Chief Finance Officers today are change agents, championing the implementation of transformative technologies to transition the organization into a Modern Finance function.

The expanding role of the modern CFO

The world of finance is becoming more complex. The way we do business is rapidly changing, and finance professionals need to be agile enough to embrace these changes and continue making sound decisions. From charting a course through economic volatility, to keeping a team together despite a global shortage of talent, and navigating a maze of ever-changing regulations and compliance, the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is expanding and evolving.

The focus of the role of the CFO is now towards operational excellence, risk management, influencing decisions regarding technology, and driving digital transformation. The modern CFO is no longer a number-cruncher, but a change-maker, an innovative visionary who can dictate the organization’s overall business strategy. Tough ask, right?

To rise to the challenges of this new avatar, CFOs have to cross certain hurdles. Going by the saying, ‘a problem well stated is a problem half solved’, understanding these roadblocks is critical to solving them.

Having the right information at your fingertips

The traditional, long-drawn process of retrieving necessary information for business decisions will not fit the bill for modern CFOs. In this age of rapid change, finance leaders should have the right information available even before it is needed. Intuitive, visually-rich metrics, and self-serve dashboards leveraging the power of automation and business intelligence are the need of the hour for smarter and faster decision-making.

Ensuring data accuracy

Accountability and accuracy are essential to the success of any sound financial decision. It is critical for CFOs to ensure solid auditability, and they can achieve this only by putting in place adequate controls and sound financial recording policies and procedures.

Securing data

We all know the horror stories of businesses being severely impacted by data breaches or technical failures. It is understandable then that risk management tops the priority list of today’s CFOs. As the custodian of the organization’s financial and sensitive data, finance leaders need to identify the security gaps in the organization and de-risk and prevent threats and breaches.

Tackling compliance curveballs

Audits are difficult enough but ensuring compliance with the ever-changing standards in today’s business world is a different ballgame altogether. CFOs today must be more cautious towards threats to the organization’s financial solvency due to regulatory violations as well as evolving industry norms.

Gazing into the crystal ball – predictive analysis

The job description of a CFO comes with the ability to predict the future—it is a must for strategic planning and budgeting. However, a financial leader’s evolving role also spans investment decisions on technology, to realize effective risk and compliance, ensure operational excellence, and formulate the finance strategy based on forecasts. This requires the CFO to step up as a leader of digital transformation initiatives. Effectively leveraging technology to decide on the road ahead is critical to ensuring the success of an organization’s future.

The road ahead…

In today’s disruptive business landscape, CFOs must strengthen financial processes for improved predictability that delivers impact. The four pillars that create a strong foundation for modern finance are – Financial Analysis and Reporting, Strategy and Forecasting, Business Process Automation, and Risk and Compliance. A good technology partner can help you leverage the power of business intelligence, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to create a robust solution founded on these four pillars to transform your financial functions.

If you want to know more about how the right technology can transform your business and help you ace your job as a CFO, read our ebook: Modern Finance: Transformation principals for a modern CFO.