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The Role of Finance Teams Is Changing, According to New AICPA Study

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Finance teams should be gearing up for change – that’s the key message from a new survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Beyond traditional accounting and finance practices, more businesses are turning to their finance teams to help them manage a range of responsibilities, including IT development, cyber security and strategic business planning. According to the survey, companies need more support in these areas because the business environment is increasing in complexity.

Ninety-three percent of the CEOs, CFOs and accountants that participated in the survey say business complexity has increased in the last three years due to the changing economic and regulatory environment in the U.S. and across the world. About one-third of those respondents say it’s become significantly more complex.

Those changes likely won’t slow down anytime soon. An overwhelming majority of finance professionals responding to the survey believe business complexity will increase in the next three years. Almost three out of four respondents anticipate a moderate or significant increase.

So, in what areas can finance experts expect their role to change and where should they be building their expertise? The survey identified several business functions and departments:

  • Strategic business planning
  • Accounting information systems, including IT development and cyber security
  • Management and corporate governance
  • Legal and compliance
  • HR
  • Risk management and internal controls
  • Management reporting and analysis

Have you and your team experienced the effects of increased business complexity firsthand?  How are your roles changing, and what are you doing to adapt to an evolving business environment?


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