Seminar zeroes in on finance transformation within organisations

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin /ANN) - Deloitte Southeast Asia recently held a seminar in Brunei that focussed on how organisations can remain relevant and competitive in today’s rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

The seminar - held at the Radisson Hotel - saw the attendance of more than 70 Brunei government representatives and business leaders. A key topic of the seminar was on finance transformation within organisations.

Speaking to the Bulletin about the event, Deloitte Consulting Pte Ltd Director Pengiran Dr Haji Hishamuddin bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Badaruddin shared, "We’ve brought in our subject matter experts to talk about finance transformation, insight-driven analytics, robotic process automation, cyber risk and fraud risk."

He said the purpose of the seminar was to share knowledge and experience on these topics with private and government-linked companies as well as some government agencies, placing emphasis on how organisations will be able to achieve better financial and resource management by using insights obtained from the use of data analytics.

"We think that it is important for Brunei companies and government agencies to be aware of these new development areas and see the potential. For example, in terms of insight-driven analytics, the use of data analytics can improve efficiency, policies and strategy, which can then help open up doors to new opportunities for the government and businesses in Brunei," he added.

According to a press statement issued by Deloitte, Consulting Leader for Deloitte Brunei Lee Chew Chiat said that while many organisations in Brunei are taking steps to transform themselves, the focus seems to be on improving front-end services.

He highlighted the need for consideration of business support functions such as finance "which are equally, or even more, important to transform in order to give the organisations a strong support base to attract foreign direct investments, and harness the opportunities locally and beyond Brunei’s shores."

It was shared that the first step to finance transformation is for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Finance Department to understand their current state and consider the technology and mindset changes that are needed to achieve the department’s goal that aligns with the overall organisation transformation strategy.

After this, the CFO can look into the better integration of finance systems and data, and leverage on digital tools such as robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce manual transaction activities. These tools are important because they enable the Finance Department to focus on providing higher value strategic insights that support the growth of the organisation.

Finance Transformation Leader of Deloitte Southeast Asia Timothy Ho who also spoke at the seminar said, "Technology and digital disruption is up-ending many business functions, and finance is no exception.

"CFOs will need to transform the finance department in tandem with how the rest of the business functions are transforming in order to better support the organisation in its growth strategy in today’s digital world."

The other topics covered at the seminar were cyber and fraud risks - the potential damage these risks can have on organisations and what safeguards and controls can organisations put in place to protect themselves; and insights-driven analytics - how analytics can be used to provide insights on business opportunities, issues and risks, and accelerate digital transformation - both of which are equally crucial components of organisations’ digital transformation process.

"We hope that through this seminar, the Brunei government and its business leaders will recognise that transformation is an on-going process given that technology is evolving at a rapid pace," said Chew Chiat.

"More so than infrastructure and operational processes, a mindset change that embraces digitisation is required for Brunei to effectively enter into a future that is sustainable for its economy and for its people," he added.