Reacting to change

The Financial Services industry is experiencing unchartered change. The impact of digital disruption, Fintech innovation, robotics, big data, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) processing are all driving the fundamental need to re-think the way an organisation’s back office functions are designed, and how they can sustainably operate in the future. 

The C-suite, whilst excited by the potential new technologies offer, also should address the concerns this brings, shuffling 24/7 customer demands, digitally-enabled employees and constant pressures to reduce costs while maintaining regulatory compliance.  These challenges focus the spotlight on finance and risk, and raise genuine questions as to whether the capabilities and services provided today are appropriate for our fast changing, digitally-enabled environment.


Securing a future

The finance and risk functions are encouraged to step up to the challenge; the demand for “game change” support, paired with “real time” insight for customer facing teams and, increasingly the demands of regulators. In our very dynamic and constantly evolving business environment, there are no more excuses. Finance and risk functions need to adapt, or they risk becoming a minor player in the digital and data-driven revolution expected to sweep across industries. Opportunities are there for the taking—but where does one start?


Accenture Finance & Risk Digital Target Operating Model

Accenture Finance & Risk has taken these challenges and reimagined the Finance & Risk Target Operating Model (TOM), leveraging the digital capabilities required for finance and risk to be effective in today’s operating environment. The aim is not to rehash the tried and tested approach, but to re-think how technology and data can fundamentally change the way finance and risk operates, and how their professionals should evolve, embracing new skills and partnering with new colleagues who specialise in data and analytics.

TOM is built on some key components that we’ll explore over a series of blogs. These components include:

  • Specialisms:  How and where key skills and knowledge is sourced to deliver optimum service and decision making capability to customers and stakeholders. 
  • Hubs: Unlocking value from structured and unstructured (big) data, supporting customers, meeting statutory and regulatory requirements, promoting self–service and automation (such as Robotics Process Automation).
  • Liquid Talent: Do finance and risk teams have the right balance of skills to support shifting organisational requirements, the flexibility to meet evolving customer demands and respond with deep analytical capabilities? How can finance and risk become more diverse, yet retain control?
  • Digi Tech: How does finance and risk embrace Fintech/RegTech (financial technology and regulatory technology)? Which new and emerging technology do you build the future around, and how does the finance and risk architecture link to the enterprise-wide architecture to allow an integrated data chain? What impact will the likes of “Bitcoin” and AI have? How does a firm integrate cyber security to its existing operational risk program?
  • Strategy and Vision: A seismic shift in finance and risk directors’ strategy is required. New C-suite roles are emerging, such as Chief Data Officers. Not only will business and regulatory concerns need to be addressed over the next five (5) to 10 years, but the impact of digital is expected to provide a constantly changing and uncertain outlook. Each financial institution will find itself having to plan its own journey and priorities.

The Finance & Risk Digital TOM is poised to help financial firms’ risk teams juggle the ever-changing climate in which we operate. In my next post, we’ll take a closer look at how Chief Financial Officers and Chief Risk Officers can move forward on this.

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