Are you Ready to be a Tech-Savvy CFO?

In Business Management Software, CFO, Process Improvement by Tamara

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Everything we know is changing right now, your business, your market, the economy. But, the real question here is are you changing? Are you keeping up with the current external changes? Have you adapted to this new environment, this new way of working?

The pressure is on today's finance leaders, you, to become smarter, faster, more agile. Many businesses are stuck, using tried-and-true methods and strategies deemed to be working... but are you just coasting along?

A modern financial infrastructure, embracing forward-thinking technology and a customer-centric business model, has proven to deliver more insightful analysis, the ability to spot trends and realities, and keeps CFOs evolving; as they should be. The role of the Chief Financial Officer is changing and responsibilities are evolving due to technological advancements. CFOs are expected to answer questions that depend on innovative, modern technology. Those tried-and-true methods have rightly been relied on and trusted for decades but now, they're undergoing radical, transformative change. Which in turn means, the role of CFO will never be the same again.

The New CFO

Your role as a CFO may have been centered around credits, debits, and multiple spreadsheets. Today, you need to be part strategist, part analyst, part collaborator, part futurist, and in turn, all business. You want to stay ahead of the competition, be the leader who can transform business systems and modernise and improve operations to help productivity. Are you prepared to rewrite the ways businesses execute operations and financial processes? This requires you to rethink your technological and financial infrastructure, which admittedly, is not a simple task.

To become today's CFO, you'll need to:

  • Analyse much greater volumes of data
  • Adopt new metrics for valuations and operations
  • Embrace the power of cloud computing, mobile users and social media
  • Tap into unlimited connectivity
  • Capitalise on sophisticated analytics and databases

Now, even if you don't have in-depth tech knowledge, basic knowledge can be enough to positively impact your business, provide you with competitive differentiation, and improve productivity within finance. There are a few simple steps you can consider to help you with this which we will talk about below.

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Embrace Automation

It's time to get your head out of those spreadsheets, break the cycle of out-of-date reporting and inaccurate data, and move away from all of those manual processes. Manual processes require a large finance team who are spending more time on manual input and less time on more important strategic activities. By streamlining those mundane tasks you will remove human error, delayed decisions, poor data, and lengthy closing cycles. A tech-savvy CFO makes informed decisions that in turn drives profit-creating activities, no number-crunching required. By streamlining and automating the recordkeeping, accounting, and report generation, you will see how much clearer the strategic visibility will become.

Understand the value that the Cloud may bring

The Cloud can be both scary and exciting for a lot of businesses. Some still don't understand the true complexities of the Cloud and how it can carry both benefits and risks. Being a tech-savvy CFO means weighing up all the factors and not rushing into strategic decisions. Cloud computing can seem very attractive but you need to make sure you're armed with all the facts before making a rational, informed decision. You need to evaluate all of the dimensions of this decision, security, cost, scalability, and the ability to adapt to fast-changing business conditions. Whether the Cloud is right for you or not, do your due diligence.

So, before making the decision, think about the following:

  • What is the value of the Cloud? Don't just think about it as a cost saver as most do, will it help you unleash new levels of collaboration, automation, and visibility too?
  • Decipher the technology. Try to understand how the Cloud relates to your business
  • Get a clear view. As a tech-savvy CFO, you must understand more than just the basic opportunities and risks of going to the Cloud. You need to look at what advantages it will bring to your business whether that's adding enhancements or integrating with other platforms and systems. It's becoming more apparent that these advantages push CFOs to opt for best-of-breed Cloud accounting solutions.

Become more Agile

A CFOs job is to think more long-term, even if lots of things such as technology, change in the short-term. To set up your business for success, you need to become more agile, futureproofing your business by making the right decisions. Always keep your options open and make sure that any choice or decision you make doesn't limit the growth of the business. You always need to know that you can adapt to an unknowable future.

Ensure Visibility

As a tech-savvy CFO, you want to make sure that you can identify problems and opportunities faster. A business's success is often reliant on the ability to look backwards and forwards, whether good or bad. Technology helps you to create management insights, the power to interrogate your projects and your business in a way that you couldn't do just looking over a spreadsheet. Reporting should be real-time, reliable, and accurate and when its time to sit in front of the board and tell them what you've found, it is nice to know that you have 100% confidence in your data.

So, are you ready to be a Tech-Savvy CFO?

To get ahead of other CFOs in the same industry as you, you must embrace technology and the changes that face your role. As a CFO you are under increasing pressure to rethink how you can serve a business both operationally and strategically. Remember, the sooner you embrace this change and technology, the further ahead you get from those who are not.

We have a webinar that you may find useful, 'Making Better Finance Decisions: Becoming a Data-Driven CFO', where we talk about how CFOs want to spend more time on strategic activities and less time on accounting tasks. To learn more about it, click here.

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