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IMA Reports the State of the Finance Function in India

Captures gaps between effectiveness and priority in strategy and risk management

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Marc Gerrone
IMA
(201) 474-1502
mgerrone@imanet.org

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866
tfenske@sternstrategy.com

Montvale, N.J., February 8, 2018 – The role of the finance function in India’s organizations is evolving to include new high priority responsibilities, in addition to the traditional, limited remit of the cost accountant, finds new research from IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), MyCFO and the Institute of Directors (IOD) India. To see the full report, visit here: https://goo.gl/vqMu7v.

In May-June 2017, IMA – in collaboration with MyCFO and the IOD India – conducted a survey of finance and accounting professionals working in businesses to assess the state of management accounting practices in India. Survey respondents were primarily from midsize (100 to 999 employees) and large (greater than 5,000 employees) firms.

“Indian companies are entering an exciting new world—one characterized by rapid economic, social, and political change. While planning, forecasting, and providing business insights are high priorities for the finance team, India’s complex tax and regulatory environment requires substantial focus and resources, which reduces their ability to focus on providing business insight,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research and policy, and author of the study.

IMA’s first research project in India, the study focuses on the state of the finance function among Indian companies of various sizes and types of ownership. IMA compared the survey results to prior studies in China and other regions to examine how management accounting practices differ. It found that Indian companies spend a similar amount of time on statutory reporting compared to other companies in emerging economies.

“The results of this study provide a revealing portrait of management accounting practices in India,” said T. Subbarayudu, president of IMA’s Bangalore Chapter, who spearheaded execution of the survey. “Prior to this report, there has been relatively limited research on the role that management accountants play within their organizations, the enterprise performance management (EPM) systems that they help design and deploy, or the tools and techniques they use.”

“The report indicates that while the industry classification of a firm didn’t significantly affect how the finance function spends its time, there were significant differences based on type of firm. As might be expected, publicly traded companies and wholly foreign-owned companies spent more time on statutory reporting than partnership firms and privately held companies,” explained Manoj K Raut, CEO and director at IOD. “Surprisingly, partnership firms spend much more time on strategy development than other private and public companies.”

“While statutory reporting still takes up most of their time, finance professionals are spending an increasing amount of time on strategy development as the regulatory burden eases. This is a positive indication that finance will be well-positioned to enhance its business partnering role in the near term,” said Deepak Narayanan, co-founder at MyCFO, which works with companies in finance transformations, performance measurement, turnaround and restructuring, post-merger integration and interim management.

“The Indian business environment is rapidly evolving, and so is its management accounting,” added IMA’s Lawson. “Newer finance responsibilities such as forecasting, planning, and strategy are emerging priorities, and newer management accounting techniques are being adopted. Yet Indian companies, like their counterparts elsewhere in the world, under-prioritize practices that are most effective in yielding better business insight.

“Companies need to ensure their accounting and finance professionals possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to act as strategic business advisors. By being able to help their organizations develop and implement effective strategic performance management systems, today’s management accountants can greatly contribute to the success of their companies.”

IMA is the only global management accounting organization to consistently be a forerunner in delivering relevant research on the evolution of the financial professional to business partner. With a history of nearly 100 years of management accounting innovation and insight, IMA is a global member association for those professionals involved in strategy, financial planning and analysis, and other areas that enable organizational growth.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named 2017 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of about 100,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.

About Institute of Directors, India
Established in India on 12 July 1990, the Institute Of Directors (IOD) is an apex national association of Corporate Directors under the India's 'Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860'. Currently it is associated with over 30,000 senior executives from Gov’t, PSU and Private organizations of India and abroad. Institute of Directors, India is committed to its endeavour of building boards of the future. The IOD, India's activities extend from Boardroom Trainings, Researches, Publications, Board Advisory Services, Monthly Lectures to Workshops and networking of Members, Directors and Global Leaders through various National & International Conventions and platforms to debate the issues of topical interest., held in India, and abroad. The IOD, India's 'Masterclass for Directors' covers training in Corporate Directorship, and 'Golden Peacock Awards' in 14 different corporate disciplines, both have become global benchmarks. IOD has also setup a special wing called 'Organization for Non-Executive Independent Directors' (ONEID), mandated to look after the placement of Independent Directors in India. For more information about IOD, please visit, www.iodglobal.com

About MyCFO
MyCFO (www.mycfo.in) is India’s largest and only implementation- and result-focused CFO services firm. MyCFO is a team of more than 1,200 professionals working both full-time as well as a part of its formal network of associates to serve clients in a “fixed fee” model in eight countries by delivering measurable improvements in profitability, cash flow, and valuations. In addition to CFO services, MyCFO also helps in fast-tracking the finance and accounts agenda as an extension of the CFO’s office. It is active in interim management, finance transformation, performance improvement, turnaround, automation, and post-merger integration services. MyCFO’s unique differentiation is to be able to bring together a combination of people (through deployment of teams on-site with high-quality, industry-backed supervisory engagement), best practices through proprietary tools and templates, and through technology partnerships across the finance function with leading global product companies.

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