack of robust data management
Risk of failure is high
Changing the organization structure
Developing the business case
Technology is too new, waiting for it to mature
Not sure which metrics to use to quantify impact
Lack of talent
With respect to the impact of the technology on your organization’s financial reporting processes, which benefits are most important to you?
Percentage of respondents who ranked as #1 (the most important) challenge.