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Is it too late to post 2018 predictions?

 

Originally posted via LinkedIn January 11, 2018: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/too-late-post-2018-predictions-jamie-l-smith/

Is it too late to post 2018 predictions?

I hope not because I am about to. I meant to collect my thoughts before the holiday season but didn’t get a chance to. I think that’s paid off because the perception I have for what is going to be hot for CFOs and Finance teams in the upcoming year has been since validated.

My holiday season included a few things that helped confirm that I might be on the right track for what I see as being relevant to my fellow CPAs and Finance Leaders.

  • I finished Dan Brown’s Origin (along with 2 other novels)
  • I had a road trip to Sask and BC which opened up > 30 hours to my family and I to listen to radio and podcasts
  • I ‘checked out’ of LinkedIn, HBR and Finance related articles and spent some time on current affairs, economy, psychology, sociology and other broader issues/ideas

These experiences and the constant emphasis on Artificial Intelligence; new capitalism; the job(s) of the future; #metoo; inclusion and other hot topics outside business and Finance made me wonder what that means for Finance teams? And I can see how these macro-trends tie into what I see as leading areas of focus for Finance this coming year.

I’m going to post about each but here they are in summary:

  • Talent: How we plan our organization structure. How we use that plan to retain, engage and develop our people. How we react in this ‘moment that matters’ and how we plan for the technological disruption that is fast upon us.
  • Transformation and the ‘lightbulb’ moment that we need to get on board with automation and strategic opportunities that exist.
  • Leases: IFRS 16 is coming and there are few Calgary entities that will not see a significant impact. The transition will be a heavy lift for most Finance teams. It is compliance-driven but it is necessary and will be front and centre for many.

Most of the efforts will be setting us up  for the sophisticated automation that is becoming more and more prevalent. Many of our efforts will include automation of today – robotics, blockchain, cloud options. For some they’ll already be leveraging today’s technology and will be looking beyond. For others the focus will need to be process and talent so that those opportunities can be capitalized.

Do you agree? It isn’t easy to narrow down but these three are the ones I am betting on. I will post soon about how the macro-trends, the survey and Finance trend information we discussed at today’s presentation and other factors are continuing to make me confident in this gamble.

What do you see as the trends and hot topics for 2018?

 

 

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