BlackLine Blog

March 27, 2018

Finance 4.0: Becoming the Trust-Giver

Digital Transformation
1 Minute Read

Michael Shultz

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Whether you’ve officially heard it or not, you’re sure to have felt it: we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

But what is Industry 4.0 and how is it impacting Finance?

Industry 4.0’s distinguishing traits include increased globalization, the rapid development of digital technologies, and a decreased level of trust in institutions. These characteristics have combined to create a unique opportunity to transform the finance function.

As trust continues to be called into question, the importance of transparency for businesses is reaching imperative levels. While reporting has always been key for stakeholders, it became essential after SOX, and clear, timely reporting continues to become ever more critical for corporations.

Finance 4.0 represents the beginning of an era where Finance Departments play the role of the trust-giver.

Taking on The Role of the Trust-Giver

The modern finance function must bridge the information gap between internal and external stakeholders, helping to rebuild trust between big business and the public.

To play this role, Finance Departments will need to do more than just respond to technological changes. They will need to embrace the rapid development of digital technologies that characterizes Industry 4.0.

With these new technologies, Finance no longer needs to focus on the past. Instead, teams can focus on the current quarter and provide intelligent projections for the future.

This real-time marriage of data and finance allows stakeholders to look to Finance Departments as leaders in strategy and sustainability, and as role models for how risks should be managed.

With analytics, cloud, and robotic process automation, Finance Departments are adding significantly more value to the business.

Preparing for a Permanent Revolution

Companies continue to move forward into Industry 4.0, with 63% of global businesses planning to increase their investment in new technology by more than 6% over the next two years. However, despite these plans, 65% of respondents still report concerns over the risk of using new technologies.

But companies must continue to adapt to the new standards of business: becoming more nimble and productive in a harsher, less forgiving climate. And while Finance Departments are still adopting the technologies of Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0 is just around the corner.

Despite still being entrenched in the middle of Industry 4.0, we are positioned to enter a new revolution. Never before have industrial revolutions arrived so closely together, and the increasing rate of technological advancements is still maintaining its breakneck speed.

If we haven’t learned anything else from recent years, by now we’ve certainly learned that transformation is here to stay. And we just may find ourselves in a permanent revolution.

Read this blog for more ways to fuel your finance transformation.

About the Author


Michael Shultz