For the first time in Morocco, the audit and consulting firm PwC in Morocco publishes a study devoted to the 2023 priorities of the Financial Departments in Morocco entitled: “Staying the course in the face of uncertainty”. Conducted with more than 50 financial departments of different companies operating in 10 sectors of activity, this study exposes, in the short and medium term, the main issues and challenges related to the global and internal organization of the “finance” function, in a increasingly uncertain economic environment. To stay on course, three priority levers have been identified: improving the management of performance under uncertainty, developing employee skills to meet new challenges and integrating the CSR dimension into the finance function.
Inflation identified as the main risk has reached a high level in Morocco. In order to secure their profitability, 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 . Indeed, in an environment where purchasing power is limited, the impact on the selling price cannot be considered as a systematic response. Furthermore, and given the supply difficulties, the “pressure on suppliers” lever remains poorly used (21%).
The forecasting devices are still considered too heavy and not equipped enough. Nearly 14% say they are dissatisfied with their budget process and 70% of respondents want to change their budget approach in the near future. To optimize budget processes, make them more agile and adapted to the current context, finance departments are identifying several levers to be implemented. The framing of the process appears to be the first axis of development, in particular to better coordinate the stakeholders. The integration of operational forecasts into financial forecasts is also an imperative identified by respondents.
“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”, indicates Mohamed Rqibate, Partner in charge of audit activities at PwC Morocco.
The Finance Departments affirm their desire to transform their function, in particular to improve efficiency and bring more value to the businesses in order to fully play their role as Business Partners.
To meet their transformation challenges, 92% of finance departments plan to invest in the digitization of the finance function in the short term. Thus, in 2023, the technologies that will be the subject of priority investments are: dematerialization projects as well as digitalization projects that echo the desire of financial departments to improve efficiency and bring more value to business lines .
The human factor is essential to successfully carry out these transformations. New skills are now needed within the Finance Departments. The talent war is raging among companies to train or recruit new profiles. 82% of finance departments have a clear idea of their short- and medium-term needs. Digital skills (Data), IT and CSR are to be developed as a priority.
“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: training of teams, corporate culture, management of telecommuting…” specifies Kenza Sabouni, Audit Director PwC Morocco.
For several years, sustainable development has become a priority subject for managers. Driven both by profound societal changes and by ambitious national regulations in terms of sustainable finance. Thus, the role of the company is changing profoundly with a search for a new meaning that combines business challenges and societal contribution.
The paradigm shift requires the integration of new non-financial indicators. The objective of this extra-financial reporting is to ensure that the various stakeholders have the information necessary to assess the ESG risks and opportunities related to a company’s activities. The study revealed that 54% of the large groups surveyed publish an extra-financial report compared to 28% of medium-sized and small companies.