Roles and Responsibilities of a CFO in the Time of Automation

Posted by Cedric Joshua Martinez

Mar 15, 2018 10:00:00 AM

cfo roles and responsibilities in the time of automationTechnology has made the modern CFO. Before, CFOs were considered curators of the books. They check whether the company’s record sare up-to-date and if they contain the right figures. As technology progressed, CFOs have forwarded these tasks to advance software with real-time automation capabilities to focus on those that require their attention more. 

In today’s world of automation and artificial intelligence, how exactly has the roles and responsibilities of the CFO changed? Here are a few points to look at:

1. CFOs as the Leaders: Talent Seeker, Retainer, and Mentor

Technology didn’t stop changing roles with the CFO. As more developments are made, the roles in the finance and accounting (F&A) profession are being further integrated with skills necessary in taking advantage of the latest tools available for data analysis and interpretation. This has made it hard for organizations to look for talents that are becoming scarcer due to the demand for technological skills in finance and accounting.

To adjust to this environment, CFOs now need to manage their people well and delegate their best people to tasks that are highly prioritized. Aside from these,CFOs also need to look beyond what were considered as roles of F&A professionals since the roles are continuously changing. Finally, CFOs as leaders are expected to mentor their people and help them attain their full potential in the F&A industry. 

2. CFOs as Administrators: Creating a Sustainable Finance Operating Model

As the roles and responsibilities of the CFO and her team change, the operating processes also change with it. It is then the responsibility of the CFO to re-create the operating models of their teams to suit with the automation, artificial intelligence, and other forms of technologies available to them.

This will help finance departments to lower costs, produce better results, and make better recommendations to their companies. One thing that CFOs should consider though, is the vastly changing business landscape as well. The models that they produce should be adaptable to the effects of new technologies on business processes. 

3. CFOs as Visionaries: Pushing the Boundaries of Finance and Accounting

Truly, automation has shaped the roles and responsibilities of CFOs together with other finance professionals. They are increasingly becoming interconnected with the rest of the organization as their insights are now more relevant to the success of others. Tasks such as demand planning, sales forecasting, inventory planning, and capacity planning now require the active participation of CFOs and their team members to ensure that the proper financial data are taken to account during the conduct of these tasks.

CFOs must look beyond the current tools and see which technological advancements can help their people perform better. Finally, CFOs should be consistently on the lookout for breakthroughs that may redefine their operational models and connect them to more functions outside the F&A industry.   

The roles and responsibilities of a CFO are intertwined with the evolution of the business processes. As finance and accounting technologies drive innovation in the industry, CFOs are able to reap the benefits as they focus more on providing their organization with smarter business insights, better finance management, and data-driven recommendations.

Learn more about how accounting professions are being shaped by automation and artificial intelligence! Read our book summary of the Future of the Professions by Richard and Daniel Susskind! Click the button below to get your copy.

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Topics: Business Leadership and Management

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