Alain Mulder, Senior Director of Europe Operations at IMA
Are You Ready to Become A Tech-Savvy CFO?
The technological transformation taking place in the finance function is causing a major shift for professionals. For many years, CFOs played a role in digital transformation efforts at their organizations. However, the pandemic has placed digital transformation as a top priority for nearly every company, and CFOs are being tapped more than ever to guide the effort. The good news is that they’re bullish about this. A majority of CFOs (66%) are optimistic about technology for the upcoming year.
There are many reasons financial leaders and their teams are eager to thrive in this new function, such as saving time, improving performance, and reducing expenses. However, there is still significant levels of inequality of technology usage and implementation. Changing processes that have been in place for years will not change overnight, but it needs to start with financial chiefs who are ready to take the next step and approach technology head-on.
Here are four ways CFOs can use technology to get ahead - and stay ahead - of competitors:
- Keep up to date. Hearing about a specific software or tool for the first time? Finance chiefs must ask what it is, do their research, share their findings, and determine the positive impact. Is there a new certification or online course? Take the time to upskill and apply what you learn in your role.
- Adopt automation. Robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) increase efficiency, decrease costs, and reduce risks for businesses. CFOs who fail to adopt automation platforms will fall behind their competitors and have a difficult time playing catch-up.
- Use the cloud. Finance chiefs play a critical role in moving their organizations to the cloud. Working with data in a cloud environment increases operating efficiencies between teams, such as finance and technology departments. Remember it is a cloud, not a fortress, and this change has a positive impact.
- Think long-term. Our technology-dominated future is here to stay. CFOs must make strategic recommendations and encourage their workforces to embrace digital transformation and utilize technology. Without technology, the finance function does not stand a chance for a bright future.
It takes a tech-savvy CFO to successfully navigate the next chapter for accounting and finance professionals. By executive against the above four points, not only will finance chiefs support their teams and organizations, but also further their professional career paths. Tech-savvy finance and accounting professionals will find themselves more valuable, and more marketable as leaders with these types of experiences under their belt. They will be far ahead of their peers, equipped with cross-functional training and more time to focus on higher value-added tasks.
Tech-savvy CFOs will increasingly be in demand as the intertwinement of IT, Data Analytics, Operations, and Finance increases. Technology is changing our approach to finance in the best ways possible. Today’s CFOs have a choice in playing an active role in shaping and driving technology-geared changes – or falling behind the tech curve to no return.