Predictions and trends for 2023


Finance leaders need agility and the ability to rethink processes in new ways in 2023.

Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, helps customers adapt and thrive in a changing world. Below are some of the key trends Workday SA country manager Kiv Moodley believes will define 2023 as chief financial officers address a rapidly changing business environment.

Moodley said:

“We believe that CFOs must prioritise agility and reinvention in response to the fast-changing macroeconomic environment. They will be expected to lead the company through challenges, outmaneuver the competition, and emerge stronger on the other side. This requires finance leaders to be agile, prioritise in new ways, and rethink what is possible in terms of technology and processes. Workday provides solutions for CFOs and their teams which not only bring together the power of data and technology to eliminate data silos, but also reinvent processes to streamline and simplify data access and decision-making.”

Increased trust between the CFO and CIO will continue to be critical
CFOs have traditionally been focused on digital transformation within finance. But today, they are more broadly focused on enterprise-wide innovation. Over the next year, IT and finance will need to work together to harness new technology effectively. As both the CFO and CIO roles evolve to focus on creating business value, trust and collaboration between these two leaders will be paramount to continued success, especially in an uncertain environment.

Data science skills will play an increasingly important role in finance’s ability to create business value
Financial integrity and risk management will continue to be table stakes for the organisation, but as the role of finance evolves to be more strategic and agile, the ability to find, analyse, and mine terabytes of data for insights will be in equal demand to more traditional financial skills. Data is one of any organisation’s most valuable assets, and how you harness that power matters. Every CFO will be on the lookout for top talent in data science – from data analytics to data management – as well as skills in the fields of AI, ML, and data storytelling.

Your tech strategy will become your hiring and talent retention strategy
Employees want to do meaningful work. For finance and accounting teams, that means doing more than manual data input or living in spreadsheets five days a week. In today’s talent market where skilled finance workers are at a premium, more than ever, employee experience will be paramount to building—and retaining—a skilled and agile finance team. When teams leverage technology to automate manual processes, they can instead focus on finding anomalies or data trends that help the business understand the “why” behind the numbers, acting as a more strategic partner to the business.

The journey to zero-day close will drive further adoption of accounting automation
Traditionally, reconciling financial statements at the end of a reporting period—whether monthly, quarterly, or annually—has been a labor-intensive process that can take weeks to complete. But one of accounting's most ambitious goals is aiming to change that: a zero-day close, leveraging continuously available, up-to-date information to close the books at any time. While a zero-day close is the ultimate goal, it’s the journey to this goal that will result in incremental day-to-day process improvements – such as automating manual data entry for invoices or manual journal creation – to truly advance the finance function.