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The Future Role of the CFO and Technology

There is no doubt that current FinTech trends have been making a tremendous impact on the role of C-level executives - particularity the CFO. In the past year, we've seen technology create an ever-changing business world resulting in the C-level exec donning a greater focus on strategy and taking a broader approach to business leadership. It's safe to say the CFO has been stepping into a similar role as the CEO.

By 2013, several surveys reported the CFO becoming more of an integral part of the business. One survey by Consero, found that 92 percent of CFOs were actively involved in decisions relating to their company's investment in emerging technologies. Forbes also supports this observation, by reporting three-quarters of CEOs from high-performing companies believe the CFO's role will grow more in importance than any other C-suite role.

This broader scope puts more pressure on CFOs to understand every aspect of the business beyond just the finances. To succeed, CFOs must demonstrate the ability to turn data into information, and information into insights – but it doesn't stop there. They need to be able to understand and present the information in ways that help a business make smarter decisions, faster, while tapping into trends that are most relevant to the organization and industry. It's no easy feat but it is possible with FinTech.

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How technology is helping CFOs

With emerging technology, banks are being disintermediated - the middleman is being removed from the process. Now, CFOs and other leading executives don't have to go through a traditional financial institution for peer-to-peer or B2B transfers. Services from SaaS companies are becoming the latter. FinTech trends like automation are empowering the CFO. Think of the reasons why so many organizations are implementing automation. It's easy, fast, in real time, and requires far less labor. Automation also creates new revenue stream. In 2017 and moving into the new year, we're seeing a new trend within the CFO role for innovation and creating new value streams for the company.

The power of automation

Along with being an innovator and creating new streams, CFOs are also tackled with the responsibilities to manage information, gain insights, make quick, yet strategic, decisions and diminish risk. All this responsibility can not be successful without the power of automation. Solutions such as A/P automation or an A/R lockbox allow CFOs to forecast cash accurately, gain deeper visibility into insights, and electronically organize remittance reports with ease. These solutions save money while improving productivity.

Let's not forget about "the cloud"

The cloud lets organizations move faster, try more solutions and options with less risk, and find new ways to compete - exactly what modern CFOs need. With the growing need for CFOs to integrate across all departments, cloud-based solutions allow users to work remotely. Staff can approve invoices and submit expenses from wherever they are, eliminating the end-of-month rush. These systems also provide great defense against fraud with rules and polices that are set up to overcome fraud. Cloud software gives users transparency, data is easy to analyze and interpret, allowing CFOs to take action sooner than later if fraud occurs or there is an issue with expenses.

Moving forward

Ultimately, technology such as cloud-based software, A/P automation, or an A/R lockbox is required for the modern day CFO to take on their new found responsibility. With automation and cloud-based solutions, these systems eliminate manual work, allowing the CFO to add more value through creative innovation and strategic tactic.

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