The Changing Role of the CFO

changing role of the cfo

An article* published this year in Forbes BrandVoice, noted that the skills and talents CEOs and Boards are looking for in a CFO are changing – what got you into your current position won’t be enough to get you to your next one. Looking at the CFOs of top Fortune 500 companies, only a staggering 27% have a background in accounting.

What does this mean? The role of the CFO is changing into more of an operational responsibility, overseeing supply chain, information technology and other areas that have traditionally not been part of a finance function.

Information Technology is key! Investing in technology in order to automate as many tasks as possible will allow you to focus on the responsibilities that are increasingly becoming more vital to the role of a CFO. Modernizing finance systems is an important first step. Using modern cloud-based financial applications, companies can vastly reduce delays between transaction processing and multidimensional analysis, reduce G&A costs by 10 – 25%, and more easily spin up new businesses and spin off defunct ones. And here’s the best part – cloud deployments typically take months, not years like many legacy on-premise solutions.

What’s holding you back? Many are leery of the costs of switching to the cloud. A typical unknown fact is that not only is moving to the cloud less expensive than upgrading your legacy ERP software, but the ROI in and of itself is far greater than traditional on premise software systems. Many studies have proven that users gain a 100% return within their first year of implementing cloud ERP, and in an extreme study, one company achieved a whopping 154% ROI within a (that’s right – 1) single month.

Click here if you are interested in the full case study on the ROI of cloud based applications, published by Nucleus Research. 

In closing, if you as a CFO are going to be prepared for the inevitable changes your job will demand, it’s time time to make the right moves today. Why not start with the easy stuff by moving to the cloud, streamlining the day-to-day processes in your finance organization, and tackle the harder obstacles later.

*CFOs-In-Waiting: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – By Karen dela Torre – OracleVoice