Business is evolving. Technology, client expectations, employee roles, and the workplace solutions and tools they utilize have all transformed. There’s no going back. In accounting and finance, we’re seeing the effect of leading-edge technologies to shorten the gap between employees and customers.
Today’s financial divisions have such technologies at their disposal that let them become highly tuned time machines, which can sprint back and forth through heaps of data any minute. And with the evolution of finance and accounting has come the evolution of the chief financial officers (CFO).
The modern-day CFO’s job role goes well past reporting and assessing results. As a futurist and digital agent, CFOs are now leading a digital transformation responsible for determining how businesses can benefit from innovative technologies.
CFOs Continuing to Automate
The evolution of intelligent automation due to the advances in robotic process automation (RPA) has a notable impact on strategic financial planning. These advancements eventually reduce human effort, curbing costs and thus free employees to perform more strategic tasks.
CFOs, therefore, need to develop the right team with the proper blend of skills relevant in today’s hyper-digitized, ever-changing workforce. They must form an agile, forward-looking, and decision-centered finance firm.
Embrace Financial Analytics
The industries and organizations enjoying the biggest success with digital transformation are vision-centric and using analytics to figure out their next digitization move.
“About 2/3 of finance and accounting firms across industries can track key performance indicators (KPI) in real-time.”
CFOs need to be actively engaged, using analytics to help prioritize transformation, track performance, and trigger iterative cycles for improvement. Moreover, with predictive analytics, CFOs can enhance financial decision-making strategies and extract valuable insights to unearth business growth opportunities based on current demands instead of solely on historical results.
With the right technology at hand, the strategic finance function can traverse the unchartered waters of its changing responsibilities, harnessing analytics and adding the financial prism to mission-critical decisions.
Using Data to Drive Value
The ability to gather and get the best out of data to boost the effectiveness and efficiency of their own domain and domains across the company is the CFO’s greatest hidden asset.
Strategic financial management functions are already utilizing robust solutions for better interpretation and impact of the fundamental insights.
“76% of CFOs agree that without “a single version of the truth” across corporate units, their organization tangle with decision-making.”
Today’s CFOs have oceans of raw data at their fingertips. So, they should have the cognitive capabilities to mine meaningful insights from those data heaps, anticipating the path of the business and unrolling potential growth avenues.
Gatekeepers of Data
Along with this data burst comes the responsibility to safeguard it. As guardians of data, cyber misuse, fraud, and data privacy are increasingly falling under the purview of CFOs and the finance domain.
This compels CFOs to act not only as masters of their data but also as compliance and control security owners to ensure data is safe from phishing, hacking, and other cybercrimes.
While this sounds like more work, innovative technologies can reduce the risk of data breaches. For instance, the cloud can improve levels of verification and protect data more holistically.
As such, CFOs need to focus on upskilling, whether it’s for them or other team members.
Looking into the Future
Technology can help develop a finance function that can cut through future hurdles. CFOs will need to lead their finance domain in a world awash with data. They must focus on whetting strategic and financial planning through data management, data flow, and analytical insights. There’s no running away from the challenges.
CFOs who proactively forge their business’s data strategy finance can better draw insights from the data and their systems, and thus, make the most of the technologies developed to assist the finance function and the organization.
With this futuristic mindset, they can harness the ever-expanding role of the CFO beyond risk management and mold the business and financial strategies through digital transformation.
Miles Education’s Executive Program in Strategic Finance for CFOs and FP&A Leaders will help you have a firm grip on operational finance, accountability, and corporate finance. In collaboration with Wiley and IIM Lucknow, the faculty have curated ideas to help finance experts switch from the cubicle to the corner office as early as possible. Furthermore, you’ll learn to move past accounting to think tactically, act as a catalyst leader, and shape the decisions of any business for the better.
So, what’re you waiting for? Enroll today to get started!