A lot is expected of finance leaders today. CFOs and FDs are expected not only to take care of the finance & accounts functions, but also help transform the business and shape future strategy. So it is no surprise that the priorities of the CFOs of 2020 are different than they were a few years ago.
Not seen as just financial leaders, they are regarded as strategic enablers, business transformers, and disruptive innovators. Many CFOs today are driving force behind all business operations, overseeing technological transformation,
Frequently, the finance department engages with executives and managers of all the divisions of the enterprise to identify and understand critical business metrics, gauge performance, generate actionable insights from data, and help make value-enhancing decisions with an aim to close potential gaps and achieve sustainable business growth.
Against this background, the CFO priorities in 2020 are:
digitalisation& automation efforts across the organisation
- Use data to drive actionable decisions
- Manage offshoring/outsourcing initiatives
- Develop future finance talent
Let’s take a close look at each of these:
1. Drive strategic technological projects
Over the last decade, the use and impact of digital technology has and it is fast becoming an integral part of the business landscape. Businesses that are able to implement the right technology will thrive and replace businesses that are not able to achieve this core goal. By shifting from traditional processes built on manual actions to more
- Generate useful data to gain essential operational insights
- Mitigate human participation and automate repetitive routine tasks
- Streamline and
- Reduce cycle times
- Boost self-service
personalisedand scalable services
While CIOs and CTOs are tasked with the actual implementation, companies expect their CFOs to lead strategic efforts to bring about technology transformation into their business and ensure that their
However, it’s important to note that technology won’t guarantee improvement. CFOs need to craft clear and measurable time-defined goals to ensure that integrated tech is used to its full potential. It’s more important than ever before for CFOs to collaborate with CIOs to align IT investment and build strategic growth plans leveraging technology. The CIOs, after all, follow a similar mandate of ensuring that business operations run optimally while planning future
- Identify critical business processes that can be scaled up through future IT investments
- Gauge the impact and role of technology
onthe company’s growth strategy
- Identify, plan, and invest in setting up security measures to protect core digital assets from cyber attack
As the daily low-value tasks get automated, the CFO can focus on bringing in digital transformations, and
2. Facilitate smarter business decisions by transforming data into actionable insights
Data has always been one of the driving factors for
- Redefine KPIs
- Incorporate predictive analytics within operations to forecast and, mitigate and manage risks
- Drive ‘big decisions’ and improve performance
One of the primary responsibilities of the CFOs in 2020, oftentimes second-in-command to the CEOs, is to provide strategic advice. To advise, they need adequate streamlined data to
CFOs that are able to marry their existing skills with an understanding of the new technology available in the market will not only be able get real-time business insights and develop better forecasts, but will also be able to arm their CEOs with key insights for taking decisions that help improve efficiency, reduce costs and build effective strategic partnerships.
Since they are now primed to grow their influence outside the core finance function, it would make sense that they access and use data to drive operational decisions and bring efficiency across all units of the business.
The finance executives are sharp as a tack when it comes to
3. Leverage offshoring/outsourcing to
Outsourcing has grown exponentially over the last two decades. According to Statista, the global market size of outsourcing services has risen from US$45
Additionally, CFOs are expected to play a leading role in helping the business identify opportunities for outsourcing or offshoring activities across departments. A KPMG report predicts that offshoring practice will see
4. Recruit, retain and train talent
9 out of 10 finance leaders find it challenging to find accounting talent, according to a Robert Half survey. As the
Increased offshoring and automation practice takes away the routine
In this scenario, training and empowering colleagues to leverage
2020 is a pivotal year for CFOs. The commitment they show to these priorities could potentially define their success and propel their business forward with sustainable growth over the next decade.