This report examines in particular how finance professionals view their organisation’s progress with digital strategies and transformation needs and whether or not the full potential is being reached, either internally or externally.

The research in this report emerges from a survey and interviews with over 230 CIPFA members. This was accompanied by qualitative research from two round table sessions in London and Stafford and numerous discussions with professionals working with CIPFA and Eduserv.

The role of finance has always undergone constant change, but today this is happening faster than ever because of wider organisational developments, such as:

  • Digital operating models that create new vulnerabilities alongside business opportunity
  • Greater automation and self-service, reducing the scope of manual intervention and oversight
  • Automated supply chains and digital procurement
  • Distributed solutions for resource management, making resource tracking and value measurement more difficult
  • New IT developments, such as AI and cloud computing, making data flows complex and risks of abuse potentially higher
  • The emergence of data and information science that builds new value opportunities but requires new skills to harness that value
  • Growing challenges for auditors in validating risk, asset control and business performance

This joint research report by CIPFA and Eduserv examines the impact of these changes on the finance profession as a whole, and on public sector finance leaders in particular. It considers the main digital trends affecting finance functions, including some of the newer technologies such as AI and blockchain. It also looks at the changing nature of public services, such as greater commercialisation, as some local councils aim to become grant independent, by securing new income from developing new services and by maximising existing revenue streams.


Can't see the form? download the full report here.


About the author

Jos Creese

As Principal Analyst, Jos acts as the face of our Local Government Executive Briefing programme, independently educating IT and business leaders on a range of business issues and technological challenges. Jos is an independent consultant specialising in helping organisations shift to digital operating models, especially in the public sector. With over 25 years' IT management experience, he has held a number of CIO and non-executive director positions, including with Hampshire County Council as CIO and CDO, supporting business change programmes enabled by IT and leading many IT shared services and IT partnerships in the region. He was president of the Society of IT Management in 2010 and is current president of BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT). He has been named the ‘most influential and innovative UK CIO’ listed in the ‘Top 100 CIO’ since its inception.

To get our advisers working seamlessly alongside your own team, email us or call 0844 5000 115