Finance function transformation: perspectives from audit chairs and finance professionals

April 2021

In many leading companies, chief financial officers (CFOs) and their teams are seizing opportunities to become more effective partners to their organizations. Finance professionals are pairing technological tools with new ways of working to create more agile functions, focused on providing forward-looking insights. Successful transformation depends on a slew of difficult but critical decisions related to people, process, and technology. Audit committee chairs understand and appreciate the benefits of these journeys but acknowledge that it can often be difficult to benchmark progress or define success at their companies.

From February 18 to March 17, 2021, Tapestry Networks convened six virtual meetings with the audit committee chairs of more than 100 large US public companies to discuss finance function transformation. Network members were joined for these conversations by senior leaders and subject matter experts from EY. In addition, the following executives participated in individual sessions: Patrick Day of FMC, Dan Durn and Junaid Ahmed of Applied Materials, and Yang Xu of Kraft Heinz. 

This ViewPoints synthesizes discussions about four key topics that emerged in the meetings:

  • The purpose of change in the finance function

  • Enabling change through process and technology enhancement

  • Talent as a critical element of transformation

  • Collaboration with key stakeholders