A first in Morocco, the consulting and audit firm PwC in Morocco has just delivered a study on the priorities for the year 2023 of the Financial Departments called “Keeping the course in the face of uncertainty”.
The study, conducted by the PwC firm in Morocco with more than 50 financial departments of different companies operating in 10 sectors of activity, reveals the main issues and challenges relating to the global organization and the internal aspects of the “finance” function in the short and medium term, in a world invaded by uncertainty. In this sense, it identifies three priority levers to meet these challenges, namely “ improve the management of performance under uncertainty, develop employee skills to meet new challenges and integrate the CSR dimension into the finance function“.
“This study clearly affirms the desire of financial directors to drastically change their processes in order to gain in agility. In addition, a new vision of the Finance Department is taking shape around human and CSR issues”, said Mohamed Rqibate, partner in charge of audit activities at PwC Morocco, in a press release.
Indeed, the various events experienced by the world, from the epidemiological crisis to geopolitical conflicts and unprecedented inflation, have upset the balance of the world economy over the past three years and will certainly not to make 2023 an uncertain year like the previous ones. However, the PwC analysis indicates that financial directors are confident about the growth prospects of their companies over the coming year, i.e. 78%, and over a 3-year horizon with a posted rate increasing by two points, reaching 80%.
The document also notes that companies have nevertheless continued to benefit from the growth gains generated by the resumption of activities in 2022, in addition to government aid. On the other hand, their activity is weighed down by the problems emanating from the increase in production costs that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has triggered all over the world. Thus, the study reveals that cash management, risk control and performance management represent the main priorities identified by Finance Departments in Morocco.
With regard to business management, securing profitability is a top priority given that the level of inflation has reached its highest level in Morocco. According to the study, the implementation of efficiency actions to offset the impact on the margin (34%) followed by the impact on selling prices (30%) are the main levers identified by the Finance Departments, while the “pressure on suppliers” lever remains weakly used (21%) due to supply difficulties.
As for forecasting systems, nearly 14% say they are dissatisfied with the budget process and 70% of respondents expect to change their budget approach in the near future. That said, the financial departments have identified a set of levers to be implemented in order to optimize the budgetary processes, including the framing of the process for a better alignment of the actors and the integration of the operational forecasts in the financial forecasts.
“The question is no longer when the crisis will occur, but what means have we put in place to resist it? The Finance Departments at the heart of this resilience strategy must equip themselves with agile, next-generation technological solutions. Their success will first go through the development of their human capital: team training, corporate culture, telecommuting management, etc.”, emphasizes Kenza Sabouni, Audit Director PwC Morocco.
The analysis shows that 92% of finance departments plan to invest in the digitization of the finance function in the short term, noting that the technologies that will be the subject of priority investments will be dematerialization projects as well as digitalization projects that will enable finance departments to gain in efficiency and bring more value to the businesses.
In addition, 82% of finance departments have a clear idea of their short- and medium-term human resources needs. It is the digital or Data, IT and CSR skills that will be most in demand to contribute to the rapid development of companies.
For the PwC, the essential issues for the Finance Departments come down to the sustainable development contribution to society, in addition to the change of paradigm which requires the integration of new non-financial indicators.