February 28, 2024

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A Third of Finance Professionals Aren’t Equipped to be Successful, A New Report Shows

Almost a third – 32% – of finance professionals report that their finance function doesn’t have the technology it needs to be effective, a new report shows.

 Almost a third – 32% – of finance professionals report that their finance function doesn’t have the technology it needs to be effective, while less than one in 10 (9%) have total confidence in the data within their finance systems. The findings are revealed in the Advanced Finance and Procurement Trends Report 2023/24, which canvassed the views of more than 920 senior decision-makers in the sector.

It also found that two in five (39%) are juggling cloud-based and on-premise solutions, while 28% are solely reliant on an on-premise system, meaning they are unable to access data securely outside of the physical workplace.

Matthew Muldoon, Vice President of FMS at Advanced at Advanced, said: “Only a third (34%) of people working in finance said they are equipped to be productive at all times, meaning there is a huge volume of wasted talent within the sector. This talent wastage is compounded by rogue spending, manual inputting due to poor processes, and lack of strategic direction – which combined paint a not so healthy picture of the state of finance and spend management as a function in British businesses.

“Proper management of finances is a vital element of successful business and it’s unsurprising that so many professionals we spoke to raised concerns about having access to the tools they need to do their job properly,” Muldoon added. “There is a clear desire to invest in more technology and operate more strategically – but these trends have not shifted markedly over the last year, suggesting that finance leaders are making little headway with their goals for progression.”

Fifty-seven per cent of finance and 56% of procurement professionals reported that their organisation is on track with technology adoption compared to competitors, whilst 24% of finance and 14% of procurement said they are further ahead than expected. However, a significant 21% of procurement professionals said they felt their organisation was stalling and falling behind the competition in relation to technology adoption.

These same procurement professionals recognise the benefits of switching to a digital procurement platform and almost half (49%) say these benefits would include fuelling higher quality reports and more cost-effective sourcing.

Muldoon added: “Finance professionals play a fundamental role in the responsible operation of their respective business, and it’s imperative they have access to the right tools to carry out their roles. This in turn will give them greater confidence in the quality of their data and reporting; it’s concerning that less than one in 10 have 100% confidence in their financial system’s data. These concerns must be addressed – and quickly – to protect the longevity of the business.”

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