2019 is very much new territory for many businesses. We are in a unique situation, politically speaking, and economic uncertainty underlies many forecasts. Technology has become a driving force in every sector throughout the world and a whole new generation of workers and consumers is taking over the finance sector and beyond. Given this melting pot of different influences, what trends can we expect to see in finance in 2019?
Tech-savvy customers disrupting the industry
Generation Z and Millennials are now beginning to dominate and these are the first generations that have had technology integrated into their upbringing. As a result, we’re likely to see much more disruption in the finance sector next year as tech-savvy customers demand more sustainable and transparent solutions that require existing business models to be overturned. Social selling and mobile payments, for example, wouldn’t even have been an option for the finance sector several years ago but are now very much on the cards.
A very different workforce demanding more work-life balance
Just as consumer demographics are changing, so too is the mix of those who will make up the workforce in the finance industry. Millennials in particular will drive businesses towards more agile infrastructure, flexible working and using technology to achieve that all important work-life balance in 2019.
A new role for finance
The finance element of the business may previously have been limited to accounting but is now moving into a much more prominent position. Next year we are likely to see finance become a strategy and operations function and finance teams will input much more widely across the business, from IT to risk management and revenue generation. Finance will also have an increasingly significant role in business transformation, driven by technological advances that provide more insights and functionality.
Embracing technology becomes the norm
Many parts of the finance industry have been slow to embrace technological change. However, the trend for 2019 will be that technology becomes a foundation, as opposed to an added extra, for organisations in the finance sector. From integrating accounting software through to employing Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to optimise acquired data, those organisations that don’t tap into this trend are likely to find themselves left behind next year. Currently, some of the most exciting tech innovation – such as that involving AI and blockchain – is taking place in the finance sector, which is catching up as an innovative force for positive change.
An increase in risk
This year we saw the GDPR create scenarios of greater regulatory risk for many finance businesses. Next year, risks that arise come not just from compliance requirements but also security issues, and the gap between tech development and law is likely to require businesses to develop a greater perspective of risk. Key to this will be transparent, organised systems that can quickly integrate change and employ the most effective security to protect systems and data.
2019 could be an interesting year for the finance sector – and one in which it becomes impossible to escape the pace of change. Get in touch with FinanSys to find out about our cutting-edge accounting system to manage your finances in the New Year.