The Evolving Role of the CFO

In today’s business environment, organisations and finance professionals are facing an array of new risks, responsibilities, and challenges, from managing a globally diversified business to mitigating new technology risks.

In particular, the role and influence of the CFO – Chief Financial Officer – is evolving to encompass reporting the past, managing the present, and creating the future. It includes everything from business strategy to operations to IT risk management.

Finance leaders are now more than ever responsible for driving corporate performance with real-time access to organisational and market data, and better assessing and managing risk.  It translates into having secure access and increased visibility within a single, integrated view into their organisation, which allows growing business with greater agility, speed and efficiency.

It is no wonder that technology has enabled CFOs and finance professionals to take on more strategic planning responsibilities over the last decade while monitoring and reporting financials are becoming technology-driven, faster, and more cost-effective than before.

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In a recent study by Ernst & Young, 75% of CFOs reported spending 50% or more of their time on strategic aspects of their business, with 2 out of 3 saying they are the face of the company on all strategic issues related to financial performance.

In similar research by IBM, the 2013 Global CFO study, 70% of CFOs reported playing a critical role in decision making, and 78% said that business model innovation was a major part of their role as CFO. Furthermore, a majority of 88% CFOs said they were responsible for helping select the key metrics linking performance to strategy execution.

Unsurprisingly, the same studies show that business executives identified technology as the most important aspect in shaping their businesses and enabling better decision-making to drive performance.

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