CFOs are focusing more on strategy and less on tactics. Source: Shutterstock

The digital transformation of today’s CFOs

DOES your finance division need technology? Of course it does, right? The team manages all of the commercial transactions your business enters into and is party to all of your contracts.

The finance division holds the strings to your company’s purse and making them tech savvy can do wonders for your business.

In fact, according to a study by Stanton Chase: “Bolstered by digital transformation technologies, the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has increasingly and rapidly evolved beyond traditional Finance to encompass corporate strategy, business leadership and ultimately talent management.”

The study found that CFOs are using digital solutions to automate and enhance traditional finance processes such as data analytics, financial reporting, and some components of risk management.

The right analytical tools provide them with an opportunity to utilize their unique perspective to gain insight into their organization’s business activities, enabling them to further embrace their role as strategic corporate partner.

Stanton Chase believes that data and predictive analytics will be the most impactful digital technologies within the Finance function over the next five years, followed by cloud deployment, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

In fact, AI and machine learning play an important role in the automation and streamlining of internal business processes, which makes the technology more accessible to the division.

Speaking of automation, the concern is that there will be a reduction in headcount. However, that’s not true.

“While roles will not necessarily be eliminated, they will most certainly change, with AI and machine learning enabled decision making experiencing rapid growth,” says Stanton Chase.

However, 65 percent of CFOs feel that implementing innovative technologies is their biggest challenge.

Change does not happen without growing pains, and the evolution of the CFO is not exempt, highlights the study.

Imagine if the CFO could get access to all these technologies. You’d get more hands-on support for sales and marketing initiatives through specific insights about the flow of money and you’d uncover specific insights about which of your clients prefer a certain transaction over others, among other things.

The bottom line is, the role of the CFO is evolving thanks to digital technologies. Organizations that support the change will win big rewards while those that don’t will suffer in the long run.

The choice isn’t whether or not to enable your CFO with tech, it’s whether or not your business wants a leg up over the competition.