The role of the CFO is about to change

The-changing-role-of-the-CFO-blog

There’s no crystal ball in business. But if the rise in mobile and cloud usage is anything to go by, you can count on one thing: the role of the CFO is about to change.

Are you prepared?

Over the past hundred or so years, we’ve seen such an amazing amount of innovation that it’s only natural to wonder what the future holds.

But today’s technological advances actually offer us a glimpse of that future. Mobile devices are fast becoming the norm for employees rather than a desktop computer. People are now actively pursuing lives with greater connectedness and mobility across multiple screens. As business leaders this requires a shift in our thinking.

We now need to recognise workplaces as flexible entities and accept that office locations may soon become a thing of the past, as more employees unchain themselves from the desktop.

Add the fact that working in cloud has made it much easier to do business on a global scale, and it’s clear to see that we’re entering the era of hyper connectivity.

Yes, doing business in this always on, always connected world will present certain challenges, but the many new opportunities on offer are undoubtedly exciting.

Be future ready

Across both SMEs and bigger business, the cloud continues to break down our old notions of capability across business sectors.

One thing is for certain, if you want to be part of this future, you need to act now.

According to Adrian Wong, MYOB Enterprise Solutions Product Manager, businesses can get ready by enabling and embracing an ‘always-on workforce’.

“At MYOB we’re definitely seeing a growing demand for a company’s employees to have access to any system – anywhere, anytime,” says Wong.

“Generationally more millennials are coming into the workforce, and they are used to the 24/7 connected world just like consumers,” he continues. “Operationally, the challenge for the CFO is how to get control over their business processes, as the number of people connecting to these critical systems expands.”

What you do today will define tomorrow

Being tied down with the day-to-day running of a business is the number one reason CFOs feel that they are not ‘future ready’.

So what exactly is ‘future ready’? Simply put, it’s the capacity to be agile. To be aware, to be predictive, to be ready to adapt to new and emerging challenges, to implement tech innovations, and to spot trends and changes in business, population, and social environment.

For John Moss, MYOB Chief Strategy Officer, one way the CFO can be ‘future-ready’ is to begin reviewing current processes.

“Every business needs to have a good handle on their finances, and how the economics of their business work in order to take advantage of opportunities, and respond to challenges,” says Moss. “To be set for the future, the CFO should consider implementing an online system with mobility options, a powerful financial engine, plus virtual dashboards that provide insights behind the financial detail. It’s about taking decision-making to the next level.”

Adrian Wong agrees.

“Increasing automation through your software suite can change the finance role, and the role of your finance team, for the better. In the old world, a finance department would act as the gatekeepers of transaction processing, reviewing and approving them, and enforcing policy and process.

“With an online system, a sales rep can submit an order on their smartphone in real time, rather than doing things manually with the finance team,” says Wong.

“Of course, the CFO will still need to consider how they manage policy and process effectively and how to keep control of the transaction flow,” continues Wong. “Rather than chasing paper, automation gives staff freedom to deliver value that leads to business growth.”

And if you’re set on future-proofing your business that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Helping the CFO think bigger

MYOB has a range of enterprise solutions for bigger businesses.

These include ERP software, smart payroll and HR management systems, available on desktop or cloud.

To start thinking bigger, email us or visit the MYOB website