Finance and managing directors gathered together last week to deliver the damning verdict. The warning came as CIMA unveiled research which reveals major deficiencies and integration difficulties in finance function systems.
A spokesman for the panel, which included Paul Williamson, finance director of the Royal Mail Service, part of the Consignia group, told Accountancy Age: ‘Inefficiencies within the finance function are creating work. We have had technology and technique fatigue and we need a new lighter, more selective approach.
‘Finance professionals need to start thinking like outsiders. We must have the insights into how to exploit the technology if we are to deliver on our promises. Only then will we close the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of creating shareholder value.’
The panel added: ‘The biggest challenge is changing behaviours and there are huge culture and communication issues where finance professionals lack a track record. This will be a difficult but vital transition.’
According to CIMA technology-based challenges are being experienced by all 52 organisations surveyed. 83% highlighted controlling costs, 78% information systems and 73% long term strategy. In the core area of performance reporting, 57% rated their systems as average or poor.
A CIMA project to make recommendations in this area will publish its conclusions by early 2003.
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