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Hot topics from 2017

Six months of research has led to the evolution of this unique conference program. It’s a result of face-to-face discussions held in both Melbourne and Sydney with Finance professionals speaking their mind as to the challenges and trends facing them in their role. From these roundtable discussions, 8 important themes emerged, the hottest issues facing the industry now and the themes around which the conference was created.


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  • Transforming to Succeed

    As main business functions are facing important changes, finance is not left aside. With an increased pressure on faster reporting cycles and data relevance we operate in a time of significant challenges but also of great opportunities.

    Finance Departments must pursue a strategy that brings together people, processes, and technology. A successful strategy will be one that is both endorsed by top-level Finance leaders and embraced by the entire organisation. It must also be integral to the success of the business, influencing all decisions from the top down. In the age of data, Finance has everything it takes to become a strategic decision maker.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Embracing transformation as a global change across each of the business functions
    • Explaining clearly the goals and benefits of the transformation
    • Articulating the importance of resource allocation – focusing on time & skills
  • Finance Digitalisation Transformation

    The Finance industry is rapidly evolving with digitalisation affecting most businesses and the integration of new technologies. Finance leaders must come to terms and embrace innovative technologies like Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

    Finance is now at the forefront of the business with a higher expectation from business partners and executives. A shift of power is emerging with new technical abilities adding real value to the business, through real-time predictive analytics producing faster decision capabilities.

    However, there is an obvious lack of time and resources from Finance departments to evaluate which technology and tool to implement.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Including risk management as part of your strategy - evaluating the risks from a daily perspective
    • Investing in innovative technologies to deliver key insights for decision making
    • The finance leader of today must become technology literate, grasping the latest products and possibilities
  • Harnessing Data, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Competitive Advantage

    The Finance profession is surrounded by a wealth of data. Harnessed correctly, this data can enable faster informed decisions around pricing, external market trends, and improved internal processes. There are countless technology options that promise to turn data into valuable insights for Finance leaders, but without a fundamental understanding of how to utilise big data as a critical asset, businesses will find themselves unable to capitalise on the strategic advantage. Organisations are keen to discover how others have harnessed data for business benefit, as well as finding the right tool for their needs.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Ensuring data consistency within every layer of your organisation
    • Considering parameters such as usability and customer experience for technology adoption
    • Using data visualisation as a support for decision making
  • Creating a Business Culture that Embraces Change

    Social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionised business with globalisation and continual innovation of technology resulting in a constantly evolving business environment. The effect of this is an ever-increasing need for agility and ability to change.

    How have organisations engaged their people, won the hearts and minds of their teams, and illustrated a clear vision of the power of innovation to the future success of the business? What are the best ways to drive change and break down the silos that often exist even within Finance departments?

    Enablers to Success:

    • Selling the change brought about by innovation internally, both to stakeholders and employees
    • Decision making must be considering different generations, skills and knowledge flow within the team
    • Consider flexibility and agility as key cultural success factor for change
  • What Does the Finance Leader of Today Look Like Tomorrow?

    The role of the CFO or Finance leader is becoming intrinsically linked to technology innovation. More strategically focused finance departments will bring real added value and establish themselves as leader of change.

    This will be possible through the understanding of data, cloud and mobility opportunities. Successful CFOs must embrace digital technologies, improve skills level and implement innovative business processes to drive efficiency into all business functions. They also must look far beyond what may have been considered their traditional role and change their way of thinking to become a key business leader.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Capitalising on the finance leader unique view of the organisation
    • Broadening your skillset and adopting a new technology friendly mindset
    • Getting the most out of your investments
  • Detonate or Renovate – Integration, Implementing New Technology and Consolidating Legacy Systems

    It’s the age-old question for Finance leaders when it comes to legacy systems – detonate or renovate? Each has its own merit, and neither is without obstacles for your Finance team to overcome.

    Often when organisations install a new system, they map around the existing process, rather than fundamentally standing back and asking “How do we simplify the process?” Other times they find themselves consolidating, ending up operating large numbers of different and complex systems, with licensing and training costs which are prohibitive. There is no one right answer, with each having significant pros and cons to consider before making the big decision.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Establishing standardised processes and defining a single source of
    • Developing a strategy for a cross function system of integration and adaptation
    • Make sure your system is supported by your entire organisation from the bottom to the top while improving usability
  • Creating a Winning Team Through Training and Collaboration

    Implementing technology is often the easy part – keeping your team engaged, invested and working efficiently with the technology is the constant challenge for Finance leaders. However, using creativity, innovation, inclusion, and training, it is possible for Finance leaders to create an environment where employees are inspired to go on the journey with them.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Supporting collaboration and creating an open atmosphere where people can interact and participate
    • Engaging your teams with continuous trainings and improvement
    • Focusing on communication as a key element of your business culture
  • Building an Effective Business Case for Finance Technology Progression

    When launching a successful financial technology project, it is important to be on the same strategic page as the business. How do Finance leaders begin to build a business case? How do you get everyone around you focused on financial innovation? It can be difficult to sell the need for internal investment in Finance technology at the expense of customer facing or revenue-generating projects, but by talking the same language as the business and demonstrating the impact of your idea, you stand a much greater chance of success.

    Enablers to Success:

    • Make your voice heard to lead technology projects
    • Positioning the Finance department as a decisive player toward a more agile organisation
    • Importance of long term strategy and alignment with the business goals

Thanks to our awesome 2017 sponsors

    Foundation Partner
    Foundation Partner
    Transformation Partner
    Financial Force
    Transformation Partner
    Transformation Partner
    Wolters Kluwer
    Transformation Partner
    DXC Oxygen
    Transformation Partner
    Supported by