Sage Intacct hosts a spectacular conference every October that provides top trends, new technology, and guidance for the financial teams throughout the world. This year’s virtual conference brought new Sage products, and ways for CFO’s to take charge and lead as the world around them continues to change. Below are the top three take-aways for CFO’s in any industry.
1) The Evolution of the CFO
The CFO role has changed in the past decade as technology has evolved. The CFO is no longer just the historical record keeper or information protector but rather the data enabler, or strategic business partner. The change has come from technology being able to provide accurate real-time data allowing the CFO to transition from trying to sort the data to analyze what the data means for the company and how to use it for their advantage.
Nowadays a great financial leader can be a peer collaborator and bring real data to back initiatives. They have more of an operator mindset and help the CEO plan for the future with their forecast. They can drive strategical planning through multiple scenarios to allow for better decision making. They are also a technology evangelist because technology is what is helping take the manual work away from them and their team to allow them to be more business influencers.
Overall CFO’s today are just as important to a company’s success as the CEO because they are the ones with all the data at their fingertips.
2) Using Technology to Drive Change in Your Organization
Building on the concept that a CFO should be a technology evangelist is that CFO should be using and implementing the newest technology to drive change in your organization.
Technology is eliminating hours of manual work, the use of old data for decisions, and the back and forth between departments for payroll, insurance, sales, etc. The financial leaders embracing technology are the ones that are creating a profit or growth within their company. They are allowing the senior management team to work on new data, focus on initiatives vs. managing the manual processes.
What did the CFO’s say they were able to do better through technology now? Track labor costs manage their pipeline, people management, have on-demand insight, and be a forward-thinker. Embracing technology allows the CFO to deliver what the CEO/owners/investors/board needs in a timely fashion.
3) Seeking Ways to Continue to Learn
2020 has brought upon a crisis that has forced CFO’s to go outside of their comfort zone. This created a cross-learning opportunity for financial leaders to work with companies larger than themselves, to meet with other leading industry experts ultimately resulting in new and exciting ways to operate. As business is starting to return to normal in most areas the thought is to not go back to the previous bubble but rather continue to learn from one another to strengthen your knowledge base. Step outside your comfort zone to learn from colleagues, stakeholders, clients, and other industry financial leaders and collaborate.
Adapting in 2020 for company leaders can be the difference between growth and standing still.
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