Deloitte CFO 2019 report highlights the unprecedented pace of change within the finance function. With the ’risk appetite’ among Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) at the lowest since 2008, continued economic uncertainty, external compliance, regulatory change and internal cultural shifts; cost reduction is once again the CFO’s top priority
The quarterly CFO report, a barometer of UK corporates’ sentiment and strategies, demonstrates how the role of the CFO has evolved over the past 20 years. Originally the finance leader’s remit was almost exclusively internal financial reporting, now most are considered strategic partners in leading business transformation. With these added pressures, many are looking to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency through strategic planning and process optimisation.
“Digital finance has precipitated the next wave of finance transformation. The changes in the finance function, highlighted in the report, will affect the way CFOs make decisions about resource planning, business, financial analysis and day-to-day operational finance. Process-led transformation enables those in finance to substantially increase operational efficiency and better engage with their customers. In this digital age, there has never been a more opportune time for the CFO to have an impact on their business,” according to Ian Pollard, Senior Vice President EMEA at Signavio.
As well as transforming processes in the finance function itself, the report shows that CFOs are now often expected to participate in business-wide innovation initiatives to aid in increasing profitability and growth. Driving this change is an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing business environment, where most industries are being disrupted by new technologies and business models that impact how business is done and customers are served.
“Along with reducing risk and costs, leveraging data to construct a real time picture will help CFOs to innovate more readily and drive business growth. The ever-changing finance function should definitely be viewed as an opportunity rather than a threat. By utilising available Business Process improvement technologies, CFOs can work with their wider team to transform operations, remain compliant and optimise productivity, ” Pollard concludes.