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The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants launches new study on the people aspect of finance transformation

London, 13 February – The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), the unified voice of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), recently launched Finance transformation: the human perspective, its newest joint study with KPMG International. 

The study of more than 670 senior finance and HR professionals shows that despite 76% of organisations currently planning, developing or delivering finance transformation programmes, they allocate less than 10% of their training budget to address their employees’ most significant skills gaps. This lack of investment in skills, particularly digital skills, could hinder the finance function’s transformation and its ability to support effective decision making within business.

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting at the Association said: 

“Organisations are transforming their finance functions – investing in new and emerging technologies to streamline operations and drive efficiency. However, digital transformation is not solely about investing in new technologies but is largely about training staff so your employees have the necessary skills to perform their roles now and in the future. People are key to the success of finance transformation programmes and building sustainable success.

“When it comes to the finance function, our research shows that we are yet to close the most significant skills gaps. It is therefore key that organisations reverse the current trend and focus on developing their existing talent pool to make the most of digital transformation and ensure long-term benefits. Equally, finance professionals must commit to lifelong learning, upskilling and continuous professional development to keep up with the demands of the global digital business world.”

About the research

To explore the impacts of transformation on organisations and their finance functions, we spoke to 678 finance and HR professionals from 44 countries. Of these 73% were from private sector organisations and 27% from the public and third sectors. Almost two-thirds (63%) of our finance respondents were currently or had recently been involved in finance transformation programmes, with a further 13% planning to be so within the next three years. Outside of the finance function, 6% of respondents had delivered, were delivering or planned to deliver transformation programmes elsewhere in the business. 18% had no plans to deliver transformation initiatives.