CFOs must maximise technology, redesign the process and invest in talent. If they don’t the finance function will not meet increased regulatory demands, requests for improved information and the intense scrutiny it faces from stakeholders.
Five issues are shaping the destiny of finance. Issues that will make or break future CFO success.
Volatility and risk shape the future
The function continues to be pushed on providing the information that matters; finance chiefs see the reality of the environment and the clamour for information, but the task is more difficult in a landscape that will change quickly and where risk proliferates.
Smarter finance delivery
In transforming the finance organisation, the future CFO team must ensure the right processes, systems and metrics are in place to aid strategy execution, deliver richer information insights and drive cost-effective and process-effective finance operations.
Value driven and data centric
In the knowledge economy intangibles such as information, branding and talent are central to future value creation for all sizes and types of businesses. Understanding how the business generates value is core to the future CFO role.
New technology frontiers
Finance leaders will need to prioritise investment in technology to drive growth. The current finance technology landscape remains overly complex and simplification is needed. Smarter CFOs recognise the limitations of prevailing technologies. They have a responsibility to ensure that social, mobile, cloud and analytics technologies become strategic tools in driving enterprise change, new business models, and improve the contribution of the finance organisation.
With changing finance delivery models and new sources of talent opening up, where will the new pool of executive finance leadership talent come from? The quality of talent available to the CFO function could make or break its future success.
The top five interventions considered necessary for developing future CFOs. Effective succession planning is the top intervention.
"The CFO role is becoming harder and more difficult to prepare for, and so we have to change the way we do things: we can no longer do the same things and expect different results."
It's always about talent
The most important CFO relationships are:
1) the CEO
2) the board
3) business heads
The CFO function faces the classic challenge to transform talented individuals. Rather than a narrow focus on functional perspectives, broader strategic perspectives need to be embraced.
CFOs will drive growth when they reach out and build alliances with other C-suite leaders. Collaboration is king.