Why future ready finance functions are necessary to achieve next-generation priorities

By Andreas Marathovouniotis

Only a fraction of finance functions at high-performing U.S. companies are actually future ready and are thriving in this new business environment. In fact, nearly two-thirds of organizations have struggled to implement their most forward-thinking priorities, such as investing in AI to reduce costs and drive efficiencies. However, the majority of finance organizations are well in tune with the requirements of the new reality: maintain traditional responsibilities and develop new capabilities to better support the business.  

A new KPMG report, Future Ready Finance Global Survey: Learn what high-performing organizations are doing differently, finds that there is a stark contrast between high-performing finance organizations and their low-performing counterparts as they prepare for the future of finance. High-performing companies enjoy a success rate of 50 percent or more when it comes to executing on their most important imperatives, such as the deployment of next-generation automation and analytics technologies to provide critical insights to inform business decisions, and becoming a force for innovation within their enterprises.

“Future-ready finance groups are enabling better business decisions and driving enterprise performance by establishing digital-enabled service delivery models and driving the adoption of advanced analytics and automation technologies,” said Ron Walker, U.S. Leader of KPMG’s Finance Transformation practice. "With the increased technological, analytical and regulatory demands in finance functions, only future ready finance groups are equipped to deliver business solutions that successfully drive enterprise performance."


The study found a number of key contrasts between U.S. and global enterprises:

  • Only 19 percent of U.S. finance executives provide very strong support to the business in driving innovation and responding to market disruption. But the finance functions within high-performing companies globally are more than twice as likely to be very active in overhauling the service delivery models of their enterprises to increase agility
  • Some 45 percent of U.S. finance executives report that data quality is the single greatest challenge to improving analytic capabilities, followed by access to required and relevant data. Conversely, high-performing finance functions globally have their data foundations in place, and have shifted their attention to helping their organizations remain competitive and gain market share.
  • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. finance executives expect automation to enable existing finance staff to take on more value-adding and strategic roles, and 61 percent agree that it will create more jobs than it eliminates. Nonetheless, globally high-performing finance organizations expect to retain, and retrain, a much higher proportion of their staffs.
  • At most organizations, the finance function overemphasizes operational and cost reduction-focused initiatives relative to management’s priorities. But at high-performing organizations, finance places a higher priority on planning and insight generation than executive management.

To learn more about the findings of the survey or to arrange an interview with KPMG’s Ron Walker, please contact Andreas Marathovouniotis.

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-307-7608

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Ron Walker

Ron Walker

Finance Transformation Service Network Lead, KPMG US

+1 858-750-7057