How has the role of the CFO evolved over the past year?

March 5, 2021

Featured-Image_How has the role of the CFO evolved over the past year? _EN

During the year, companies undertook various transformations to increase their capacity to respond to the impact of the pandemic. Thus, the CFO became a leader in crisis management and a “partner” to the CEO by supporting key strategic decisions with reliable information. This role is still very necessary in the current circumstances and calls for taking advantage of the benefits of financial digitization. 

The crisis has rapidly transformed the role of the CFO

The crisis has made it a priority to analyze the business situation more quickly and reliably. As well as carrying out simulations of the financial situation based on various hypothetical scenarios. Providing this information consistently and in real time helps making key decisions to fine-tune the business strategy.  

This approach to financial management has led the development of the CFO’s role in some aspects that have been reflected in the ACCA Global report “The CFO of the future”: 

Focus on stakeholders

Focusing on managing shareholder and investor relations and not only on safeguarding finances and preparing the reporting. 

Development of the strategy 

Participating in the development, validation and execution of the business strategy through the performance of their responsibilities.  

Growth optimization

Shifting from the historical focus on cost control to optimizing growth.  

Broad view of performance

Encompassing measurement of all aspects of the organization’s strategic objectives.  

Future outlook

Creating higher value for the company by providing information that is no longer retrospective but based on simulations and forecasts, which optimizes the control of financial performance. 

Professional career development

Reflecting the vision, motivation and learning approach of CFOs. As such, the crisis has accelerated the consolidation of this strategic role of the CFO. 72% of professionals surveyed by ACCA indicated that this role was increasing or increasing significantly and 58% felt that the pandemic had changed it. 

And it is here to stay. The new reality remains complex and uncertain and also calls for financial management that generates greater added value in the service of overall business performance. 

Regarding the performance of the Finance Department, CEOs now expect it to provide valuable and more accurate information on the various activities, in real time, so that both strategic and management decisions can be made very quickly.  

To facilitate this role, the CFO can be more involved in plans to improve the efficiency of corporate processes and functions. And in the digitalization plans that were accelerated in the wake of the crisis in order to increase competitiveness, transform the business and secure the future. 

Role and attitude of the CFO in the digitization of financial management 

If the CFO adopts a digital culture focused on greater efficiency and innovation, they will be better able to support this permanent review of financial management. To do so, the CFO needs to automate low value-added tasks in their departmentAs well as being open to collaborative and strategic work with internal partners.Without forgetting to take into account the environment and external partners. 

Talentia Financial Suite software is designed to provide key support to the CFO in these strategic challenges. In addition to assisting in the continuous improvement of the Finance Department’s operational performance. Talentia comprehensively manages accounting, consolidation, Financial Statements analysis, forecasting, reporting and auditing.