Finance and accounting have a valuable opportunity to become leaders in digital transformation

“ We predict that by 2022, the top expectations for finance will be to enhance the user experience for customers. ”

Sectors like finance and accounting will be hugely disrupted by artificial Intelligence, and machine Learning. The finance function, arguably at the sharpest end of this transformation, is dealing with its own internal and external changes.

Through digital transformation, organizations can reimagine their finance processes and ensure they are in alignment with enterprise goals.

In an interview with Dataquest, Kartikeyan Gopalakrishnan, Chief Operating Officer – Teleperformance India, comments on how the company is helping Finance and Accounting clients accelerate digital transformation journeys, and explores the top five trends executives should consider when navigate the current and future climate. Excerpts:

DQ: How are you helping enterprises navigate through tough times? Elaborate.

Kartikeyan: Priorities for Finance and Accounting (F&A) departments have shifted from simply finding opportunities to reducing costs, closing the books on time, and staying compliant.

Now, they must transform to meet the new expectations of becoming agile, resilient, and insights-driven for the wider business. As the designated centre of excellence for outsourcing specializedservices, like F&A, Teleperformance India helps businesses implement Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Analytics, and Data engineering.

The derived insights help bolster scalable processes, inform best-in-class services, as well as save critical time and money during times of uncertainty.

DQ: Agility was talked about nearly a decade ago. Why is it again coming up?

Kartikeyan: Agility is fundamental for the finance function, what with digital disruption, cyber threats, and heightened competition driving constant change.

The ability to keep pace, and scale resources up or down is critical to finance executives in driving a continuous growth agenda. In the face of future social, technological, and economic disruption – potentially compounded by pandemic disruption – it will be firms that are having higher speed to market response and quick to implement process changes, will be ready for a rebound.

DQ: Digital transformation is an ongoing process. How are you helping companies?

Kartikeyan: By facilitating digital-advanced, cloud-based F&A outsourcing, we are enabling continuous digital transformation for our clients. Partnering as dedicated service provider, to manage everything from collections and reconciliation to budgeting and forecasting, allows businesses to double down on end outcome – service delivery.

We ensure process excellence and cost optimization to make life easier for teams and create a more efficient operating model – built to sustain digital change.

DQ: How are you helping firms manage CX in this digital age for financial services?

Kartikeyan: We predict that by 2022, the top expectations for finance will be to enhance the user experience for customers. Keeping this in mind, Teleperformance India provides for customised and exceptional customer experiences, based on actionable insights.

We connect the back, middle, and front office systems of finance function for firms to ensure end-to-end journeys are secure and seamless for both internal users and end customers.

DQ: What is your economic outlook for 2021 and beyond?

Kartikeyan: I am confident that, despite the broader pandemic issues, the industry and wider economy has a positive future. The International Monetary Fund has projected 12.5 per cent growth rate for the country this year, demonstrating the resilience of this nation.

The Indian IT and ITES sector will play a huge part in this, expecting to grow at 2.3 per cent year-on-year as a result of rapid digital transformation and tech adoption.

Due to add over 138,000 new hires in FY20-21, the tech industry will continue to make India one of the strongest digital markets. We must not let a crisis go to waste, but instead be ready to capitalise on the tech trends that are redefining how we work, interact, and succeed.

DQ: What are the top 5 trends that finance executives should consider to navigate the current and future climate?

Kartikeyan: Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, I believe F&A teams have a valuable opportunity to become leaders in digital transformation. How well they adapt to the following five trends will determine how well they navigate the future climate.

Automation will be the only option: F&A will utilise automation to carry out many repetitive financial activities, such as payroll administration, billing management, and reporting.

Artificial Intelligence will increasingly support teams with high-volume records to deliver better outcomes to the business, review large data sets, and easily produce results.

Prioritize investments in hiring, developing, and retaining talent: Investing in tools and technologies will help employees better manage their time and find creative ways to connect – ultimately making it a more attractive industry to join.

Remote working will become the norm for finance teams: A Gartner Survey has revealed that 74% of CFOs intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently, as productivity remains promising.

(Faas): By adopting a FaaS model, management will craft faster responses to emerging business needs and generate valuable insights to improve decision-making.

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