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Digital transformation in finance functions: ASEAN and UK perspectives

Informed by in-depth research conducted by ICAEW and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), this thought leadership report provides a rare insight into how digital transformation is being managed in practice across a range of different business settings, and highlights pertinent considerations for leaders undertaking their own transformation projects.
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Technology provides finance functions with many opportunities to do things better, but it also changes the business context in which finance operates.


This report shares the practical experience of professional accountants in business and other experts who are leading or involved in digital transformation of finance functions in companies across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and in the United Kingdom (UK). It highlights three key themes that underpin successful transformation.

The three elements of successful digital transformation

  1. Make the move to business partnering

    Successful digital transformation requires professional accountants to spend less time doing accounting and finance processes and more time working closely with business functions to provide financial insight. But how can finance leaders manage this seismic shift?
  2. Get people on board

    The automation of finance processes and a shift to business partnering significantly changes the role of the finance professional. New skillsets are required, as well as a significant change in culture and behaviour. How can leaders embrace change and encourage their people to do the same? 
  3. Take small steps

    Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Successful transformations often emphasise small, continuous improvements over ‘big bang’ style change, allowing for greater agility and the chance to start adding value more quickly. Find out how others are doing this in practice.