Finance next level


Digitalisation is no longer a question of if but of how. There is not a single business function that is not in some way affected by it, from line management to all support departments.

This issue focuses on the digitalisation of the finance role, its far-reaching impact and the changes underway. Digitalisation will completely transform the classic finance department tasks of recording and reporting on financial and other data. Instead of recording the past, it will forecast future developments and chart the appropriate course accordingly. As my colleagues David Bos and Marco Schilder put it later in these pages, ‘finance is moving from budgeting to forecasting, from bookkeeper to business partner’.

Digitalisation means accepting the challenge and making choices. It’s not the easiest of tasks in a sea of trends, technologies and options. From algorithmisation, robotisation and AI, to Big Data and machine learning – the most pressing question is how it will affect finance department staff. What new competencies should they acquire and how can they be motivated to participate in the process? In this special issue of BDO, finance chiefs from KPN, Randstad, NS, Ordina and Wolters Kluwer explain how they are tackling these issues. Theirs are inspiring stories of making the most of opportunities – and how the finance role is changing. As departing KPN CFO Jan Kees de Jager says: ‘The CFO of the future must be a data analytics expert as well as a finance professional.’

The stories in this issue show clearly how automation and robotisation can simplify finance processes, how data visualisation tools enable real time monitoring and how data analytics can be effectively used to support decision-making and value creation.

We also present our own vision and practical expertise on the digital transformation of the finance department. What are the opportunities and risks, and how can finance and IT work together? Our motto is to be as compliant as needed and as efficient as possible. We show you the practical implications of digitalisation for the roles that matter most in finance.

I hope that this BDO special will inspire you and your finance colleagues to continue on the path of digital transformation. If you have any queries, or would like advice regarding implementation, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or any one of the colleagues featured in these pages.

With kind regards,

John Hijmans

Partner, BDO Corporate Clients

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