The CFO’s role is constantly evolving; their responsibilities have seen an expansion beyond just numbers to strategic decision-making, factoring value function in IT spends, impacting the larger-business. The CFOs role in digitization is one that is crucial in today’s business environment. As leaders of organizations are looking for ways to capitalize on new opportunities, today’s chief financial officers are stepping up and taking charge in meeting long-term growth challenges and optimizing the business process.
The post-pandemic era has created an increasing emphasis on the need for accurate and agile finance processes, compelling CFOs to pay attention to capital allocation, data analytics and technological trends along with their traditional (yet fundamental) role of safe-guarding assets, cash flow management, book-keeping, mitigating risks, financial reporting and overall financial planning. As the custodian of the financial data of the organization, it is imperative that the CFOs accurately analyse the information flooding the organization for a competitive advantage by mitigating risk and identifying pockets of growth.
With digitization being at the forefront of business transformation, CFOs are waking up to the exponential possibilities in this domain. Robotic process automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence and Cloud based ERP solutions are emerging as top priorities for finance leaders. The implementation of these solutions will not only save time, costs, errors and manpower but also give CFOs the time to participate in decision-making and help the CEO drive the vision for the organization. Beyond the significance of deployment, the timely induction is what will make the key difference between lasting success and staying afloat. Which is why, the successes of today’s finance leaders also depend on their collaboration with the CIOs.
With this demand for multi-dimensional capabilities comes greater leadership responsibility; the financial head acts as the captain of the ship, navigating the organization through the current economic turmoil with a steady eye on the future outcomes. Simultaneously, maintaining a balance between the traditional role and increasing digital responsibilities is a need of the hour for this dynamic role. Further, finance leaders are also actively making decisions on the absorption of future-ready talent.
The new dynamic role of a CFO in digitization is complex and multi-dimensional. Attention to the big-picture of sustained organizational growth is indispensable to today’s financial leadership strategy. Besides, adapting to the fast-paced changes of the business environment, the chief financial officer is also responsible for bridging the gap between the finance function and digitisation.
Despite the challenges around choice and application of technologies perfect for each business, the bigger loss will remain in not taking advantage of the cost, agility and efficiency brought about by digitization.