Trends & challenges in Finance & Control for 2020-2025

We are increasingly seeing certain developments and challenges in the Finance industry. We frequently see these at clients, but they are also often mentioned on social media channels and in conversations with CFOs and Controllers. In many of these cases there are common threads that recur over and over again. The challenges within organizations can always be traced back to 3 core areas, regardless of the sector in which the organization is active. These are IT / Data, HR / personnel and Governance / compliance with laws & regulations. Often these matters are also related. In this blog we will explain these trends and try to provide solutions for each individual problem.

IT / Data

Data is becoming increasingly important. However, many organizations struggle with the quality of their data. Data in systems is often incomplete, incorrect and difficult to convert into meaningful information. Finance departments also often struggle with this issue, but regular departments do likewise. In addition, organizations often have outdated or not properly functioning IT systems and a lot of data is captured in Excel sheets, with all the associated risks. This makes developing good management information a major challenge. The role of Finance is also broadening and developing from looking back to looking more forward and as a strategic business partner. The more repetitive and operational duties will also be made redundant by ever-increasing automation and robotization. Not all Finance employees can participate in this trend. This is also strongly related to the next category of HR / Personnel challenges.

HR / Staff

In today’s competitive labor market, it is increasingly difficult for organizations to find and retain qualified and experienced personnel. Employees who cannot keep up with the above trend will remain in their comfort zone within the organization, while good personnel are either hard to find or quickly no longer see a challenge and are gone as soon as better opportunities arise. The increasing flexibility of the labor market also plays a role here: this can be a threat (qualified personnel starts for themselves), but it also offers opportunities (many more specialists can be hired to tackle specific problems).

Governance / Compliance with laws & regulations

In addition to the aforementioned challenges, departments are having to comply with an increasing number of laws and regulations, for example stricter reporting rules for Finance departments. But other examples include rules such as the GDPR / AVG or regulations and guidelines from supervisors. Here again there is a strong connection with IT / Data: difficult to access or polluted data makes it more difficult to comply with these rules. Governance can only be in order if the data is structured and the personnel is qualified and capable.

Solutions for Data, HR and Governance problems

Organizations will face some major challenges in the coming years. Fortunately, there are also solutions. Concerning the problems with data: via data analytics (analysis of very large data flows for

errors and assessment of the data quality) and data migration assurance (extra certainty about required data migrations through detailed validation of test migrations, and monitoring of failure resolution ) the quality of the data can be improved. This also ensures that it is easier to comply with laws and regulations.

With regard to the availability of good personnel, making the labor market more flexible can also be a solution. When a role has to be filled temporarily, qualified interim workers can be deployed so that there is more time to find a permanent interpretation for the role.

The same applies to challenges in the field of Governance, compliance with laws and regulations and the proper and safe organization of IT systems and cyber security measures. Here too, temporary specialists can provide support and fulfillment in the short term.

INTERMEDIATE can help you with this by offering a number of qualified and available Interim specialists in a short period of time.

This blog was written by Remco Spruyt.