Financial management facing the digital transformation of companies

Financial management facing the digital transformation of companies


According to the ETI-PME 2022 observatory, the preponderant profile among the CFOs (administrative and financial director) remains that which structures the data collected thanks to the digitization of all or part of the company’s processes. Nearly 4 out of 10 CFOs outsource part of their functions (accounting, reporting, payroll).


The finance department remains focused on its core business, project management of finance functions, rather than being a stakeholder in the company’s digital transformation strategy. DAF Scientists, the most digitized profiles and equipped with Business Intelligence (BI) tools, represent only 9% of respondents. This is what emerges from the latest publication of the Observatory of the digitalization of ETI-SMEs, set up by RSM, an international network of consulting, auditing and accounting expertise and the DFCG (National Association of Financial Directors and Management Controllers ).

Despite the many preconceived ideas about the digitization of financial functions, projects based on artificial intelligence (AI) or robotization (RPA) technologies are very little on the agenda of ETI-SMEs. for 2021. Only 2% of projects concern AI or RPA.

Examination of the main obstacles to digitalization highlights slow change management, a lack of skills and time. However, the digital transformation is underway, only 1 in 3 respondents say they do not have a formal digitalization plan.

The time available currently represents one of the main blocking points in the involvement of the teams. Another salient point of the survey, only 25% of the CFOs questioned acknowledged being proactive and having a key role in communication with other departments (compared to 40% in 2021).

The 3 priority projects for the digitization of the CFO profession

Three trends are emerging from the study of the Observatory of the digitalization of ETI-SMEs. On the one hand, CSR (social and environmental responsibility) and DAF are progressing both jointly and separately. One out of two companies takes CSR impacts into account in its digitalization strategy, but 84% of respondents do not plan to use digital tools to measure their CSR indicators.

On the other hand, electronic invoicing appears to be a mature project for the 66% of respondents who have already implemented it.

Finally, the digitization of financial and administrative functions was not an issue of the recovery plan particularly considered among the 20% of companies in the panel questioned since 88% used it for other purposes (sustainability, development of internal skills or relocation to France). However, 40% said they would give it priority for further support.

These observations bring out the idea that it is important today to communicate on the benefits of digitalization to stakeholders and to reassure, while promoting the project culture as well as the modernity of tools.”, comments Amaury de la Bouillerie, partner in charge of RSM’s consulting activity in France.

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