20th October 2022

What Lies Ahead for Finance?

My 3 interesting things for you this month…

1. What lies ahead for finance?

On Monday 16th October, I will be speaking at an ICAEW conference on technology in finance. Specifically, what the future will look like (based on what I saw at Microsoft) and the skills and capabilities that will be required. One of the most important graphics I show is this one: specifically highlighting how finance will evolve.

Most finance teams are 0-10% of the way on this journey.

Automation will drive the reduction in technical and controllership roles (AP/AR, month-end close, etc.). Any savings from this will be reinvested into 3 areas:

  • Data and AI (think Big Data, Machine Learning, PowerBI, SQL, Python)
  • Transformation (sitting within controllership – ‘Agile Champions’ in my graphic)
  • Forward-focused FP&A (replacing the traditional ‘rearview mirror approach)

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about what this might mean for your team, and what to do about it.

2. Overwhelmed by KPIs?

Last month, you might recall I spoke about terrible charts. I want to build on that a little, and focus on KPIs (key performance indicators). Here’s a cartoon that sums it up…

A simple thing we can do to help improve our audience’s understanding of KPIs is to choose the right chart to begin with.

Here’s another free super resource put together by Hubspot and Visage highlighting some fantastic, clear, simple thoughts on how to visualise metrics.

👉 Check out the full deck here.

3. Think about your career through the lens of problems

The biggest mistake I consistently see in career coaching is people over-focusing on their own career narrative… What do I mean by this?

Well, so often I see clients concerned about ‘How do I talk about this weird stuff on my CV?’, ‘How do I talk about this complicated experience?’, ‘How can I explain that I did 3 totally unrelated jobs in one role for 2 years?’.

The issue here is that anyone looking to hire doesn’t really care.

All they want to know is: can you solve my problems?

And for that reason, I tell my clients to focus first on the problems others have that they can solve, and then work everything else back from there.

Use that lens to talk about what you did in the past, to craft a narrative for your experience, and to highlight relevant things. When you are focused on the problems of others, you’ll see how the minutiae of your story falls away.

t’s not easy to do. If you’d like some help, you know where I am 🙂

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Oliver Deacon

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