Executive Summary

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Change in the Office of Finance:

Evaluating Barriers to Digital Transformation

Executive Summary

Ventana Research has conducted quantitative research on the performance of the finance organization for 15 years. The research has been conducted against the backdrop of the idea that finance organizations must play a more strategic role in the management of the modern organization. This transformation envisions a finance department that’s more of a partner to the rest of the company — one that is less focused on “bean counting,” directing its resources and energy instead to providing more insightful analytics, facilitating transactions of value and communicating actionable data analyses that enable good managers to make better decisions more consistently.

Finance Transformation — A Long Time Coming

This idea of transforming the finance department has been around for decades. It dates back to the first application of computers to bookkeeping and billing in the 1950s. Although primitive by today’s standards, those computers substantially enhanced the productivity of these basic functions. But far more change still is required. “Finance transformation” and more recently “digital transformation” have received a great deal of attention in recent years, yet our research routinely finds this transformation has not yet happened in most companies.

Why? One reason is that finance and accounting departments have been laggards in adopting successive generations of modern technology. Moreover, while a steady stream of advances in technology for the finance organization have been available, these have yielded only incremental improvements in productivity. There has been little progress in using technology to change the nature of the work performed by the department.


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