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Deloitte Finance 2025 | Workday differentiators

Finance in a digital world

From cloud computing and robotics to analytics, cognitive technologies and blockchain, a new class of digital disruptors is transforming how the work of finance gets done.

The Deloitte Finance 2025 article offers several predictions about how finance organisations might evolve over the next several years, becoming better, faster and probably less expensive. We’ve examined these predictions and applied key differentiators of how Workday can help to enable this digital disruption.

The finance factory: Transactions will be touchless as automation and blockchain reach deeper into finance operations

Key Workday differentiator: Workday fully automates accounting, including for transactions from external systems and consolidates in real-time, helping organisations close when they want and adjust as they need. Finance can consistently co-ordinate and automate their business practices, including triggering approvals, report distribution, tasks, integrations and more as a part of a flexible business process framework. Machine learning is woven into the fabric of core processes to help further automate manual actions like customer receipt application and supplier invoice ingestion while identifying anomalies in journals and plan entries to reduce risk and support management by exception.

The role of finance: With operations largely automated, Finance will double down on business insights and service. Success is not assured. The skills required by finance professionals will change, likely dramatically, as new combinations of technology and human workforces permeate the workplace

Key Workday differentiator: Workday accelerates the evolution of finance from transaction operator to strategic advisor by bringing together the critical financial, workforce and operational data at scale and supporting continuous and collaborative planning across the enterprise. Finance can help the business understand the “why” behind the “what” with fresh insights and develop broader and deeper scenario plans based on models that are easily recalibrated as conditions change.

Finance cycles: Finance goes real time. Periodic reporting will no longer drive operations and decisions—if it ever did.

Key Workday diffetreniator: With Workday’s in-memory accounting and reporting foundation, Finance can achieve a continuous close for real-time consolidated financial reporting, management reporting and ad hoc analysis.  Workday’s modelling engine supports rolling forecasts with integrated scenarios at scale, so finance can identify issues in real time, investigate the cause and reforecast dynamically—not only at period end.

Self-service: Self-service will become the norm. Finance will be uneasy about this.

Key Workday differentiator: Workday drives self-service engagement with a role-aware user experience that provides context and streamlines work, while simultaneously giving finance confidence and control through a single role-based security model, always-on audit capabilities and complete visibility into data lineage. Workday engages users with more personal recommendations for completing processes and adapts to how users want to interact—via conversations with Workday Assistant, a bot using natural language processing, search etc.—giving each user a catered, personal experience that surfaces what they need when they need it.

For self-service analysis, users have access to reporting and analytics tools that make the most sense for each user’s needs, connected and secured by the same object data model, providing everyone with actionable insight without having to worry about the data integrity or assembly.

Operating models: New service-delivery models will emerge as robots and algorithms join a more diverse finance workforce—think about the integration of freelancers, gig workers and crowds. Companies will assess the benefits of automation against onshore and offshore operations.

Key Workday differentiator:  Workday helps organisations apply a skills-based lens to optimise finance talent in new operating models, applying machine learning and analytics to help them to understand the skills they have and the skills they need while providing the tools to support new models and career journeys, like gig work. Workday helps finance leaders equip their teams with new finance technology, identifying the areas new innovations can have the greatest impact and seamlessly weaving them into core financial processes as part of regular releases. New technology is deployed with a consistent user experience, giving flexibility and scalability in the face of change without the risk or manual effort of bolt-on tools.

Enterprise resource planning: Finance applications and microservices challenge traditional ERP. Big vendors will be prepared.

Key Workday differentiator:  Workday was founded with the goal of creating a new experience for finance fundamentally different from legacy ERP.  Workday provides financial management, global consolidations, workforce and talent management, collaborative planning and comprehensive reporting in one cloud architecture, connected by the same object data model. As their needs evolve, organisations can extend Workday by developing apps in the same environment with familiar experience, source of data and security model, unlocking new value to meet their unique needs and increasing organisational agility.

Data: The proliferation of APIs will drive data standardisation, but it won’t be enough. Companies will still be struggling to clean up their data messes.

Key Workday differentiator:  At the heart of Workday is an intelligent data foundation that allows organisations to ingest, transform and analyse data at any level of detail, combining financial and worker transactions with data about future plans, data from other systems, peer benchmarks and public information such as census data. Workday’s data foundation provides one place to manage, secure and distribute the most critical business data, allowing Finance to get their data house in order.

Workforce and workplace: Employees will be doing new things in new ways, some of which will make CFOs uncomfortable.

Key Workday differentiator: The future of work is more distributed, flexible and transparent in support of faster decision-making and execution cycles. Workday provides self-service, automated processes, makes data and analytics available to the users at critical moments and supports high-volume scenario modelling and company-wide planning, all connected and secured in one place. Finance has more time to confidently guide new change while maintaining confidence in data security and quality.

How we can help

Leveraging our industry, human capital and finance management insights, the Deloitte Workday Alliance goes beyond system implementation to deliver end-to-end, high-value, high-touch services for companies seeking true cloud-enabled business transformation. We exist to fuel the future of work and deliver talent and finance capabilities in a digital world.

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