The role of the modern CFO is changing substantially from just a financial gatekeeper to becoming a strategic partner in running the business. This change is driven by advances in technology, evolution in markets, and shifting responsibilities throughout the C-suite. It's both an exciting opportunity and an urgent obligation.
For instance, today’s CFO is using data to produce in-depth insights and unlock strategic secrets. But at the same time, they are contending with sweeping new regulations and reporting standards.
To manage these changes, it's clear that new ideas, innovations, outlooks, and approaches are critical. Past methods are already outdated and irrelevant, and they are quickly becoming liabilities that limit the potential of modern accounting.
Simply deciding to become a modern CFO is not enough. To serve as true strategic partners and key stakeholders, finance executives must embrace the tools of today and tomorrow:
- A Way to Integrate Data – CFOs need access to both accounting and operational data. If they are going to assess the risk of new projects and forecast the potential profit, they must incorporate information from departments like marketing, manufacturing, logistics, and more. A platform that integrates as much data as possible in one place empowers executives to quickly find the comprehensive information they need.
- A Means to Manage Compliance – The regulatory landscape is becoming more complex both here and abroad. Compliance is already a major undertaking, but as new rules hit the books, the workload threatens to overwhelm the important work that CFOs could be doing. Executives can turn to technology or outsourcing to handle the heavy lifting, but the important thing is to have some sort of support. Otherwise, compliance sucks up significant resources and threatens fines and penalties.
- A Supplement to the Accounting Department – The priorities of the accounting department are evolving along with the role of the CFO. As they change, it’s often necessary to bring in additional accountants with new types of experience or expertise. Unfortunately, adding staff is expensive, and competition for qualified accountants is fierce. Relying on shared or managed services is an alternative to hiring that gives CFOs access to specialized accountants on-demand. This could be for a one-time engagement or an ongoing project, but in either case, it allows CFOs to operate dynamically.
The modern CFO is not the head accountant. He or she is the company’s steward of enterprise performance. In anything and everything, it is the CFO’s job to determine whether a choice makes fiscal sense. That is a big burden to take on, but it positions the CFO as central to the success of today’s businesses. If you’re ready to embrace this role and run with it, contact AcctTwo for all the tools you need.