New ideas with digital transformation

In a time of both promise and uncertainty, many companies are reconsidering even the most basic assumptions about their business models and strategies:

  • Is bigger and faster always better?
  • Should short-term gains override longer-term benefits?
  • How do we fund digital transformation with existing cost pressures?

Many CEOs in the KPMG Global Outlook survey are considering other ways to do business. They focus on growing at a sustainable pace, maintaining a sense of purpose that supports environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibility, and developing strategies with people as a core and a foundational component.

For finance, much of this reconsideration is business-led and digitally enabled, and it began with the advent of process automation solutions to address shortfalls within legacy, on-premise, ERP platforms. We now see a rapid advancement of cloud-enabled solutions along with the expansion and integration of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and other ancillary digital enablers to accelerate the speed and quality of business intelligence. Supporting them are additional enablers such as increased computing power, access to more data, and advancements in technology. These capabilities continue to elevate the value of data intelligence and its role as a competitive advantage.

As the scope of digital transformation expands across the enterprise, new business models are emerging, and established models are converging or becoming obsolete. Now more than ever, KPMG professionals see investments that are focused on accelerating digital adoption, modernising the workforce, and monetising data.

With the advancement of self-service reporting and analytics across the business, finance needs to elevate its game or risk becoming irrelevant. Innovative thinking can help define future ready requirements as the goalposts keep moving.

The future of finance is now

Finance function is in a unique position to provide the insights needed to drive real-time decision making and elevate business performance.

The pace of innovation has ultimately resulted in a nearly continuous cycle, meaning integrating technology, data, and people is extremely important. Navigating the market complexities requires finance to address disruption head-on or risk being left behind by nimbler competitors. KPMG has identified these five key focus areas/pillars for the global future of finance.

Enable sustainable growth & value creation

Developing sustainable, profitable growth by creating, integrating and realising enterprise value.

Gain an unbeatable competitive edge

Driving a cultural shift to enable accelerated development of fit-for-purpose solutions that deliver business objectives, enhance the human experience, and enable organisational agility.

Think digital, be human, act with purpose

Establishing finance as the value multiplier and integrator, while enabling enterprise data and reporting strategies, proper governance, and effective decision support across the enterprise.


Continuously evolve the operating model, embrace new ways of working and prioritize talent

Driving digital fluency across the finance workforce and adopting new delivery models, ways of working, and talent strategies to increase the scope and value of services delivered.

Turn risk into opportunity

Maintaining trust across stakeholders through the adoption of proactive risk management strategies that strike a balance between value preservation and innovation.


Read the CFO agenda report on elevating finance

Effective finance transformation is built on what we call the five pillars of foundational competencies.
This paper explains how an approach based on these pillars can help:

  • Streamline costs

  • Develop sustainable growth

  • Improve decision support

  • Increase the scope and value of services delivered

  • Maintain trust across stakeholders

Download PDF (1.7 MB) ⤓

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