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Digitisation 'a priority for public finance chiefs'

Dec 08
Tags: Ernst & Young LLP
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Digitisation 'a priority for public finance...

Consulting firms could see more demand from public sector organisations focused on digitisation over the coming years, with new research showing that this is a priority for chief financial officers (CFOs).

An EY survey of public sector CFOs found that nearly six out of ten respondents (58 per cent) ranked the improvement of performance through digital technology as the top strategic goal for their organisation.

Achieving cost efficiencies through automation and outsourcing was a fairly distant second, cited by 26 per cent of public sector finance bosses.

Other findings showed that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of CFOs were allocating more time to providing analysis and support to senior leaders and decision makers than five years ago.

More than six out of ten finance chiefs (63 per cent) now spend more time supporting their organisation's development and strategic goals, while 53 per cent are increasingly taking a leading role in strategy work.

Discussing the research, Darra Singh, head of UK government and public sector at EY, said the role of CFOs is changing, making these executives an "indispensable part" of the leadership structure in local authorities, councils and Whitehall.

He added: "The pressure to deliver more with less in the public sector has thrust the role into the spotlight and they are responding to this challenge in different ways. This includes the use of technology such as blockchain and sophisticated data analytics.

"We are seeing quite different profiles and responsibilities emerge when compared to the traditional idea of a public sector CFO."

Other findings showed that three-quarters of CFOs believe public bodies face a growing challenge to find finance leaders, while almost all (95 per cent) are keen to see increased collaboration across organisations.

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Image: iStock/bymuratdeniz

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