Financial Operations

November 2, 2016

Finance function needs renewed technology to speed up close, offer value to business: FEI Canada

TORONTO, ON -- A recent survey of Canadian financial executives has revealed that about 40% of respondents (the majority being CFOs) have made no investment in renewing technology to support the financial close process over the past two years. Approximately one-third of respondents do not plan to make this type of investment any time soon. This was especially true for respondents from companies with less than $25M in revenue (42% do not plan to make this type of technology investment in the next two years).

"Given the importance of finance leaders as strategic advisors in supporting future growth, it is surprising that so many organizations have not advocated for leading tools and best practices that would support this," said Laura Pacheco, Vice President, Research at FEI Canada (Financial Executives International Canada). "Finance professionals have much to offer beyond the reporting function, but they need the right technology to speed up the financial close, and then derive insights from data to support business goals."

Technology and the Accounting Process is the latest research study published by CFERF, the research arm of FEI Canada, prepared in collaboration with PwC Canada. It is based on the results of a recent online survey and research forum with senior financial executives from across the country.

Dig a little deeper, and it's clear that size and maturity play key roles in how technology is viewed and used:

  • Respondents from companies with $1B or more in revenue were twice as likely (74%) as their counterparts with revenue less than $25M (37%) to have invested in technology that improves the financial close process.

  • Respondents from companies generating between $100M and $1B were more focused on efficiency (71%) than quality of output (54%) whereas respondents from Canada's largest businesses were equally split on the two objectives (at 53% each).

  • Participants from companies with a global presence were far more likely to have made the investment in technology to improve quality of output (level of detail) (71%) than those with operations only in Canada (34%) or North America (30%).

  • When it comes to the types of technology they've chosen to invest in over the last two years for the financial close process, workflow for review and approval was the most cited (52% of all respondents), especially amongst private companies and those with revenues of $25M or less (62% and 78%, respectively). New accounting systems was the second most cited at 36% and collaboration/shared workspace technologies at 28%.

Download the report


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