CFOs across the industry have stepped into the control room of their businesses and are looking to prepare their finance functions for the future. As big data volume and business demand for strategic insight continue to grow, financial institutions are undergoing a significant change in nature.
The finance function now has access to data they can use to better understand business performance and how other functions can improve outcomes. Due to this trend, CFOs are increasingly providing input into strategic decision-making - not only helping with numbers but also with technology and HR activities.
How is the role of the finance department changing?
The finance function is facing possibly the biggest change in its history. Coined as "financial guardians", CFOs must now provide insight, direction, and measure business outcomes while managing tough competition and growing customer demands to remain relevant in this scenario.
These new expectations have required a multifaceted skill set and a thorough understanding of Cloud technologies. In other words, CFOs have had to keep an eye on not only the changing role of the finance function, but also the upkeep of operational finance activities, strategic analysis, business systems and, most importantly, their staff.
The solution for many CFOs has been the adoption of Cloud-based finance and accounting software solutions to keep up with new demands through the automation of manual processes. Although businesses are still placing a high focus on governance, risk management, and compliance, CFOs must continue to keep up with advances in technology and how they can manage big data efficiently.
What are the new skills that are required for the finance function of the future?
CFOs and their finance teams will continue to face an uncertain world where they need to get results, despite a multitude of external factors that are beyond their control. This includes factors such as currency fluctuations and political instability. What CFOs do have control over, however, is the responsibility and ability to plan for the future and empower their finance teams.
As your business continues to face changes, having a framework to measure competence can ensure your team is prepared to support its operational finance needs.
Identify areas where automation would be beneficial
The role of the finance department will continue to grow and evolve in terms of responsibility and agility. Examine what of your existing processes or operational finance activities can be automated to create more efficiency and help your team provide greater value. Therefore, it's time to upgrade outdated finance systems with Cloud accounting software that can streamline day-to-day processes while also providing data that is valuable to the business.
Take a good look at your team in terms of skills, expertise and headcount
In this process, be sure to include your insights about how individual members of the team would like to change their work patterns. Consider proactive measures when it comes to important employees who plan to rise up the career ladder or leave the company.
Develop strategies for recruiting and retaining employees
Start planning now to make sure the right professionals are available for your finance department. As Gen Z enters the job market, you'll need to be prepared for the technology expectations of this generation. A salary benchmarking process is also a good way to make sure you're offering competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package, including the opportunity to work on a flexible schedule.
Consider adopting a flexible recruitment plan
Flexibility is essential if you want to have the right people in the right places at the right time. Employing temporary specialised staff will open opportunities for managing specific projects outside the expertise of your current staff.
What finance and accounting solutions do you need?
To make the most of digital transformation, CFOs should consider solutions to automate repetitive tasks and provide easy access to financial data in real-time. Not only will these tools help ensure compliance, but they will allow better access to financial and operational data. This, in turn, will assist with functions such as automated alerts and scenario planning.
Cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology empower leaders to drive change like never before, whether they are in start-ups or large companies. Using such tech-enabled solutions can modernise processes and systems with reduced risk and cost and provide instant access to real-time information.
There are many reasons to embrace Cloud accounting software now, including:
Remote access to data no matter where you are located
Users can access the Cloud through their web browser from any computer or device with an internet connection. No software needs to be downloaded locally. Access to the data is easier since it's stored in remote locations, making it even more accessible to team members who often access it.
A constant and current source of data
When a user accesses financial data through the Cloud, all data is current and up-to-date, and all users have access to the same numbers. In addition to eliminating redundant reporting, the system minimizes the risk of human error.
Focus time and effort where it's needed most
Today, the finance department must be more agile than ever before to meet business needs. Cloud-based data accuracy allows for quicker, easier reporting while freeing finance teams' time for more strategic initiatives.
Get data transparency in your finance and accounting solutions
By using data, CFOs can support their business by ensuring investment is allocated correctly and that strategies are in line with corporate objectives. In the current economic climate, doing so is vital to the very survival of the business.
Have a look at our powerful Advanced Financials accounting software solution and find out how we can help you lead into the future of the finance function.