InTheBlack with Intelligent Finance


Technology is reshaping business functions everywhere, yet Finance is still weighed down by legacy systems and antiquated practices.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of an Excel fan as the next finance expert over thirty years old, but considering the speed and scale of technological change, financial practices have mostly stayed the same.

At this year’s InTheBlack Sydney, we’ll explore the digital transformation that is changing the way Finance operates, and how intelligent technologies can redefine the roles of accountant and CFO.

Anyone with a smartphone has heard of the cloud—this near-mythical shrove of data and information we create through our interconnected digital lives. However, not everyone understands or sees the immense value the cloud can offer to financial functions.

Finance regularly produces a vast amount of data that needs to be reconciled and analysed to ensure the seamless operation of any organisation, as well as the statutory obligations. The cloud offers a secure place to store all this data, while intelligent technologies give financial functions the agility and efficiency to work faster and minimise errors through machine learning.

Innovative platforms like SAP S/4HANA enable and facilitate automation across data-driven functions, which is why Finance is the ideal business arm to introduce intelligent technologies and cloud computing.

According to Ventana Research, 68% of finance organisations still spend most of their time on assembling, correcting, and massaging data, while only 28% focus primarily on analytics-related tasks.

These labour-intensive, data-related tasks can often be time-consuming and hinge greatly on compliance. Moving these functions towards automation frees up the time and resources of CFOs and accountants.

As business processes create financial data in a cloud-based ERP system, we’re given real-time feedback that helps highlight efficiencies and move us towards predictive Accounting. Intelligent technologies use data to predict outcomes such as future spending and profitability, which in turn helps improve decision making across the business.

Many financial experts are recognising the importance of digital transformation to create innovation within financial functions. In a study by CFO Research and SAP, 85% of finance professionals agreed that their companies’ success depends on adapting to the rapid pace of change and greater business complexity.

The report also showed that 84% of respondents believe translating data into swift and decisive action would be crucial to their companies’ future success.

Data-driven decision making is streamlining the way businesses operate while reimagining financial processes and functions. The accountants and CFOs of the future will be much more than mere finance experts—they’ll be data scientists who play a vital role in the overall performance of their organisations.

Beyond using data analytics to create efficiencies, improve agility, and facilitate automation, intelligent technologies are creating a new way of working that allows experts to focus on more value-adding tasks.

Join us at InTheBlack Sydney on 21 May to gain a better understanding of how intelligent technologies, ERP platforms, machine learning, and predictive finance can transform your financial functions.