The Changing Role of the CFO

Posted by Niamh Vaughan

The Role of the CFO is changing because the business environment in which we operate is changing quickly. The tools and structures that served you well as a CFO in the past may no longer be fit for purpose. Technology enables you to be more strategic by freeing you from many mundane tasks such as, compiling reports, validating data, and processing transactions.

The Changing Role of the CFO Image

The Role of the CFO is changing because the business environment in which we operate is changing quickly. 
 

“Globalisation and technological advances give competitors access to similar resources, while competition causes processes to converge on similar standards. This leads to commoditisation and erodes margins. The quality of a business’s decision-making has become one of the most important factors in enabling it to differentiate through intangibles, and succeed.”

Source:  The Digital Finance ImperativeWhitepaper from Oracle & CIMA 
 

However, it is not only the external environment that that is evolving, expectations of your role in the business are also changing. The tools and structures that served you as a CFO in the past may no longer work. This is because of the changing environment and because expectations of your role in the business have also changed.

A recent survey from Oracle, Modern Finance: Driving Transformation from Within found that nearly 40% of finance leaders admit the finance department is becoming more accountable for the business’ success. As Steve Cox, Vice President, Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud Go-to-Market, points out in a recent article, CFOs are taking on much more of an advisory role.
 

“CEOs, as well as various line-of-business leaders, are already increasingly leaning on the CFO for insights, guidance, and reassurance. CFOs, therefore, will become less focused on reporting and more focused on forward-planning, risk analyses and making investment decisions. his trend will accelerate throughout 2017. CFOs will be at the heart of decisions shaping businesses and take on a role as true “co-pilot” with the CEO, with the finance team acting as a guidance system for sound decision-making.”
 

So, thanks to a rapidly evolving business environment and changing expectations of your role, the tools, and structures that served you well as a CFO in the past may no longer be fit for purpose. 
 

The Future-Proof CFO – A real Strategic Partner

While some finance professionals might see technology, most notably, automation, as a threat, in fact, the opposite is true. Technology “liberates” finance professionals from a lot of the mundane tasks, giving them more chance to focus on strategy. After all, it’s hard to be strategic when you’re busy compiling reports, validating data, and processing transactions.

Oracle ERP Cloud has many features that can help you to take on the leadership role being demanded of you.
 

  • Simplicity & Efficiency: Oracle ERP Cloud provides real-time graphical indicators on dashboards and work areas to help draw users to items that require immediate action. Oracle ERP Cloud also offers extensive spreadsheet integration with Microsoft Excel for entering data and for real-time reporting.
     
  • Collaboration: Oracle ERP Cloud has Social capabilities already embedded in the business processes, so you can immediately track and refer to conversations. Social conversations are specific to the job at hand-—whether it’s a specific transaction that needs more information, this quarter’s close schedule, or simply a question about reports.
     
  • Robust Reporting: The unique reporting platform in Oracle ERP Cloud is built on a multidimensional model that pulls data directly from the general ledger. Summarized balances are maintained in real time, making reports, online queries, and multidimensional analysis extremely fast. This model also enables pivots and drill-downs to any level and offers unlimited hierarchies for comparisons and roll-up reports.

 

 Modern Finance in the Digital Age - Video

 

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