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What are the characteristics of finance leaders in the Nordic region? According to a new HFS/Cognizant report, technologies such as AI, automation and data analytics stand at the core of the finance and accounting (F&A) evolution. Upgrading their underlying technology infrastructure is vital; those who fail will be unable to tackle future challenges.

AMacroeconomic challenges put pressure on CFOs in the Nordic region. It’s a challenging role; CFOs need to be cautious about high inflation, rising interest rates, new regulations, and technological advancements, among other things, while maintaining brand value and meeting customer experiences as well as employee experiences.

To understand how finance functions are combating these pressures and competing priorities, Cognizant let global research and analysis firm HFS Research interview some of the Nordic region’s F&A transformation leaders.

Tech modernization is key

What are the findings then? Faced with economic challenges, CFOs in the Nordic region focus on reducing costs, streamlining processes, modernizing technology, and implementing sustainable practices. They are taking several measures to achieve these goals, such as slimming organizational structure, consolidating vendors, renegotiating contracts, and adopting and upgrading technology to drive enterprise transformation.

Our research indicates that:

  • The biggest challenges for finance leaders are the limited skilled talent pool, the shift toward working from home, and the need for digital literacy.
  • Technology stands at the core of the evolution of finance functions. Companies are exploring AI, automation, and data analytics for deeper insights and efficiency. Outdated technology hinders the deployment and needs to be addressed.
  • Businesses will increasingly balance outsourcing and insourcing of their services. Companies have already achieved significant cost reductions while integrating shared service centers and leveraging business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts to maintain operational excellence.
  • The relationships between enterprises and service providers are crucial in navigating digital transformation and operational challenges. The collaboration can “make or break” the success of the transformation.

Foster effective collaborations

Any advice based on the report? Finance leaders in the Nordic region need more interdisciplinary skills, to secure the right talent, and to develop more collaboration with service providers. As for effective partnerships, they should aim for trust, shared objectives and strategic congruence. All in all, finance leaders need to adopt a holistic approach to finance transformation and strategic partnerships to navigate changes and secure cash flow, keeping their businesses healthy and competitive.'

Read and download the full HFS report and also visit Cognizant’s business process services (BPS) section.

Hans Hasselgren

Head of Intuitive Operations & Automation, Cognizant

Hans Hasselgren

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