For any growing business to succeed, the office of the CFO must evolve and focus beyond its traditional task of reporting. The finance chief knows best their companies’ inner workings and can interpret well the languages of business – finances and accounting, better than anyone else. But now CFOs are being asked to take on bigger and multidimensional roles as strategists, they need new tools and skill sets. But no problem is without a resolution and the tips here can certainly help the office of the CFO to transition into this new period of uncertainties and excitement.
Today, technology has caused innovations in finance leads, enhanced the entire process, and driven organizations to improve. And all this is centred around the figure of the CFO, leading them to take on more strategic responsibilities. As a result, finance departments are stretched, there is greater complexity than before, and are more deeply scrutinized than they ever were in the past. There are more questions from analysts and external regulators, internal executives need more support, and boards are also more financially savvy. And to add to this, deadlines have become more stringent and there are tons of new regulations and compliance requirements. Smart companies are leaning heavily on CFOs who in turn need more support. In such cases, what can you do to make things better?
These 6 ways can help your finance team create a highly evolved office for the CFO.
Earlier, accounting was mostly confined to closing books and taking care of maintaining strong governance, risk, and compliance or the GRC environment at work. This is not the case anymore. Now, the department must drive process efficiencies and not just document them to share with the rest of the organization. To this end, modern CFOs are seeking to automate the entire process, starting from data capture to payment with little or no manual intervention at any stage.
Accounting is known as the “language of business” because it deals with the compilation of historical data of a company’s operations and jots down the details in financial statements. The CFO, then, automatically becomes the translator. She interprets the data and projects the future course of action, makings suggestions and decisions that will result in the best possible outcome. Thus, her task is to provide detailed explanations and insights for the company to understand its course and goals and re-align them from time to time for real results.
Being curious about new ideas and welcoming new concepts are the hallmarks of a progressive CFO. It is also a necessary criterion right now because things are rapidly changing and adapting is the best possible way to win. Also, this is a position that effectively combines many full-time positions in one figure so being open to new things certainly helps one evolve.
If you think technology is completely evil, then it s high time that you learn that it is not. From quickly and accurately closing books to automating day-to-day tasks, technological expertise and inquisitiveness to learn more is an absolute must.
Data is great but what people do with that data is more important. So, to ensure that the company is performing well and is on the right track, the employees must understand the key performance indicators (KPIs), what moves them, and how they influence them.
The adversity quotient tells you how resilient and strong an employee is and how long it takes for her to bounce back when knocked down. This is especially important for the finance and accounting team who are undergoing vast transformation these days. And an able CFO would be able to articulate the reasons for such efforts.
The great polymath Leonardo da Vinci said that “everything connects to everything else”. Similarly, a CFO is more than a reader of numbers; she connects the numbers to real experiences and results and thus, is both an artist and a scientist. And in this period of speedy changes, the concept of Renaissance CFO is not a far-fetched one and getting one should top your priority list!
Also Read: CFO (Chief Financial Officer) On Call